Birth Story 12October 1, 2020
When we fell pregnant with our daughter (first baby) we looked into all the options available for childbirth in the UK. As we’re both not from here (Dutch & Australian) we wanted to know what other options were there aside from NHS. I looked into private hospitals but my main worry was the lack of consistency of care with NHS and still with private hospitals. I came across private midwives online and it hit me ‘this is what I want and need’. In the Netherlands, there’s something called ‘Kraamzorg’ which is amazing post-natal care provided to all new families and I knew I definitely wanted help post-natally because we don’t have any family here in London that would be able to help us. We reviewed all the packages on offer and decided, in the end, that we wanted the full service (prenatal, birth, and postnatal support).
I looked into various websites that offered private midwives for our area and came across Leonie & Tess. We set up a call and the rest is history. We agreed to meet up for a tea so we could see if we all clicked (because Leonie & Tess said this was important) and the click was there and I do agree that this is important. Your midwives will be helping you with one of the most important moments in your life and you’ll be going through a lot of intimate things together so it’s important you all get along with each other.
The whole experience was just so great with both Leonie and Tess. Leonie was my primary midwife but I also had appointments with Tess because they very much work as a team. We had a WhatsApp group and I really felt I could ask any question, any time. No question too silly or too personal, it was so helpful. Due to Covid-19 it was especially amazing to have this dedicated and personalised care. They guided us both through the pregnancy journey to ensure we felt prepared and would monitor everything so we felt in the safest hands. Due to Covid-19 Leonie could not stay at the hospital with us, but as part of my birth plan she did come to our house first to check me once I was in active labour and I think that was so great – I was always afraid of having contractions, going to hospital and being sent home but with Leonie checking on me I knew this wouldn’t happen. The postnatal care is something I would recommend a million times to people (especially to first-time mums). I mean it’s all so new and with the NHS you don’t get much support so having Leonie come to our house every day for the first 4 days was amazing. She checked on my recovery post-birth, she closely checked the baby, we tackled things like breastfeeding, bathing, poos, wees – all of it every day and the support was just incredible. I seriously couldn’t have done it without her! That first I was a mess and it’s the hardest time to get the feeding right, baby back to birth weight, hormones all over the place etc. Leonie supported us every step along the way, helping Grant feed Fleur with a syringe or tube and checking on my body post-birth recovery as this was going through its own battle. I mean I won’t share everything here but all I can say is ‘I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her’ and I mean that. It was a lifesaver to have this support and I knew I could tackle all the challenges because of the support, love, care, knowledge and joy that Leonie (and Tess) bring to their job. There were tears and smiles every day and it was so special to have them part of the journey with us. So special that by the time it came to say goodbye, I was genuinely sad.
I couldn’t recommend them enough and think private midwives are just incredible. It ensures you can have the birth experience you want and no matter what will happen (because we all know birth plans never go according to plan) you will have the continuity of quality care by Leonie & Tess. This will be constant, solid, knowledgeable, caring, loving, and fun and it will make it a journey you’ll never forget. Thanks, Leonie & Tess!
Roz, Grant & Baby Fleur