Pregnancy support helplines are experiencing a massive spike in distressed pregnant women asking for urgent help as charities warn coronavirus upheaval is placing pregnant women at risk.
Frontline service providers warn mothers-to-be are anxious about whether they will be denied pain relief options and be separated from their newborn babies due to them being put in neonatal units.
Birthrights, a maternity care charity, found enquiries to its advice line in March were up by 464 per cent in comparison to March last year. Women getting in touch also raised concerns about home birth services being withdrawn, midwifery-led birth centres shutting their doors and elective caesareans being discontinued due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Baby charity Tommy’s experienced a 71% surge in demand for advice from midwives on its pregnancy helpline last month. The organisation warned coronavirus turmoil is placing pregnant women at risk after their midwives answered 514 urgent calls for help in April which is a sizeable rise from the 300 enquiries they would generally get.
Jane Brewin, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Antenatal care is vital for the wellbeing of mother and baby – but the coronavirus outbreak means that many don’t know who they can ask for help, or don’t want to bother our busy and beloved NHS."
“Although services are adapting, they are still running, so pregnant women should not hesitate to raise concerns with their midwife and go to appointments when invited. The large increase in people contacting us demonstrates that coronavirus is creating extra confusion and anxiety for parents-to-be, making midwives’ expert advice and support even more important at this time.”
Source: The Independent, 5 May 2020
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