ST is a mother of 4 who gave birth on 17th April 2020 at City Hospital.

What was your experience like?
Supportive, caring, encouraging during labour from the midwife, but also because of my setting the scene I communicated my wants and desires for this birthing experience.
The midwife said to me this was going to be a baby led and body led experience. I also let them know I wanted as little intervention as possible during my labour and birth and monitor only if it was absolutely necessary.

How did Covid impact your pregnancy?
I would have had a better experience if my partner was able to attend all of my appointments with me. My antenatal team was supportive and reassuring. I did have 3 different midwives due to handover but they were all lovely.

My Birth Experience
The midwives were very encouraging of me having an empowered birth from the beginning. I was in slow labour previous and active labour for 2 hours. I had to go inwards (deep inside myself spiritually) to push my daughter out.
Our daughters head came out first then a second later her whole body called a foetal ejection. She was still in her amniotic sac. She was removed from her sac and placed onto me but for only 7-10 seconds then the staff knew there was something wrong…

Our daughter was floppy, blue in colour and had injested a lot of blood into her lungs. I also lost a lot of blood (750ml).
Our daughter was placed into special care and the only frustrating and worrying thing (particularly for dad) was that we did not know what was going on with her. The specialists took her away and said they would return in 10minutes to fill us in but it was actually 2.5 hours before we had any further communication.
She was given a ‘cooling’ procedure keeping her body temperature at 33 degrees Celsius for 3 days.

I was transferred to Birmingham Women’s Hospital for 2 days. Due to previous mental health experiences in my prior pregnancy they wanted to support and monitor me. Our daughter was still at City Hospital.

After the 3rd day I could not take it anymore and discharged myself. I held my baby for the first time in 4 days and while feeding she attached straight away which meant the world to me after our seperation. After 7 days our daughter was discharged.

I received regular calls from the midwife and the breastfeeding tem were supportive. I had this supportive 28 days, the only thing I wish was different was that the breastfeeding was via video call instead of face to face for that hands on support due to Covid-19.

How did this affect your mental health and wellbeing?
I had anxiety, depression and postnatal psychosis, I noticed this 5 days after being at home.
During this time I experienced a range of emotions, feeling disconnected from myself at one point, although I now know I had to detach from my body to get into my higher self and get a greater perspective of it all.
II have to say I did get great support from the Mental Health Specialists, the midwives and the breastfeeding team.