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Summary

  1. Live coverage from inside the maternity ward at Ipswich Hospital
  2. First baby of the day was born just after midnight and is called Tayla
  3. September is the busiest month for England's maternity wards...
  4. Watch the moment Baby Logan was born via C-section
  5. Your maternity questions answered

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

It's goodnight from us!

What a day! We've had 10 births, including three planned C-sections, since we started our live coverage here at Ipswich Hospital exactly 24 hours ago.

And who could forget the incredible moment we watched baby Logan being born?

hospital
BBC

We hope you've enjoyed it as much as we have.

We're off to get some sleep now, but the midwives here will be working well into the night to deliver even more babies.

So it's goodnight from us, hope you have a peaceful one.

One final birth

Phil Shepka

BBC News

Andy and Ezekiel
BBC

We've got some fantastic news for you.. and what will almost certainly be the final birth of our 24-hour stint - little Ezekiel Wright.

Here he is with his proud dad Andy. His mum Pam was taking a well-earned rest when we took this family photo.

Andy said he was feeling a mixture of tiredness and happiness, but has already had skin-to-skin with his new son, the couple's third child.

Because Ezekiel was sleeping and at total ease in his parents' arms, the midwife hadn't got round to weighing him when we spoke to him. That can only be a good sign.

Huge congratulations to the Wright family!

Pregnant women must get the flu jab, midwife urges

Charlie Jones

BBC Local Live

Midwives
BBC

Flu can be exhausting at the best of times but it's particularly difficult if you're pregnant, a midwife at Ipswich hospital has told me.

Victoria Rothwell (pictured second from left) says it can be "extremely dangerous" so pregnant women must be encouraged to get the flu jab.

The hospital is running a big campaign, starting next week, to raise awareness.

"We will be targeting everyone who walks through the door, we really want them to understand how important it is, especially because your immune system is much lower when you are pregnant," she said.

It's particularly dangerous to catch it in the third trimester, she added.

Pregnant women can have the flu jab at any time during their pregnancy, but they have to wait until they are 20 weeks before having the whooping cough vaccination.

Akos's wait goes on

Phil Shepka

BBC News

Akos
BBC

Earlier on today we told you about student midwife Akos Sey.

She needs 40 deliveries to qualify - she currently stands on 39. She didn't deliver either of the two babies born this evening so far meaning the wait goes on.

But there's still plenty of time before she clocks off at 7:30 tomorrow morning.

Your questions: Advice to parents after baby lost during pregnancy

You asked for the best advice for grieving parents who find out that their baby stopped developing during the pregnancy.

Bereavement midwife Ali Brett said she would encourage parents to seek support at the hospital.

"In cases where there is a still-birth or a baby is lost during pregnancy, we would offer medical advice and help," she said.

"We would want to look at health of the mother and see if she is at high risk of further complications.

"We try to make sure parents have as much support and help as possible.

"As a bereavement midwife, I am also a stepping stone to external local support services.

"I work closely with Petals counselling charity and the East Anglia's Children's Hospice. I visit women and listen to them. I discuss regularly with the consultants so we can answer any questions.

"We invite the families back after eight weeks so we can discuss events, any test results, post-mortem results and then make a plan for the next pregnancy and make sure they are physically and emotionally cared for.

"There are various websites where people can find support, including Sands, Miscarriage Association and many others."`

Alison Littler, Head midwife, added: "Many women who have stillborn babies go on to have healthy babies later in life, with the support of our team of midwives, and we are here to help them every step of the way."

'Such a private and emotional moment'

Charlie Jones

BBC Local Live

Sarah Watson
BBC

I've been chatting to Sarah Watson, who is a matron for maternity in-patients and manages 110 members of staff.

She's been a midwife for more than 30 years and says the biggest change she has seen is in the complexity of pregnancies, due to factors like obesity.

"I know I'm biased but we all work together really well and we do everything we can to keep women and babies safe.

"For me, it's a real privilege to be part of such a private and emotional moment," she said.

A very speedy arrival!

