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Baby Boom in Maternity Department

Baby Boom


The 5th May is International Day of the Midwife (IDM), so staff at Darent Valley Hospital reflected upon their very own baby boom within the Maternity Department. The theme of IDM being 'Midwives, Mothers and Families: Partners for Life' which links perfectly with our own midwives and maternity support workers becoming mothers, and building their own families with the support of our wonderful Colleagues. IDM is when midwives across the globe are celebrating. Since it was launched 14 years ago, IDM has been the internationally recognised day for highlighting the work of midwives.

From February 2016 to April 2017 a total of 25 maternity staff gave birth to 26 babies! There were 16 girls and 10 boys, including a set of twins. The lightest baby at birth was Rosie, who weighed just 4lb 9oz, and the heaviest baby at birth was Jacob at 9lb 3oz! There are currently two more midwives pregnant, expecting their babies at the start of summer. April 2016 saw the busiest month with 5 staff members giving birth.

Head of Midwifery, Deborah McAllion said: "The Maternity Department has seen an incredible baby boom amongst its staff and what a great idea to show off our 25 maternity staff who have had babies in the last 12 months (or soon to have their babies)! This is a great example that midwives will always practise what they preach!

We are pleased and delighted to see so many of the maternity family arrive for photographs on the 25th April 2017. There are also another two mums and three babies (including twins) that we would like to acknowledge.”

This idea was developed by Kelly Gray, a Delivery Suite Co-ordinator, whose baby Chloe was born on 29th September 2016. Kelly thought it was a great idea that all the midwives who have made mothers in the last year come together to celebrate their achievements!

Chronological order of when Maternity Staff became mothers:

  • 29/02/16 Rebecca Bartholomeusz gave birth to Sophie, 5lb 13oz.
  • 21/03/16 Emily Gartshore-Noble gave birth to Maisie, 7lb 2oz.
  • 05/04/16 Joanna Omolewa gave birth to twins Maya and Malik, 5lb 6oz and 5lb 7oz.
  • 08/04/16 Emma Ridley gave birth to Jacob, 9lb 3oz.
  • 09/04/16 Jenny Harvey gave birth to Emily, 7lb 5oz.
  • 20/04/16 Sophie Palmby gave birth to Daisy, 6lb.
  • 24/04/16 Danielle Sheard gave birth to Freya, 5lb 8oz.
  • 07/05/16 Abigail Lloyd gave birth to Maxwell, 8lb 9oz.
  • 03/07/16 Rachael Crosby gave birth to Harriet, 5lb 6oz.
  • 13/09/16 Jackie Batts gave birth to Sophie, 4lb 10oz.
  • 19/09/16 Rachel Fletcher gave birth to Bethany, 7lb 14oz.
  • 29/09/16 Kelly Gray gave birth to Chloe, 7lb 13oz.
  • 03/10/16 Jade Mills gave birth to Oliver, 7lb 4oz.
  • 13/10/16 Rose Austin gave birth to Jessie, 7lb 2oz.
  • 19/10/16 Hydie Hurle gave birth to Nancy, 5lb 12oz.
  • 29/10/16 Callie Norris gave birth to Logan, 7lb.
  • 29/12/16 Kayleigh Pugh gave birth to Frankie, 8lb 12oz.
  • 08/01/17 Helen Jesshope gave birth to Ruby, 7lb 7oz.
  • 14/01/17 Vicky Butler gave birth to Lenny, 8lb 2oz.
  • 16/01/17 Becci Vandervennin gave birth to Rosie, 4lb 9oz.
  • 26/01/17 Nathalie Warne gave birth to Finley, 7lb 6oz.
  • 01/02/17 Lauren Smith gave birth to Joey, 5lb 6oz.
  • 26/02/17 Karin Akesson gave birth to Alice, 8lb 4oz.
  • 30/03/17 Carly Ward gave birth to George, 8lb.
  • 01/04/17 Natalie Garner gave birth to Charlotte, 6lb 13oz.

Aimee Earl is due her first baby on the 31st of July, and Vicki Heather is due her second baby on the 14th of August!

Many of the midwives and maternity support workers had their care provided by a combination of community and hospital midwives, and obstetric team based at Darent Valley Hospital. This is testament to the trust and faith that the staff have in their colleagues and friends, to provide the best care possible, with the end result of a positive birth experience. 22 of the mums gave birth to their babies at Darent Valley Hospital, with a few being out of area or choosing home births.

Midwife Helen Jesshope comments on her decision to give birth at home: "I chose a homebirth because I was classed as having a low risk pregnancy and had had 2 births already at home. It was nice to be in our own environment and get in our own shower and bed after the birth. It was all calm and peaceful and I was very lucky to have my friend deliver Ruby. Of course I would support and encourage other low risk women to have a homebirth if that is their choice."

Some of the babies were born prematurely and needed additional support in the Special Care Baby Unit, Midwife Lauren Smith shares her experience: "When our son was born at 33 weeks gestation, he needed extra support from the special care team at Darent Valley who were absolutely brilliant. They were caring, informative and empathetic. We cannot thank them enough for their support and help through that tough period."

All the maternity staff strive to promote Breastfeeding and its many benefits, helping mums and babies get off to the best start, and supporting all families in the infant feeding choices that they make. Midwife Jackie Batts received help from Infant Feeding midwife Caroline Jordan, as do many of the women who give birth at Darent Valley Hospital, to ensure her daughter Sophie, born prematurely, managed to establish breastfeeding;

Jackie Batts said: "Sophie was born 7 weeks early and so had numerous challenges to overcome. Caroline was our rock; she supported me with visits, telephone calls, advising me of local breastfeeding support groups, alternative feeding positions; all so I can be successful with breastfeeding. What she has done for us has been incredible."

We are really pleased that this story has received so much media support. Congratulations to all of the new mums and we look forward to welcoming you all back to work in the near future.