A dedicated team of 10 midwives have come together to form Athena, a pilot which looks to provide care for approximately 350 women a year.
Evidence shows that women who have a midwife that they know in labour they are less likely to need interventions during their pregnancy and birth and are more likely to be satisfied with their care. With this in mind, the Athena team will provide care throughout the whole pregnancy journey, from antenatal care to postnatal care, as well as having a midwife on call during the day and night to provide labour care.
Gill Allen, Team Leader for Athena, says: “I am really excited to launch this pilot and extremely proud of how the team have embraced this new way of working in order to provide continuity and consistency for women throughout their pregnancy journey.
“Every woman will have a named midwife who will co-ordinate her care, she will be given the opportunity during her pregnancy to meet the rest of the team so that at the time of the birth she will see a familiar face. As well as going on call for the women booked with Athena the team will be offering “meet and great” sessions, home birth groups and coffee mornings.”
Sarah Finch, Community Midwife, adds: “I am really excited to be involved in this new pilot and working in a new way. The team is working in a more flexible model of care to enable women to have their birth choices supported and we are hoping to increase the amount of births within the Portsmouth Maternity Centre and also local home births.
“Having a midwife you recognise and who you have a trusting relationship with also means women are more likely to tell them if they have low mood or problems with their mental health after having their baby.”
Two mums who are looking forward to being involved in the pilot are Anna and Kelly. Anna, who is pregnant with her second baby, says: “I feel the pilot is going to be really benefit women because although I had great care with my previous birth, I am looking forward to having a familiar face in labour which I feel will keep me more calm and relaxed this time.”
Kelly is also pregnant for the second time and adds: “I feel it will be nice to know the midwife at delivery and it not be a surprise to who turns up to my homebirth.”