Durrington mum shares her experience of giving birth during the lockdown
Hospitals in West Sussex have been forced to adapt their maternity services in the face of the coronavirus lockdown, from restricting visitors to suspending homebirth services.
But one new mother, who gave birth to her first child last month, wants to reassure others due to give birth during the lockdown that they will be made to feel ‘very comfortable’.
Natasha Chapman, from Durrington, has shared her experience in order to put minds of mums-to-be at rest.
The 26-year-old beauty therapist had been enjoying a ‘text book’ pregnancy when the pandemic was declared. “It made me extremely anxious,” she said.
When it was announced that pregnant women were classed as vulnerable, Natasha said her ‘wonderful’ boss at La Belle salon in Worthing, Sonia Martin, agreed she could start maternity leave three weeks earlier than expected.
Natasha said: “I felt relieved but at the same time a bit sad as I didn’t expect to leave so abruptly and didn’t have the chance to say goodbye to my clients, who have been so excited for me.”
Luckily, she had already celebrated a baby shower, without knowing it would be the last get-together with her loved ones for some time.
“The thought of our family not being able to meet our baby makes my heart hurt but thank goodness for technology,” she said.
Due to the restrictions on visitors at the hospital, Natasha’s husband Josh was unable to attend the next few appointments with her, though Natasha said they ‘totally understood why’ and said she was ‘always put at ease’ by staff.
On the April 21, the 14th anniversary year of her sister’s death, Natasha’s waters broke at 6am.
She said: “I phoned the hospital to let them know and they advised me on the next steps.
“That morning I had reduced movements of my baby so they asked me to go in.
“I was very nervous as this is a new experience and my husband couldn’t come with me because of the new rules set in place because of Covid-19.
“Everything was well with baby but I stayed in all day to be monitored and had an induction.
“My husband wasn’t allowed to come until I was in established labour which was about 7pm that night.
“All the healthcare professionals and midwives had all the correct PPE on and I felt so very safe in their care.
“We welcomed our beautiful baby girl on the 21st of April, our very own gift from heaven.
“There was no rush for my husband to leave but when I got transferred to a different ward that is when we had to say goodbye.
“He wasn’t allowed on the maternity ward as there was other women and new babies but I felt OK about it.”
Natasha went home the next afternoon with her baby, Caitlynn.
She said: “I can’t thank the midwives and doctors at Worthing hospital enough. They were absolutely amazing and made my birthing experience better then I could imagine.”
Natasha had this message for other mums-to-be: “I can assure you that they will be in absolute safe hands and be made to feel very comfortable.”
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