Having a baby is a many-splendoured thing
Mary Watkin, senior midwife at Matilda International Hospital, talks about what makes the Matilda the place to have babies
Scanning the social media forums, where the bumps community goes to seek maternity-related advice from other women “in-the-know,” it is clear that the maternity team at Matilda International Hospital on the Peak holds a very special place in the hearts and minds of many mothers. We asked Mary Watkin, the senior midwife of the Maternity Department at the Matilda International Hospital (MIH), whose team literally hand-delivered around 1,000 babies each year, what is it that makes Matilda the place to have babies.
“Everything starts with safety. We are committed to the wellbeing of every mother and baby in our care,” said Ms Watkin, herself a nurse and midwife with 36 years of clinical experience. “During active labour, we provide one-on-one midwife-to-patient care, which is exemplary by international standards,” she added.
MIH has the added advantage of offering 24-hour obstetric on call support on site. The hospital also runs a Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) to care for babies who require extra and one-to-one care. The SCBU is staffed by nurses who are PALS qualified (Paediatric Advanced Life Support), while the maternity team will have ALS-O (Advanced Life Support – Obstetrics) or NRP (Neonatal Resuscitation Programme) qualifications.
“Having a baby has now evolved into seamless team work – among the parents, the doctors, and the hospital team. Our hospital is an advocate of patient involvement and engagement. We start from antenatal care classes, first demystifying the birthing process, and preparing for childbirth and more importantly, parenthood,” said Ms Watkin. “At MIH, we provide individualised care tailored to each woman’s needs, working with the woman and her doctor to help her achieve the delivery she had planned or hoped to have. Many women write Birth Plans to assist with this and we would encourage them to share and chat with us about their preferences before coming into the hospital,” she added.
Modern parenting puts a strong emphasis on the physical and intuitive bonding between parents and child. For this, antenatal classes are designed for couples, and on D-Day (delivery day), MIH welcomes the father’s active involvement in the delivery room. “We also adopt the practice of skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible, and rooming-in of the baby is encouraged, with full support from the nursery if required,” Ms Watkin said.
Key to Latching On
“Breastfeeding, while deemed to be a natural instinct, can be challenging, especially for first time mothers. Fortunately, MIH is a breastfeeding-friendly hospital, and many of our staff are qualified lactation consultants. Credentials aside, what our ladies need most at this moment are patience, reassurance, and our ability to impart practical, workable skills and knowledge. Our midwives and nurses are there to help every woman ‘master the art’ and grow in confidence,” Ms Watkin said.
Ms Watkin said that MIH has recently enhanced the maternity packages to give expectant mothers greater flexibility in the number of nights’ stay, as well as making the prices more attractive. “We have listened to what our ladies want, and now offer a two-night vaginal delivery, and four-night caesarean section package, with option to stay another night should additional support be required” she said. She added, “We have also added thoughtful touches to the memory box and ‘year you were born book,’ something we have been presenting for many years, by including a set of Matilda baby clothes as a meaningful keepsake for the baby.” There are escorted tours of the maternity department and the number to call for an appointment is 2849 0355.