Specialist mental health midwife among three new maternity appointments at Ipswich Hospital

From left, Linda Savage, Ali Brett and Helen Smith outside the maternity block at the hospital.

From left, Linda Savage, Ali Brett and Helen Smith outside the maternity block at the hospital. - Credit: Archant

Pregnant women receiving care from Ipswich Hospital are now able to access better support than ever before following the appointment of three new specialist midwives.

Consultant midwife Helen Smith, bereavement midwife Ali Brett and Linda Savage, who is the lead midwife for perinatal mental health, have all taken up their posts over the summer. They will work together with colleagues from within the hospital and the wider NHS to make sure women with more complex needs receive the best possible care and support.

Ms Smith is only the second consultant midwife in the region. She is responsible for making sure Ipswich meets best practice guidelines for care, and also runs a birth choices clinic so that women with additional needs have all the information they need to make a decision about where to have their baby.

Ms Smith is also exploring ways of enhancing the birthing environment to help women be more active in labour by using birthing pools, beanbags and mats, for example.

“My role is partly about making sure women understand all the evidence when they are making choices about the birth, then working with colleagues to put an appropriate care plan in place.”

Ms Brett’s aim is to further improve the service offered to bereaved parents. She said: “I want to make sure everybody gets the best possible patient experience, as it can really help with healing.

“People cope with the loss of a baby in a huge variety of ways. I’m here to advocate for the family and do whatever I can to help them deal with the situation in the way that best suits them.”

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Ms Savage is Ipswich Hospital’s first perinatal mental health midwife, and will be responsible for developing a new service to support pregnant women and new mothers affected by mental health issues.

“Over the coming months, I would like to help different professions to work together more closely so that we can further improve the care we provide and make sure it really focuses on the wishes and views of the woman,” she said.