One week ago, Rhian Anness from Penrith gave birth to her second child at Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

Rhian has shared her story to put other new mums at ease following her positive birthing experience despite the current pandemic.

Rhian said:

“To begin, I was ignorant to the "pandemic". I didn't understand the sheer gravity of it and what it actually meant.

“As the weeks went on, it began to sink in just how serious the situation actually was, more so when we entered "lockdown" and my family had developed a cough. Mine being the worst as I'm asthmatic. 

“I worried myself sick and upset myself a ridiculous amount of times thinking "what if", but, after a few days the light hit me and I adopted the attitude of we cannot control it, we have to go with the flow and hope for the best."

Rhian went into labour and gave birth to her baby boy, Jake Daniel Anness who was born at 1:12pm on Tuesday 14th April weighing 7lbs 15.5oz.

Talking about her experience on the maternity ward, Rhian said:

“The care I received and my husband also, was second to none. Every single member of staff were friendly, helpful and had such a positive attitude.

“The hospital has put measures in place to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and this was the only difference I noticed. Every time they entered the room they would change gloves, mask and aprons and wash their hands. You could see this had now become second nature to them and they did it without fuss.  

“There was no scary atmosphere. It was quiet and relaxed! You would never have guessed there was a global pandemic.

“I couldn't fault a single member of staff. I've never felt so safe and looked after in my life and it made giving birth change from being tainted, having a "corona baby", to having a fantastic birth experience to a beautiful baby boy with my husband by my side.

“I can look back and honestly say apart from the pain of labour it was a fantastic experience. If you are expecting a little one then please don't worry. The care you will receive during your stay will be incredible.”

Rhian has shared a couple of tips for expectant mums who are due to give birth soon:

“Make sure you take plenty of snacks and drinks as you won't be able to pop to the shop and neither will your birthing partner. Once you are in the maternity department you cannot leave till you are ready to be sent home. You can and will have your birthing partner by your side. 

The only time your partner will be sent home, is if you are moved onto the general labour ward. But you are still very much looked after and it's very peaceful. 

“Keep in touch with your midwife and the labour ward. They will happily keep you updated but try not to worry, the maternity department is one of the most risk free and clean departments in the hospital.” 

“As a family we cannot thank the entire ward enough for our extremely pleasant experience. Keep up the amazing attitudes and work, you're all simply wonderful!”

The Trust would encourage mums to continue to contact their midwife if they have any questions and to read our frequently asked questions for more information.


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