New mum praises 'incredible' Sheffield hospital staff after giving birth during coronavirus lockdown
The coronavirus crisis has added to anxieties for some mums-to-be, who fear restrictions imposed to prevent the virus spreading will affect the birth they have spent months planning.
At Sheffield’s Jessop Wing, in line with maternity services across the country, just one birth partner is allowed and once the baby is born neither the mum’s partner nor family are allowed on the post-natal wards.
One new mum has shared her story of giving birth in Sheffield under lockdown in the hope it will set other expectant parents’ nerves at ease.
Lucy Jones and her husband Andrew welcomed their first child Alexander into the world together on Tuesday, April 7 and she says the ‘incredible’ staff at the Jessop Wing couldn’t have done any more to look after them.
“In the days leading up to it I was quite stressed because all the changes were happening about visitation and whether partners were allowed or not. For me, the thought of not having my husband there was horrendous,” said the 31-year-old teacher, who lives in Gateford, near Worksop.
“But when the day came, the staff at Jessops did absolutely everything to make sure we were looked after and felt safe. They really went above and beyond to be kind, caring and compassionate, and I can’t thank them enough.
“It must be really hard for them because they’re worried about their safety and it’s not easy having to work in PPE but they’re doing an incredible job in very challenging circumstances.
“I know not every birth is the same but I hope my experience will help put people’s minds at rest and reassure them they couldn’t be in better hands.”
Lucy was induced and phoned Andrew when she went into delivery at 2am. Alexander was born four-and-a-half hours later and Andrew was able to stay with them until midday, before Lucy and her son were moved to a post-natal ward.
Despite them being on their own until Andrew returned to pick them up at 5pm the next day, Lucy says staff were ‘so, so kind’ and did everything to make those first hours of motherhood as smooth as possible.
She added that the community midwives seemed ‘very aware’ of the risks of post-natal depression, especially at a time when new mothers may be feeling particularly isolated, and were making sure everyone has access to the support they need.
Friends and family will of course have to wait to see little Alexander in person, which Lucy said was ‘really hard’ – not least because new parents can do with all the support they can get and ‘there’s a reason they say it takes a village to raise a child’.
But on the plus side, she said it has given them longer in their ‘little coccoon’ as a new family getting to know Alexander, and she joked ‘the last thing I want to be doing at the moment is making tea for visitors’.