Epsom and St Helier are delighted to announce the arrival of the newly established Home Birth Team to the Trust.
Director of Midwifery, Marion Louki, has supported the existing home birth lead midwife to create a designated team to offer more options for pregnant women, providing first class maternity care in the comfort of their own homes. The expansion of the team is driven by the recommendations of the ‘Better Births’ National Maternity Review.
Maria Mills Shaw, Home Birth Lead and recent winner of the Birthplace Matters ‘Home Birth Midwife of the Year’ award for 2017 said: “We are four experienced and passionate midwives who offer one to one care to women and their families who choose a home birth. We provide all your antenatal and postnatal care at home, and offer home birth and normal birth workshops on a monthly basis. We are committed to providing first-class care to our families, and in offering maternity services in the home, we can provide care in a familiar and comforting environment, which can help to allay feelings of apprehension and anxiety. Having your baby at home also means that there is no need to travel to one of our hospital sites during labour, saving on the unnecessary stress of a journey in traffic.
Maria confirmed that our Trust has always had a strong tradition of offering home birth with community midwives, which has now been enhanced by establishing a dedicated team of experienced and enthusiastic midwives, allowing us to offer individualised continuity of care for women and their families.
On the concept and benefits of continuity of care, Maria said “Continuity of care has been found to significantly improve outcomes, as women have the opportunity to develop relationships with their midwives throughout their pregnancy. With this type of care, women are 24% less likely to have a premature birth, are less likely to have instrumental deliveries or caesarean sections, are less likely to need stitches after the birth, and are more likely to breastfeed. Continuity of care has also been shown to lower the chances of losing a baby by 16%[i].
Nicola Shepherd, Lead Midwife for Better Births at Epsom and St Helier said: “We are committed to continually improving the experience of women using our services. The introduction of our new Home Birth Team is just one of the ways that the department are working towards transforming our maternity services for the future. The Trust are proud to be early adopters of the Better Births campaign in conjunction with two other maternity units in Surrey Heartlands, St Peter’s and Royal Surrey Hospitals.
“Once the Better Births schemes have been fully implemented, our maternity patients will also have access to their notes digitally, will be able to call a 24 hour dedicated phone line where they can speak to a trained midwife and access care in alternative community hubs. These initiatives provide expectant mothers with better access to trained midwives, who know exactly what action to take when called, and also helps to free up our emergency lines and ambulances for those with an urgent need for them.”
For more information, or to get in touch with the Home Birth Team, please visit their Facebook page.
[i] Sandall J, Soltani H, Gates S, Shennan A, Devane D. Midwife-led continuity models versus other models of care for childbearing women. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 8. Art. No.: CD004667. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004667.pub3.