Maternity services

Website to support parents-to-be in Kent and Medway

Expectant parents in Kent and Medway can make informed choices about their maternity care with the help of an NHS website.

Bump, Birth and Beyond brings together information about local maternity services into one place for the first time, to make it easier for women to find out about antenatal care, post-natal care and options for giving birth.

Bump, Birth and Beyond is packed full of friendly, accessible information and advice, including what to expect during the different stages of pregnancy, choosing your birth setting, preparing for the birth, practical tips on caring for your baby and being a birth partner. 

There’s also a decision-making tool designed to help parents decide where to access care and direct links to hospitals’ maternity webpages for online self-referral.

An interactive map provides details of the different birth facilities available and how to contact your local health visiting team or children’s centre. In addition, there are video tours of birth settings to give you an insight into what is on offer.

You can also read real life stories from other local mums and families who share their own personal experiences about birth and local maternity services.

Read more

News from the Local Maternity System

The Mother and Infant Mental Health Service (MIMHS) is changing its name to the Perinatal Mental Health Community Service (PMHCS) from 1 September 2021.

In line with the NHS Long Term Plan, we are broadening the remit of our specialist perinatal mental health community service. This includes:

  • Increasing access to evidence-based care for women with moderate to severe perinatal mental health difficulties, including improving access to evidence-based psychological therapies.
  • Increasing the availability of specialist perinatal mental health community care for women who need ongoing support from 12 months after birth to 24 months.
  • Developing Maternal Mental Health Services with our Specialist Mental Health Midwives to provide therapy for those who have experienced birth trauma and loss (currently piloting in east Kent).

Our updated service literature and website will be live from 1st September 2021 and this will include information on the service we provide.

  • We specialise in the assessment, diagnosis and short-term treatment of women who are affected by a moderate to severe perinatal mental health illness in the preconception, antenatal and postnatal period.
  • We are a multi-professional team consisting of Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrists, Perinatal Mental Health Nurses, Psychologists, Therapists and Assistant Psychologists, Perinatal Nursery Nurses, Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants, Social Workers and Pharmacists. Peer Support Workers with lived experience of perinatal mental health difficulties work within the service who can share their own personal experiences of perinatal mental health issues and using services.
  • We can provide education and training to other services within primary and secondary mental health to ensure perinatal mental health needs and risks are recognised, prioritised and managed.
  • Self-referrals can be made, as well as referrals by any health or social care professional.

Find out more here.

Contact us at KMPT.pmhcs@nhs.net or call us on 01622 722321.

Pregnant women in Kent and Medway are being urged to have their free Covid-19 vaccination to protect them and their baby.

The risk of serious illness from a Covid-19 infection is higher for pregnant women than those of the same age who are not pregnant.

Pregnancy changes the body’s immune system, which means the virus can cause complications for mums-to-be as their ability to fight the virus is impacted during pregnancy.

It’s really easy for pregnant women who have yet to be vaccinated to grab a jab; they can book online or turn up to a walk-in clinic without an appointment. Details of these clinics are listed on our website.

Paula Wilkins, Chief Nurse at NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Vaccination is the best way to protect against the very real risks of Covid-19 in pregnancy for both women and babies.

“We are seeing pregnant women with the virus being admitted to hospitals and so we are really encouraging more ladies to be vaccinated to prevent this.

“Having the illness during pregnancy can cause severe complications and is not the start to life that any mother would wish for. The risk is even greater in the final three months of pregnancy.

“Please book now or visit a walk-in centre where you do not need an appointment. You can have the vaccine at any stage of your pregnancy and you should not worry about the vaccine giving you Covid as it does not contain any live virus.”

Mothers should not stop breastfeeding to be vaccinated and women trying to become pregnant do not need to avoid pregnancy after vaccination. There is no evidence to suggest the vaccines will affect fertility.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has updated its guidance about the vaccine and pregnancy. On its website you can find questions and answers and links to more information to help make informed decisions about vaccination in pregnancy.

Nationally, in the past three months, one in three pregnant women in hospital with Covid-19 in England required additional respiratory support (33 per cent) with more than a third developing pneumonia (37 per cent) and around one in seven needing intensive care (15 per cent).

RCOG highlights  robust real-world data from the United States – where more than  130,000 pregnant women who have been vaccinated mainly with mRNA vaccines, such as Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna,  have not raised any safety concerns.

A helpline is running in Kent and Medway and can provide further information on the vaccine. Phone 0330 320 4444, between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

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