Phil Shepka

BBC News

Baby
BBC

I come bearing news of a child, born in Deben Ward, Ipswich Hospital - and boy, was he out quick!

Chris Mattin and Bonnie Sewell, who live in Ipswich, came in to the maternity ward at 18:00. By 19:10, their 7lb 14oz boy had arrived into the world. When I spoke to them a few minutes ago, they were already getting ready to leave!

The couple are yet to name him and are considering letting his two sisters do the honours. Congratulations!

10 births and counting

Charlie Jones

BBC Local Live

We're entering the final stage of our 24 hour live coverage from Ipswich Hospital's maternity unit.

Since midnight, nine women have given birth at the hospital, including three planned C-sections, and one woman has given birth at home. She's still under the care of the team here, and very much counted as one of their births.

My colleague Phil Shepka is currently interviewing a woman who's just had one of those ten babies so we'll bring you the details as soon as we have them.

From money to midwifery...

Dee
BBC

Midwives based in Ipswich don't just work in the hospital, some are community midwives who help with home births.

Dee Macey manages 70 members of community staff, including midwives who specilaise in mental health and addiction.

She was a banker and then worked in radio advertising, but was inspired to retrain as a midwife when her daughter was diagnosed with cancer.

"When she was ill I was pregnant with my second daughter and I had the most wonderful support. I made up my mind to retrain as a midwife and I haven't looked back since."

Dee's daughter is now 29 years old, and has made a full recovery.

Baby Logan enters the world after C-section at Ipswich hospital
Emma and Aidan Bulmer meet their baby son after a successful C-section at Ipswich Hospital.

Diabetes in pregnancy

Charlie Jones

BBC Local Live

I had a chat earlier with the team who look after pregnant women who have diabetes.

Some women have the illness before they conceive but many have no history of it and develop what's called gestational diabetes.

Women who are already diabetic often find it gets worse, Dr Ruta Gada (pictured far left) told me, due to pregnancy hormones and they need more insulin.

But those who develop it during pregnancy can find it more difficult to deal with because it's such a shock.

Diabetes
BBC

Sandra Arvanitidou, (pictured far right) a midwife who specialises in diabetes, told me there are often tears when mothers-to-be find out.

"A lot of them don't know anything about it and that is where we come in, to give them support and help them control their sugar levels via diet, tablets or insulin.

"We get to know the ladies very well," she said.

Key signs of gestational diabetes are if the baby is larger than normal and there is more fluid present. Mothers are sometimes overweight but that's not always the case.

Babies often have low blood sugar when they are born to diabetic mothers, there's more risk of birth defects and more chance of the babies developing diabetes in later life, but the team works hard to make sure the risks are as low as possible.

Roughly half of all diabetic pregnant women give birth via C-section across England but in Ipswich it's much lower at 36%, because the team think it's better for the baby if it's possible.

A helping hand

Phil Shepka

BBC News

Carol
BBC

So we've seen a lot of what goes on during and after the birth, but what about beforehand?

Well, Carol Worster here works for the community helpline, a telephone service for any expectant mother who has a query they need answering, however big or small.

Midwife Carol gets about 70 phone calls a day, giving people "reassurance, advice and arranging for them to come to the unit if needed".

Occasionally, she'll also take questions from mothers following the birth too, providing an all-round service.

Creating memories after loss of a baby

Kate Scotter

BBC News

Memory boxes, family photos and a remembrance tree are available through Ipswich Hospital to help families who have lost a baby deal with their loss.

The quiet room at Ipswich Hospital
BBC

Carefully-designed, neatly packaged boxes filled with a teddy, poems, a lock of hair, a certificate, a little hat and more are made up for those who are dealing with a bereavement, if they want one.

Ipswich Hospital also offers photos taken by a professional photographer free of charge, names can be added to a book of remembrance and little papier-mache feet or handprints are made so families can remember their little one.

Bereavement midwife Ali Brett said they want to offer as much as possible so they can fulfill all families' wishes.

Mrs Brett is also working towards supporting those who have lost a baby through their next pregnancy.

