Community Constituency Health Newry and Armagh South Down Upper Bann

New Midwifery Team Introduced to Improve Continuity for Expectant Mums

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust is reshaping the way maternity services are delivered through its first Continuity of Midwifery Carer (CoMC) team.

The CoMC regional initiative sees a small team of midwives follow pregnant women through every step of their journey, building strong relationships with them and their families and providing seamless support from booking through to labour and postnatal period.

The first team has been established in the Trust – Team Emerald – and is made up of experienced midwives from both a hospital and community background plus a maternity support worker. The introduction of this innovative new model starts with the planned launch of a small scale implementation on Monday 17th April initially in the Lurgan, Portadown and Brownlow areas.

Maria Garvey, Lead Midwife, said:

“The CoMC model differs in that mums-to-be are assigned a named midwife who follows them throughout the pregnancy journey.

“This is a really positive move as being cared for in this way and getting to know the midwife who will be at the birth, is known to significantly improve outcomes for mothers and babies.

“If for any reason the named midwife cannot attend the whole journey, another member of the team would be present – who they will have also met.

“Research shows that women attended at birth by a known midwife are more satisfied with the information and advice they are given, their preparation for labour and birth, their choice of pain relief and feeling in control and helps prevent some complications.

“We are looking forward to getting to know all the new expectant mums, partners and babies.

Caroline Keown, Assistant Director for Integrated Maternity and Women’s Health (IMWH), said:

“There are over 5,000 births per year in the Southern Trust and we are very excited to be part of this new model of care for mums-to-be which is set to become the standard model of maternity care across the region.

“There are huge advantages to women in having continuity of carer during pregnancy. By improving the experience of women on their maternity journey, overall outcomes are going to be better for all.

“We are delighted to be rolling this out to women in the Lurgan, Portadown and Brownlow areas and hope to expand this concept to within other Trust areas in the coming months.”


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