PREGNANT women and new mums in Helensburgh and Lomond can now make use of online midwifery services in an effort to minimise the disruption caused by Covid-19.

Lockdown has meant many new parents have been unable to access valuable support sessions but a new programme of digital classes, developed by midwives and the wider team at the Argyll and Bute health and social care partnership (HSCP), means they can now stay closely connected to the relevant care.

Baby massage, parent education and hypnobirthing classes, delivered using the Facebook Messenger video chat tool, have already seen strong uptake across the region.

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Catriona Dreghorn, Argyll and Bute interim lead midwife, said: “Innovation is a fundamental driver in our aim to ensure delivery of the best antenatal and post-natal care possible.

“We are really pleased with the success of engaging with Messenger app tools and the use of other technologies like NearMe video consulting to connect with our women, partners and their babies.

"The feedback from users so far has been incredibly positive and uplifting.

“The techniques help women to feel more in control of their bodies, the classes are educational and help mothers-to-be, new mums and their partners bond and enjoy the relaxation and quality time with their babies.

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“Working digitally helps our midwives and women feel better connected and reduces the anxiety and impact of current physical-distancing and self-isolation measures on health and wellbeing.

“We recognise that the ongoing situation can be an anxious time for all parents-to-be and would like to reassure everyone that the maternity services are working hard to ensure that services continue to run as normally as possible.

"We are looking forward to meeting Argyll and Bute’s new arrivals.”

More information is available on a dedicated Facebook page – @BirthAB – which provides regular news updates on services, health and wellbeing resources, general information and advice, as well as a library of pregnancy topical information and advice.

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