First babies born at home since relaunch of 24-hour service at Nottinghamshire hospital
A total of seven babies have been born at home since a hospital reinstated a 24-hour home birth service.
Freya became the first to be born at home after Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust resumed full 24-hour service in mid-September.
Freya, who weighed 7 pounds 2 ounces, arrived in a birthing pool at home in Swinderby, Lincolnshire. She is the first child of Kamila and Hugh Cornwell.
Kamila, 30, who received her prenatal care through the Newark team, said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better first birth. I felt very safe and in good hands. The midwives, Hadassah and Amanda, were attentive and caring and provided the right support at every stage. I can also confirm the pain-relieving properties of the water!
“By giving birth at home, I was able to fully focus on the birth itself, without having to worry about the logistics of getting to the hospital at the right time, while being supported by a team of experienced midwives. Seeing our daughter in the safety of our home for the very first time was such a blissful moment.”
For a year during the pandemic, service was limited to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If a woman gave birth outside of these times, the mother had to be transferred to Sherwood Birthing Unit to give birth at King’s Mill Hospital. As a result of successful recruitment for the community midwifery team, 24-hour service has safely resumed and the team has been busy training in preparation for the restart.
Kamila continued: “Many women including myself would be reluctant to book a home birth in case they go into labor at the wrong time if it wasn’t a 24 hour service and I hope it will continue to be available. “
Community and outpatient matron Melanie Johnson said: “Congratulations to Kamila and Hugh on the birth of Freya. Those who are healthy and have an uncomplicated pregnancy may want to consider home birth for a number of reasons, including the benefits it can bring.
“We know how important it is for families to have a personalized choice and restoring full 24 hour service once it was safe was a priority for us.
“Thank you to our on-call team for doing everything they could to support as many women as possible through what was a challenging year. We look forward to supporting many more.”
There were five home births in October, two in November and four in December.