Birth reflections service launched in Suffolk hospital

Some of the maternity team at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust: (From left to right) Justyna Skonie

Some of the maternity team at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust: (From left to right) Justyna Skonieczny, maternity ward manager, Robyn Harris, senior midwife, Karen Bassingthwaighte, acting maternity outpatient services manager, Cathy Adkins, senior midwife, and Nina Fawcett, community midwives team leader Picture: WEST SUFFOLK NHS FOUNDATION TRUST - Credit: Archant

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) has established a new parent support service.

Birth Reflections is a confidential service offered by midwives to parents, ensuring they can discuss their birth experience once parenthood has begun.

Six weeks after giving birth, new parents are invited to contact the hospital and arrange a time to come in to meet the midwifery team to discuss their birth experience, or perhaps even prepare for a future birth.

Lynne Saunders, head of midwifery at WSFT, said: “I’m really pleased we are being able to offer this service. Sometimes a birth can be complicated, and not what a new mum or a partner expects it would be.

“We believe that it is important for us to be able to review the experience with new parents once the dust has settled, so we can answer any of their questions and even go through their clinical notes if they’d like us to.

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“It is a very physical and life-changing experience, and we’re here to make sense of it and direct our new parents to other services and support if necessary.”

Robyn Harris, a midwife at WSFT, was instrumental in setting up the service.

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She hopes that the new service will be able to lend support to parens and prevent misdiagnosis.

She said: “Women are sometimes being misdiagnosed with postnatal depression when in fact they have post-traumatic stress disorder – the act of giving birth can sometimes be really scary and difficult, and we want to encourage our new mothers to feel there is a safe space where they can talk about it.

“It can also be really traumatic for a partner, and we are there for both of them. We can do group visits where both partners attend, or just one of them. Whatever is best for the family involved. It’s personal, holistic care.”

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