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Booklet aims to end ‘inconsistent and confusing’ postnatal advice

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Midwives and nurses in North West London have helped create an information booklet for new mothers to tackle a lack of clear information for women after giving birth.

The After Your Baby’s Birth booklet, produced by the North West London Collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups, is based on input from midwives and other maternity specialists, as well as feedback from mothers.

“We hope that they will find the booklet informative, clear and reassuring”

Pippa Nightingale

The collaboration said the resource had been developed in an effort to improve the information given to women when they left hospital after giving birth, which was often “inconsistent, out of date and poorly explained”.

“Often when a woman leaves hospital, there is a lot of information given verbally or on poorly photocopied sheets of paper,” said the CCG group.

“This new booklet allows new mums to take home expert advice in a clear form, which they can read when it suits them,” it said.

Its creators said the booklet, which is supported by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) and looks set to be rolled out nationally, is based on the latest evidence and research in maternity care.

North West London Collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups

Booklet aims to end ‘inconsistent and confusing’ postnatal advice

New father Michael Austin Howe, his twins and midwife Natalie Douglas with the booklet at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

It includes key information including local contact numbers, information on mental health, feeding a newborn baby and follow-up care for women.

Pippa Nightingale, chief nurse at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said the resource was the result of “extensive and collaborative work across the maternity sector in North West London to limit the variation in quality of care and experiences for all women”.

“Mums told us that the information they were receiving was inconsistent and often confusing,” she said. “It’s important to us that they know that once they’ve given birth the high level of support from the NHS will remain the same.”

“We hope that they will find the booklet informative, clear and reassuring during a wonderful and life-changing experience,” she added.

As well as being printed in English, the booklet is available in Arabic and Guajarati with further translations to follow.

Elizabeth Duff, senior policy adviser for the NCT, said it contained “some great stuff” for new parents. A 2017 report by the organisation found the postnatal period was a difficult time for many mothers and fathers, she noted.

“New mothers described being ‘on the receiving end of conflicting advice or information’ on things like feeding, caring for their baby, and caring for themselves,” said Ms Duff.

She said: “This new booklet gives clear and helpful advice and we’re pleased to see it’s available in several languages. We also welcome the section on emotional and mental health which includes information on how to get help.”

North West London Collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups

Booklet aims to end ‘inconsistent and confusing’ postnatal advice

Mother Vickie Crook and midwife Millie at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

North West London Collaboration of Clinical Commissioning Groups

Booklet aims to end ‘inconsistent and confusing’ postnatal advice

New parents Jenny Buchley and James Goodwin, with midwife Joann Grove and the booklet at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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