The boxes are donated by the 4Louis charity, little gowns are donated by Cherished Gowns and Ipswich Hospital Baby Bereavement Group has a tree in Holywells Park, Ipswich, where a leaf can be added by grieving families.

Your questions: What support is there after traumatic deliveries or birth injuries?

You have been sending in questions about what happens after a traumatic birth.

The hospital offers a birth reflections service where women can find out more about their labour, said consultant midwife Helen Smith.

"We also have our birth choices clinic to help make a plan for the next birth.

"It's about listening and empowering women to make sure they've got good evidence to base their future decisions on."

Here's one they made earlier

Ariella
BBC

While we await news on the other arrivals, here's a baby that has been in the hospital since she was born on Sunday, weighing just 5lb 10oz.

Because of her low weight, Ariella and mother Coral, from Ipswich, have been in hospital ever since.

But the big question is where did the unusual name come from?

Well, Coral and her partner Kieran were apparently arguing about the name for ages and Kieran pestered Coral with ideas before finally the name Ariella "randomly popped" into his head and it's stuck ever since.

They hope to go home tomorrow.

Breaking waters... sorry, news

Phil Shepka

BBC News

Two more new babies have just arrived on Deben Ward. We'll hope to have more on the little ones in a little bit for you.

How much do midwives earn?

Phil Shepka

BBC News

According to the National Careers Service the starting salary for a midwife is typically £22,000 - and that's after three years of study.

As you gain more experience you can hope to earn between £26,250 to £41,000, while those in the top job of consultant midwife usually take home about £48,000.

If you're thinking of a change in career, you must have "the ability to remain calm under pressure". You don't want to be panicking when delivering a baby!

My hypnobirthing experience

Charlie Jones

BBC Local Live

When I signed up to hypnobirthing classes, I was dubious and my husband was downright cynical. Surely you can't have a pain-free birth without taking a large amount of drugs, we thought. But it turns out we were wrong.

Our teacher explained that hypnobirthing is about relaxing into a state of mind where you're not aware of anything around you, apart from what's happening to your body. It's a bit like when you drive to work on the same route every day. Sometimes you arrive and you don't remember the journey, because your mind was focusing on something else.

We were taught that lying on your back strapped to a hospital bed is really painful during contractions, and I can vouch for this. Gravity was my best friend in labour, and I spent the whole time walking around.

Family pic
Charlie Jones

Controlling your breathing is key and it takes a lot of practise to learn how to properly relax, using self-hypnosis techniques. We were told that women only give birth when they feel secure, like animals who always find a small, dark space to labour in.

Stress and adrenaline can make everything slow down which is why some women struggle when they get to hospital, because they are out of their comfort zone. This was certainly true for me. I got locked out of my house in the early stages while walking my dog and my contractions suddenly stopped. They only started again when my husband came home from work and I felt safe and happy.

During the evening we listened to calm music and my husband used massage techniques to help me through the contractions. We were taught to welcome each one as a sign of being one step closer to meeting our baby.

Family pic
Charlie Jones

The only time I found it really painful was when I was lying down so the midwife could find out how dilated I was on arrival at the hospital at 2am. I was already 6cm, so more than halfway.

At 06:00 my waters broke and I instinctively went down on all fours. I was so in the zone that I didn't made a noise, and the midwife didn't realise the head was out, because I was covered by a towel.Two pushes later our baby daughter Annie arrived. She's now a healthy and very cheeky 16-month-old.

I don't think hypnobirthing can work for everyone, and I was very lucky that my birth went to plan, but it took away my anxieities and made me feel really confident before and during labour. I learnt to trust and listen to my body and I still use the techniques today, especially for trips to the dentist!

Hypnobirthing: A 'calm and confident' labour

For many women, deciding which pain relief to use in childbirth is one of the most vital aspects of the whole experience.

Hypnobirthing has become an increasingly popular method of birthing calmly and with confidence.

Ipswich Hospital says in many instances, women who hypnobirth don't require any drugs.

Hypnobirthing
BBC

It offers a 10-week course over four weeks, teaching mothers breathing techniques, visualisation, relaxation and hypnosis techniques.

