BABY JOY: From left, midwife Lisa Banham, student Natasha Blackmore, Diane Jeacock with William, daughter Harriet, husband Simon and midwife Sarah Roberts

ONE of the first mothers to give birth at home using a new maternity service launched at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital has praised the midwives who supported her.

Diane and Simon Jeacock welcomed baby William at home, near King’s Lynn, thanks to the midwife-led pathway, which saw home births reinstated.

The couple said midwives Sarah Roberts, Lisa Barham and Natasha Blackmore were “wonderful” for their support before and after the birth.

The Lynn hospital launched its midwife-led pathway, which includes the home birth service and midwife-led Waterlily Birth Centre, last month to provide more choice for expectant mothers in West Norfolk, South Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.

Home births were suspended in September 2013 due to staff shortages.

Mrs Jeacock, who went into labour on January 28, said: “The midwives were kind, caring and professional.

“They fitted in with what we wanted to happen, which made a big difference.

“As I was more relaxed, so was my husband and from the moment he was born William has been a contented baby.”

Mrs Jeacock opted for a less clinical approach to the birth of her second child after delivering the couple’s daughter Harriet, aged three, in hospital.

She said: “As I am fit and healthy, I didn’t feel the need to be in hospital. For me it was important for the birth to be in my own environment which put me at ease and led to a straight forward delivery.”

Mrs Jeacock gave birth during the pilot ahead of the official launch of the pathway, which allows women to give birth either at home or in the midwife-led Waterlily Birth Centre at the Gayton Road hospital. Emma Hardwick, director of nursing at the QEH, added: “The midwife-led pathway has been a long-term vision of the trust and we are excited to be able to offer this service

“Mrs Jeacock’s story shows we have achieved our aim of placing an emphasis on the woman and her needs while continuing to provide high quality and safe care.”