23 February 2023

“I cannot imagine my pregnancies and labours without the support of my midwife” says Sheffield mum following second successful home birth

Laura Cheatle, 36 from Sheffield, has expressed her gratitude for her community midwife following her second successful homebirth in November last year.

Laura originally expressed an interest in having a home birth to midwives at the Jessop Wing in Sheffield when she first became pregnant back in 2019. She said:

“Despite it being my first pregnancy, the continuity of care that my community midwife had provided me gave me that confidence to plan a homebirth and she fully supported me in that decision. I found the whole process to be incredibly straightforward and appreciated being able to hire a birth pool so easily from the Jessop Wing.”

Laura gave birth to her first daughter, Layla, on New Year’s Eve in December 2019 and has praised her community midwife, Kath, who has supported her throughout both pregnancies and births.

“When I went into labour, I almost cried tears of joy when it turned out she was on call that night. It felt like welcoming a friend into our home and I knew that I was being attended by someone who was fully invested in my birth plan and knew exactly how to support me. She was encouraging, calm and always totally respectful of my wishes. She took the time to explain things to me and always sought consent for any form of monitoring or examination. After a long night Kath safely delivered my daughter and I believe stayed beyond the official end of her shift to ensure that I was well cared for.”

Following the birth of Layla, Laura joined a homebirth group on social media and closely followed the experiences of other women across the country who were giving birth throughout the pandemic.

“When I became pregnant again, I was apprehensive to hear if the pandemic may have affected the ability to support homebirths and whether it would be as straightforward this time round, however at my booking appointment I was encouraged to hear that homebirths in Sheffield had continued and that I would be supported by the community midwife team as before.”

Laura kept in touch with Kath after her first pregnancy and, when she found out she was expecting her second child, was pleased to have Kath supporting her as her community midwife again.

“It was clear that she took a genuine interest in my well-being and took the time to get to know both myself and my husband to offer the most effective care.”

Laura gave birth to her second daughter, Heidi, on 2nd November 2022.
“My second homebirth was even more perfect than my first. Everything went so smoothly and again, Kath went above the call of duty to ensure that I could stay at home to receive stitches after the birth, giving up her own time at the end of her shift to enable this.

“I cannot imagine my pregnancies and labours without the support of my midwife. My experience of childbirth has been incredibly positive because of her support and I will treasure the memories of my homebirths for the rest of my life. I also feel incredibly lucky to live in Sheffield as I am aware that the staffing and support for homebirths across the country has been highly variable in recent times due to the pandemic. The care provided by the community midwives and the overall management of the team, has enabled homebirths to continue despite an increasingly challenging national picture.”




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