Sue Smith

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Barrow midwife supporting women across Morecambe Bay through new Facebook group

Cathy Rawlings, Midwife at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), has joined a private ‘Facemums’ group as a moderator ‘Facewife’,  where she shares up-to-date evidence-based information, answers queries and signposts women to appropriate local services.

The Facemums service, which is funded by Health Education England (HEE) and coordinated by the University of Salford, is aimed at pregnant women and women up to six weeks postnatal. It gives women a platform to seek information they need and support each other.

Photograph by Steven Barber

The Morecambe Bay group currently has a small group of registered (followers) mothers and mums-to-be, aged between 16 and 28-years-old, between 12-30 weeks gestation.

Cathy, who is based at the South Lakes Birth Centre at Furness General Hospital, said: “I’m really enjoying being part of the group. The group is going well at the moment. The women seem to be enjoying it although they have only just started really chatting in the group this week.

“I think it is definitely something that could coincide with case loading midwifery which is a new model of care supported nationally and sees midwives take on their own group of women and following them all the way through their pregnancy, seeing them in the community for antenatal and postnatal periods, as well as caring for them in labour to ensure continuity of care in the future. I’m excited to see where the Facemums group goes.”

Feedback from users has included:

“I am enjoying it more than ever. Feel it’s a great help, learning lots from the Facewives and other mums and trying to support where I can.”

HEE is supporting the rollout of Facemums following the success of the research project ‘The Impact of Midwife-Moderated Social Media-based Communities on Pregnant Women and New Mothers’, which demonstrated clear benefits to women in three specific areas:

  • Support from other women who have experienced what the other is going through which helps to reduce pregnancy-related anxieties
  • Midwives providing information and knowledge based on experience and research
  • Continuity of care which relates to a patient’s needs.

Sue Smith, OBE, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Chief Nurse, UHMBT, said: “It is fantastic that pregnant mums and mums who are six weeks postnatal have a place where they can ask any questions they have to professional midwives

“It’s a great way of encouraging peer support, reducing anxiety and isolation felt by many new mums and mums-to-be.”

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