Pregnant women are able to choose to have their baby at home once again thanks to the resumption of the home birth service in north Essex and east Suffolk.
East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) has re-established its home birth service at Colchester and Ipswich hospitals, and Clacton Birthing Unit today, 12 May.
The service was temporarily suspended in April to keep both our staff and patients safe during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
ESNEFT’s Director of Midwifery Anna Shasha said:
“We’re committed to offering women the choice about where to have their babies and providing them with the option of a home birth, when appropriate, is important to us.
“We have staff and safety measures in place and I now feel confident we can resume the home birth service.
“As part of our commitment to keep everyone safe we will continue to constantly monitor our services and we will keep home births under review as the pandemic continues. If we need to make any changes in the future we will let people know immediately.”
Women who had already booked to have a home birth in the coming weeks are being contacted by our midwives to let them know the service is up and running again.
The trust’s midwifery teams will continue to risk assess every woman’s suitability for a home birth at the time of booking and as their pregnancy progresses to maintain their safety and that of their unborn child.
It is also still safe to come into hospital at this time if you are booked to have your baby in one of our maternity units, but new arrangements for postnatal appointments and visiting do apply which you can read here.
Support at hand from Maternity helpline teams
Midwives are available to answer pregnancy related questions or concerns through ESNEFT’s Maternity helpline.
For Colchester Hospital call 07843 502953 between 8.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-6pm Monday to Friday. The line is monitored until 4pm at weekends and on bank holidays.
For Ipswich Hospital, call 01473 702666 between 8am to 8pm seven days a week.
Please note these are not emergency or labour numbers.
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