Maternity Services.JPGPregnant women are to benefit from changes being made by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s community midwifery team.

From Monday April 15, Hampshire Hospitals will have teams of midwives dedicated to working with women who choose to have either a home birth or to give birth at the Trust’s dedicated midwife-led maternity centre at Andover War Memorial Hospital.

The teams will help to ensure that the same midwife supports each woman from the early stages of their pregnancy through to when they give birth and also in their first few days as a new mum, providing continuity of care.

Both the Home Birth and Maternity Centre Case Loading teams will hold monthly events where women will be able to meet all of the midwives who could support them when they are in labour, ensuring that they are cared for by a familiar face.

Maxine Ellis, clinical midwifery matron for community services at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, and Andover War Memorial Hospital, said: “Working with the same midwife throughout a pregnancy and in labour has been shown to have a really positive effect and making these changes to the way we work will enable us to make sure that we can make this happen for even more women.

“Of course, we can never be sure when babies will decide to come into the world, but by meeting the whole team at one of our monthly events, mums will know that they have at least met the midwife who will be helping them through labour.

“Women from across Hampshire and parts of West Berkshire can choose to give birth at home with the support of our community midwives, if it is clinically appropriate for them to do so. However, what many women do not realise is that in the same way they can also choose to birth in our dedicated midwife-led maternity centre at Andover War Memorial Hospital, which offers a different experience to birthing in a labour ward.

“At the recent open day we held at the maternity centre, women told us that they felt the facilities create a woman-centred, homely, calming and personal atmosphere, with staff described as caring, friendly, empathetic, kind and welcoming.”

All community midwives will also now work regular shifts on the labour wards at Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals, meaning that it will be possible for women birthing there to be supported by a midwife they have worked with during their pregnancy.

Speak to your midwife or email for more information about the Hampshire Hospitals Maternity Centre or having a home birth with support from Hampshire Hospitals midwives.