They educate mothers about the physiology of labour and help them better understand their bodies, and partners learn how to best support the birthing mother and how they can enhance the birth.

Ipswich Hospital said the best time to attend the hypnobirthing course, offered on the NHS, is 24 to 28 weeks into pregnancy.

Coming up next, you can read from our reporter Charlie Jones about her personal experience of hypnobirthing.

My first C-section

Phil Shepka

BBC News

Phil
BBC

Without wanting to exaggerate too much, that was an experience that I'll not forget in a hurry.

The time between first incision and baby Logan's first cry was gone in a flash.

There was an amazing juxtaposition between the mother and father at the top end, alert and seemingly calm, and everything frantically going on at the other end.

It was a real privilege to be allowed into one of the most intimate moments of a couple's life - just one of the many that have happened in hospitals up and down the country today.

Shift change coming up

Phil Shepka

BBC News

Midwives
BBC

We're just coming to the end of the of the day shift now and here are the healthcare professionals from Orwell Ward - tired but still smiling after nearly 12 hours on shift.

Here at Ipswich Hospital, shifts change at 07:30 in the morning and evening - so we'll be seeing plenty of new faces on the wards shortly.

Have a good sleep day shifters! You've earned it.

Your questions: How do you become a midwife?

You have been sending in your questions about life on the ward.

Here is consultant midwife Helen Smith's guide to becoming a midwife.

After gaining three A-Levels or the equivalent you need to apply for a midwifery course at university.

"It's a three-year course where you will do academic and practical work to learn about all the different aspects of this fabulous job," she said.

The UCAS and Royal College of Midwives websites have useful information.

Baby Logan meets his extended family

Phil Shepka

BBC News

I've just been back to see the Bulmer family - Emma, Aidan and little Logan - and it's safe to say everyone is in really high spirits.

Logan
BBC

Grandpa, nanny and auntie are all around coo-ing around the baby and the parents are taking it all in.

Emma said she was "surprised" by how fast the birth was, made all the quicker as Logan had turned back into the right position.

Aidan is still taking in the size of his newborn - "he's a chunk" - while Nanny Fran claims there'll be an "almighty party come Saturday". Wish we could be there for that...

How are most babies born across England?

Pie chart showing different birth types
BBC

Your questions: How long is a shift on the ward?

We have been putting your questions about life on the ward to staff and you wanted to know about their shifts.

Consultant midwife Helen Smith said shifts in the birthing areas are mostly 12 hours.

"Some of our staff that work in clinic will work a more regular day," she said.

"We work days, nights, weekends, Christmas. It's a 24/7 service."

Watch: The moment baby Logan arrived in the world

Well done everybody...

Baby Logan gets weighed

Phil Shepka

BBC News

News just in... Baby Logan, who has just been born via a planned C-section here at Ipswich Hospital, weighed 7lb 12oz.

I was in the room for the entire operation, so stand by for some videos, but here's a photo of the Bulmer family with their new addition in the meantime. New parents Emma and Aiden are over the moon.

Bulmer
BBC

And here's another one with midwife Emily and surgeon Dr Deole, who helped deliver little Logan. What an experience!

team
BBC

Baby Logan born via planned C-section

We've got some lovely news to bring you! Emma and Aiden, who we told you about earlier, have just had a little boy and they are calling him Logan. The C-section all went to plan and he's doing really well.

He hasn't been weighed yet but we will let you know as soon as we've got the all important weight!

Logan
BBC

Family plays the waiting game

Laura Phee, Emma's sister-in-law, waits on the ward for her nephew to arrive.

Off to theatre in good spirits

It's nearly time for mum-to-be Emma to meet her baby

Chaplain's role is an 'amazing privilege'

Kate Scotter

BBC News

We've just had a chat with the Rev Mandy Reynolds, one of the hospital chaplains.

The chaplaincy service is available to all patients, members of staff and families, whether they have faith or not.

Ms Reynolds, who has been in the role for 18 months, said it is "privileged" post to hold.

