Pregnant women urged to make early contact with a midwife
Women across Bradford and Airedale are being encouraged to go direct to a midwife as soon as they know they are pregnant.
NHS Bradford and Airedale, in partnership with Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, has launched a new 'direct access to a midwife' campaign to let mums-to-be know about their choices and to get their pregnancy care started sooner.
To help women get in touch with their local midwives, phones numbers and email addresses have been set up for each maternity hospital. Women who make contact can book their first appointment with a midwife so they can start getting support early in their pregnancy.
- Bradford midwives can be contacted on: 01274 364502 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Airedale midwives can be contacted on: 01535 292120.
The aim is to increase the number of women who book with a midwife by 12 weeks and six days. It is also expected that if women directly book with a midwife this will free up GP appointments so they can see other patients.
The 'direct access to a midwife' campaign supports national maternity policy that says women should have the choice of how to access maternity care - either via their local midwifery service or with their GP.
Direct contact with midwives can result in earlier access to health information and screening that can help the health and wellbeing of both mum and baby. This can also help to reduce infant mortality by making sure mums-to-be get the healthcare they need to give their babies the best start in life.
Julie Walker, head of midwifery at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We want women to know that they have a choice and can go direct to their local midwife, and that this doesn't need to be done via their GP. Women still have a choice, as some may wish to see their GP before referral, but the most important thing is that the earlier they do this the better!"
Kathryn Walsh, head of midwifery at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, added: "Midwives are specially trained to provide care during pregnancy, birth and after the baby is born. Bradford and Airedale midwives want to hear from all women as soon as they know they are pregnant so we can start to care for you and your baby."
Midwives are highly visible health professionals within the community and many of them are now based in local settings, such as children's centres, which makes them easier to access. Pregnancy and birth are normal life events for most women; however women value advice and information early in their pregnancy about lifestyle, nutrition, and a plan of care for pregnancy.