Women near to labour can now ‘call the midwife’ for help

A scene from the BBC television series Call the Midwife Picture: BBC
A scene from the BBC television series Call the Midwife Picture: BBC

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WOMEN who are 37 or more weeks pregnant can now quite literally Call the Midwife for advice and help.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust is joining Hampshire Hospitals and the University Hospital Southampton on their ‘Labour Line’, that allows women to speak to midwives 24 hours a day.

Instead of mums-to-be phoning their hospital with queries, they can speak to experienced midwives through the hotline.

Abbie Aplin, head of maternity, acute services at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, said: ‘We are thrilled Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust is now offering this service to women across Portsmouth. Not only will they be aided in the early stages of labour, but the line will free up our midwives so they can provide an even more enhanced level of care for women in active labour here at the hospital.’

The Labour Line went live in 2013 when a team of midwives at South Central Ambulance Service control in Winchester began manning a dedicated phone line answering calls from women in the Hampshire Hospital Foundation Trust catchment area.

They were joined in 2015 by University Hospital Southampton.

South Central Ambulance Service spokeswoman Michelle Archer said: ‘Mums-to-be often have lots of questions to ask near their time of birth. They might want a midwife to confirm whether or not they are in labour, if a pain is normal, or if they’re bleeding they might want advice about what to do.

‘It’s about support and reassurance too, the midwives can advise the pregnant ladies what they should be doing in each situation and what actions to take next.

‘Midwives from Hampshire’s three hospital trusts will take turns to man the Labour Line, and they all have so much experience.’

Call 0300 123 9001 for the Labour Line.