On Sunday, when new parents, Rebecca Attwood and John Gill, were trying to settle down their newly born baby boy Max, the couple received a very exciting surprise – Zoom call from the Duchess of Cambridge. Catherine called in to congratulate Rebecca and John on the birth of their son who was born just 16 hours ago.
The call came ahead of the UK’s Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week that falls between May 04 – May 10. Catherine was talking midwives at Kingston Hospital’s maternity unit. You might remember that Duchess had a work placement there for two days in November 2019. Greeting the parents, Duchess said,
Hello, Very nice to meet you! This is definitely a first, I think. Well, firstly huge congratulation. Is it little boy or little girl?
He is so sweet. Ah, congratulations! Duchess added, My goodness, you must be exhausted
Duchess was making the call from Cambridge family’s country residence Anmer Hall at Queen’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. More from Hello! Mag,
Rebecca, from Raynes Park, south-west London, said afterwards: “Having a baby is an extraordinary experience at any time, but having one during lockdown and then having a surprise conversation with the Duchess of Cambridge after two hours’ sleep was particularly surreal! “The Duchess asked us about having a baby at such an unusual time, and our experience on the maternity ward was that all the midwives made it as normal as possible – apart from the masks, it was exactly the same as when we had our first son, Rafe, in 2015. The midwives were amazing on both occasions.
Catherine watched as Lead Midwife at Birth Centre & Better BirthsSam Frewin put on an apron and mask before taking the laptop in to introduce her to the new family. Sam joked, “I’m smiling, can you tell?” and a laughing Duchess said, “With your eyes, I can”.
The Duchess of Cambridge has spoken with midwives, health visitors, parents and leading sector experts about the challenges and impact that COVID-19 is having on new and expectant mothers and their families.
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Perinatal Mental Health Midwife Jo Doumouchtsi said women were anxious about coming into hospital and catching Covid, but also about being isolated from a family with a newborn. But she added: “They will still be very well supported by the midwives, by health visitors, by GPs and by mental health teams.” Jennifer Tshibamba, a midwife in the Antenatal and Newborn Screening Team told the Duchess: “We want women to know we’re still here, we’re still open. Even with what’s going on, we’re here to listen to you, we’re still here to make sure we provide you with the best care for your pregnancy, for your baby and support your family.”
Director of Midwifery Gina Brockwell said of Kate’s call: “She’s clearly very interested in maternity services. She spent quite a long time with us back in November so really seemed to have a good understanding of our role, but also around the challenges of having a baby and a new family and the raising of people’s awareness of the sorts of challenges that people have to go through. So it’s an honour actually that she wanted to come back again.”
A further list of support services for new and expectant mothers and their families is available on Best Beginnings who are committed to supporting pregnant families and new parents across the UK to help you look after your mental and physical health and to help you maximise your child’s development. They created a free NHS approved Baby Buddy app to support new parents on their journey to parenthood. Within the app and on this page there are links to many other national and local charities.
Last week, The Duke and Duchess launched Our Frontline UK, which provides round mental health support to frontline staff and key workers. Leading mental health organisations have come together to provide, for the first time, a single service to support the millions of key workers who are putting their mental health under pressure as they form our frontline against the coronavirus.
The Duchess of Cambridge, Royal Patron of The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), has also written a thoughtful letter to thank the RCOG for their work on Coronavirus. The RCOG has developed national clinical guidance on coronavirus and pregnancy for healthcare professionals and advice and information for pregnant women and their families. The Duchess became the Royal Patron of the RCOG in February 2019. Read about the guidance here.
Last week, The Duchess talked to the experts from organisations including the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the Maternal Mental Health Alliance and the Institute of Health Visiting about challenges facing new parents during the pandemic. She said,
“It’s so important to access and reach out for help when you need it. We’ve heard it with the frontline workers, for those who are struggling, they don’t feel they can reach out because they feel guilty for doing it, which is extraordinary to hear… With new mums and parents and families, they don’t want to feel like they’re overburdening [the NHS] but it is so important to reach out and ask for help when you do need it.”
For the video calls, we can see Catherine wearing two different blue outfits. In the last week’s call to the experts, Duchess is wearing her Boden Aurora Midi Wrap Dress.
We first saw the Boden Aurora Midi Wrap Dress in the 2019 Christmas Card that she sent to the Air Cadets.
In the video tall to midwives and new parents, Catherin is wearing Tabitha Webb Jessi Knit in Blue and White Chevron. Thanks to Middleton Maven on Twitter for the id.
The £275 knit is described as, “This gorgeous new knit in a baby blue wool and cashmere mix chevron design is just the perfect little Spring addition to your wardrobe. Wear with your favourite denim or a skirt for an evening out. It’s delicious”. It is available for Pre-order on the online store.
Catherine paired the outfit with what looks like her UFO Hoop Earrings.
Yesterday, the family celebrated the 5th birthday of Princess Charlotte who was born in 2015.