With International Day of the Midwife happening last Sunday May 5, this week Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) is celebrating the amazing midwives that help the women, babies and families across Nottingham every day.
A team of midwives at NUH dedicate their time to preparing young mums for their exciting journey into parenthood.
The Teenage Pregnancy team is made up of four midwives – Clare Hatley, Carrie Hayward, Michaela Hill, and Steph Clark - and one maternity support worker, Nicola Brennan, who offer support to teenage clients aged 19 years-old or under.
Based at Old Basford Health Centre, they cover Nottingham City, Rushcliffe, Broxtowe, Gedling and Hucknall, the team work hard to empower teenage mothers by increasing their self-esteem and confidence as they prepare to become parents, often for the first time. They offer advice on topics such as: early parenting, positive relationships, contraception, benefits and breastfeeding to give the new mums the best possible start with their baby.
Any pregnant young woman under the age of 19 is automatically referred to the team and allocated to a named midwife, who will usually visit them throughout their pregnancy and postnatally at home. Midwifery appointments are approximately every four weeks and increase to fortnightly at the end of pregnancy. Postnatally midwifery care continues for approximately one month after birth.
The team also offer two ‘Active Birth’ sessions a month between the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) and City Hospital for teenage mums-to-be.
Steph Clark, Community Midwife, said: “These sessions are usually attended by up to six couples. We’ve found that clients feel more comfortable attending sessions led by a ‘known midwife’ and with other similarly aged people. They also enjoy the opportunity to see a birthing room and the session also covers subjects such as preparation or birth, pain relief methods, alternative birth and immediate postnatal care.
“As part of routine maternity care, all teenage clients are offered a 34-week home visit with a Maternity Support Worker. This visit is used to assess the home environment and offer further health advice; which includes safe sleeping, infant feeding and ongoing contraception. All of our clients are offered a C-Card too, so that they can access free condoms. Other young people present within the visit, including the young person’s partner, siblings or friends, are also offered advice and C-Cards too, if they’d like.”
The team enjoy positive feedback from the women and their families. Some clients contact them directly for pre-pregnancy planning advice, whilst some young women feel comfortable to self-refer to the team when they have a subsequent pregnancy, reflecting the level of support offered by the midwives.
Steph added: “The Teenage Pregnancy team provides really important support for young mums and it’s really important that we help to build their confidence ahead of becoming a parent. We’ve had lots of positive feedback for the team – it’s good to know that the young women and their families are getting the right advice and we find that they really engage with and enjoy our sessions.”