Mandy Reynolds
BBC

The former army chaplain, who works in the neonatal, maternity, children's and gynaecology wards, said: "We are often there when someone is at their most frightened or vulnerable, at their most joyful and at some of their lowest times.

"It's an enormous responsibility but an amazing privilege."

Your questions: How can post-natal care be improved?

You asked us how maternity staff thought post-natal care could be improved.

Introducing overnight stays for partners has improved feedback at the hospital, said Sharon Edwards, lead midwife on the Orwell post-natal ward.

"The staff patient ratio is something we're constantly looking at to ensure that women get the best care," she said. "Obviously the lower that is the better."

She encouraged patients to talk to staff about their experiences good or bad.

"I'm available five days a week to listen to anyone's feedback and to add extra support to patients," she said. "If we don't know what the concerns are we can't do anything about it so please tell us."

Two births on high risk ward

We've just heard about two babies who have been born on the fourth floor here at Ipswich hospital.

The fourth floor is where women who are at high risk of having complications go to give birth. We've been told that both babies are healthy and we'll bring you more details as soon as we have them.

Mum-to-be taken to theatre for C-section

emma
BBC

Earlier we told you about Emma Bulmer from Hadleigh who is having a planned C-section.

She was third on the list to have the operation this afternoon and she's just gone into theatre, a bit earlier than expected.

Our reporter Phil Shepka is going to be in the operating room too so we'll bring you another update as soon as we have it.

Phil
BBC
Our reporter Phil Shepka

Hospital gives couples fertility treatment choice

Kate Scotter

BBC News

More than 100 patients have been treated since fertility treatment became available on the NHS at Ipswich Hospital.

Djavid Alleemudder
BBC

The hospital offers satellite assisted contraception technique invitro fertilisation, IVF, to both NHS and self-funded patients who qualify for the treatment.

NHS patients will be offered IVF after they have been trying for at least three years, unless they have a specific condition which means they be offered the treatment sooner.

NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group decided to continue to fund two rounds of IVF to qualifying couples last year.

Fertility consultant Djavid Alleemudder said: "It offers locality of treatment where otherwise patients would've had to have gone further afield for it."

He said the the success rate is 30% to 40% which is comparable to the other success rate at other fertility units.

The satellite hospitals are Guy's and St Thomas's in London for NHS patients and Addenbrooke's in Cambridge for self-funded patients.

Ipswich Hospital holds open days for couples to find out more. The next one is on 29 November.

'I really wanted to be able to breast feed'

Kate and Reece Monk, both aged 28, are getting used to being parents after the birth of their son, Arthur, at 15:33 on Tuesday.

Kate had a Caesarean section after learning during her pregnancy that her baby had a heart condition.

"Everything went well and Arthur is doing well," she said.

Kate and Reece Monk
BBC

"Because we had a C-section I really wanted to be able to breast feed and it's going really well so far, which is great."

The couple plan to go home later tonight.

Baby number two of the day

We told you earlier that the second baby of the day had arrived at Ipswich Hospital.

We've been told the mother and baby girl are doing well and getting a well-deserved rest. We will try to grab a word with them later.

So 14 hours in and only two babies so far. Is this an unusually quiet day?

"It's early days is what I would say," says Helen Smith, consultant midwife.

It's hard to say what a normal day is at Ipswich Hospital in terms of births but Helen says between eight and 13 babies a day would be a typical figure.

Fertility treatment - the help that is available

Phil Shepka

BBC News

About one in seven couples may have difficulty conceiving - approximately 3.5 million people in the UK. So what avenues are open for them to begin a journey to the maternity ward?

The most popular treatment is the assisted contraception technique in-vitro fertilisation. That's IVF to you and I.

IVF
Science Photo Library

During IVF, an egg is removed from the woman's ovaries and fertilised with sperm in a laboratory.

The fertilised egg, called an embryo, is then returned to the woman's womb to grow and develop.

Ipswich Hospital, where we are at today, offers this treatment in partnership with Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

The only requirement is that patients need to travel to Cambridge for egg collection and embryo transfer.