Baby Lifeline has launched a trial for community midwife bags containing essential equipment to support women and their babies during childbirth.
The bags, launched with the help of actresses Linda Bassett and Leonie Elliott from the BBC’s TV series ‘Call the Midwife’, are styled like a rucksack with each compartment colour coded to find the right equipment quickly.
Items in the bag include scissors to cut the umbilical cord, a hat for the baby and towels, as well as emergency equipment.
From April 2019, 42 bags will be trialled by midwives across six UK trusts: Barts Health NHS Trust, Hywel Dda University Health Board, Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Medway NHS Foundation Trust, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, and City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust (which are merging in April).
Baby Lifeline Founder and Chief Executive, Judy Ledger, said: “Baby Lifeline believes that every woman who gives birth in the community, no matter where in the country she is, should have access to the same essential equipment through her midwife.
“Equally, every midwife should have access to the equipment needed to deliver safe and effective care. This is what we are working to achieve through this project.”
The project, which has been funded by Fawsley Birth Centre, has been developed following results from a community midwives’ national survey which showed 40% of current home birth bags and equipment were not meeting the needs of midwives.
Another survey also found that 35% of home birth bags were bought by midwives themselves and 27% said they were unable to carry all the equipment they needed.
“We are working very closely with community midwifery teams from six NHS Trusts to trial Baby Lifeline approved bags to demonstrate the value of standardisation.
“What’s very important is that we’ve also developed the right processes to make sure the contents are replenished and kept up to date.”
More information about the community midwife bags here.
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