We aim to ensure that we offer the best care to women and their families, including women who need specialist care during their pregnancy and birth.
We have specialist midwives trained to deal with almost every issue you may face during pregnancy and birth. This means that we will do everything we can to ensure that you and your baby remain healthy during your pregnancy, and that you get the best start once your baby is born.
Our specialist midwives will also signpost you to local organisations that can offer you additional support, should you need it.
Good mental health is important for both you and the wellbeing of your baby.
There are many mental health problems that could occur at this crucial time in your life.
This isn’t just the case for women with pre-existing conditions. For some women, pregnancy and childbirth can trigger experiencing or acknowledging psychological problems for the first time.
Our specialist Perinatal Mental Health Midwives can provide you with support and assistance, and advise you, or women at risk of, perinatal mental illness in addition to the care provided by your own midwife.
If you feel you would benefit from this service, you can refer yourself directly by contacting one of our specialist Perinatal Mental Health Midwives on the numbers below.
Our Midwives, Obstetricians, GPs and Health Visitors can also refer you to this service.
Sometimes women may be worried about drinking alcohol or taking drugs in the period before they realised they were pregnant.
If you are worried about this or concerned about the potential effects of alcohol or drug use during pregnancy, it may be helpful for you to speak to one of our specialist Substance Misuse Midwives who are specially trained in this area.
They can offer advice and support on how to maintain abstinence from alcohol or drugs and, if appropriate, can arrange a fast track referral to the most appropriate teams to support you further. Partners and families can also make use of this referral process if needed.
Women who are undergoing treatment from a community drug team, such as Inspire or Unity, will be offered a one to one session with the Substance Misuse Midwife.
A Substance Misuse Midwife can be seen anytime during pregnancy or after delivery.
Pregnancy and childbirth can be a time of your life where you will not only feel excited, but you may also feel great stress and anxiety.
We recognise that young women may also have additional needs during their progression from pregnancy to parenthood.
To support young mums and their families, we have two specialist Teenage Pregnancy Midwives - one is based at Furness General Hospital, and one at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.
A community midwife supports pregnant teenagers in the Kendal area.
If you are a pregnant teenager, a community midwife will discuss your needs and offer you the support you want or need at your initial booking appointment.
With your permission, they will refer you to the Teenage Pregnancy Service. After this referral, your local Teenage Pregnancy Midwife will contact you to help you make an individual pregnancy and birth plan to suit your needs.
In addition to this, we also offer:
- Pregnancy classes for young people
- Parenting classes for young people, either as a group or one to one
- Education and training
- Housing support
- Contraceptive and sexual health advice
- Advice about benefits
1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will, at some point in their lives, experience domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse is defined as:
“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:
Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”
(Home Office, 2013)
Domestic abuse in pregnancy is a significant public health issue. Research studies suggest that as much as 30% commences in pregnancy, with escalation in intensity and frequency of both emotional and sexual abuse, in addition to threatened and actual violence highly likely.
Evidence suggests that domestic violence during pregnancy is more prevalent than pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes and is linked to increased rates of miscarriage, premature and small-for-gestational age babies, fetal injury and even fetal death. Mothers may be more likely to misuse drugs and alcohol, experience psychological impairment, placental separation or uterine rupture, suffer injury and make suicide attempts.
All of our staff receive additional training on recognising the signs of domestic abuse and parents-to-be are encouraged to discuss any concerns they may have with their health professional, in confidence, at any time.
At UHMBT we want to provide you with all the support and information required to suit your individual needs. The health and wellbeing team are here to support you if you would like additional information about various pregnancy related topics such as infant feeding, smoking in pregnancy, safe sleeping, building baby's brain, practical parenting skills, immunisations or support groups available across The Bay.
Whether you are pregnant for the first time or you’ve done it all before, it’s really normal for you and your partner to have questions or things you want to discuss in more depth during your pregnancy. Sometimes it can be tricky to know where to get reliable information; we want you to know that we’re here to help guide you through any questions or worries you may have.
You can do this by contacting your own Midwife or our Health and Wellbeing Team who will be happy to meet you for a chat.
The role of the Antenatal and Newborn (ANNB) Screening Midwives is to coordinate all 6 antenatal and newborn screening programmes for the trust and to provide education and training to staff involved with the screening programmes.
The ANNB Screening Midwives offer women and their families support through pregnancy and antenatal screening, and when a congenital or genetic condition might be suspected or diagnosed.
Support may be providing information and/or counselling to aid decision making. This may also include supporting women through diagnostic procedures, for example amniocentesis or signposting women and their families to other sources of information and support.
We endeavour to provide support for women and their families through challenging times. Our aim is to ensure the process is as smooth as possible, with choices and decisions made in line with women and their families values and beliefs.
We are available to any women who wish to discuss their screening options and/or results and can be used as a resource by women and staff who wish to learn and understand more about screening in pregnancy.