By Liz Crudgington
A Broadstairs mum who gave birth during the coronavirus pandemic has thanked maternity staff for their care.
Katie Wellbrook had baby Dylan at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate and said she felt safe and cared for throughout the birth.
The 31-year-old has spoken out to reassure other mums-to-be, and said trying to stay informed helped her prepare.
She said: “I think it’s easy to say don’t worry – every new mum is going to be worrying because you want the best for your baby. But try not to let it overwhelm you.
“Reading positive stories really helped me, and I tried to stay informed and get as much information as I could. I followed the Royal College of Midwives on Twitter who were putting out some really great stuff, and the East Kent Maternity Facebook page.
“There are also groups out there for new mums so you can have some interaction with people who are in the same situation. I’ve joined a WhatsApp group for Margate mums and we are doing baby massage on Zoom, which has been really nice.”
Although Katie, who is living with her husband Ewen and parents, was not able to tour the hospital before the birth, she found online information useful.
She said: “The hardest thing was that I didn’t have a picture in my head of what it would look like when I gave birth because I wasn’t able to go on a tour of the unit, which would have been really reassuring. But I looked at the Trust website and watched some of the videos and that helped a lot.”
Dylan was born on April 4, and Ewen was able to stay with them throughout the labour and birth and until they were settled on the ward, giving him time to enjoy some skin-to-skin bonding with Dylan.
He was then able to visit from 8am until 8pm.
Katie said: “If it wasn’t for the fact that everyone was wearing PPE, I don’t think I would have been aware of the virus.
“It didn’t really cross my mind when I was there. My midwife was with me almost every single minute of my labour which was very reassuring for me as a first-time mum. I definitely felt safe and very sheltered from everything.
“Everyone was very attentive and supportive, and at one point there were seven people in the room but even then it was really quiet and calm.”