London celebrations

King’s College Hospital midwives give Christmas gifts to babies

The first babies to be born on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day receive gifts from midwives to celebrate their arrival.

Staff at King’s College Hospital in south-east London have said they celebrate every baby born in their ward, but young people born on December 25 or January 1 are “special.”

As Christmas approaches, each department of the hospital erects and decorates a Christmas tree to get in the spirit of the season.

In childbirth and postnatal care, staff also wear festive trinkets to mark the occasion, such as antlers on their heads.

Tracey MacCormack, director of midwives at King’s College Hospital, said around 300 to 350 babies deliver in the ward each month and the number tends to stay the same in December and January.

She told the PA News Agency: “Last week has been busier than this week.

“Who knows with the partners of the maternity ward? It goes through peaks and valleys.

“We have the same number of people that we usually expect around this time.

“Women and biological people can’t wait to go home if they give birth on Christmas Day because they obviously want to come back and be with their families.

“From the staff point of view, it is a joy for us to give birth at any time.

“It’s nice to have a baby on Christmas Day, it’s really nice.”

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Work is also being done to ensure that anyone with coronavirus is cared for and protected, but that they are kept away from other people who are due to give birth.

Ms MacCormack said: “Everyone has a test when they come in and until we get the result they are classified as pending.

“When they get the result and they are positive, they are taken care of in a separate room, and we use all of our PPE and gates.

“When they come down to our postnatal ward, we do the same there, they are treated in a room next door.”

Dereen Edema, senior midwife at King’s, said Christmas Day is a “beautiful day” and those on duty celebrate births with their patients and families.

“The first baby that is born, we come together, we applaud, we celebrate the baby and a gift is given to this particular baby,” she said.

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“Mom and baby get gifts.

“So the first baby that’s born on Christmas and New Years, we celebrate them.

“We all celebrate babies, but these are the most special.

“We give them pampering and baby stuff like shower gel and baby clothes.”

Describing what nurses’ work looks like on Christmas Day, she added: “It’s like any other day for us, but we wear Christmas related clothes, not Christmas sweaters, but there are things that we put on to mark the festive period.

“We also know it’s not always very busy on Christmas Day because most mothers want to be home, so we just celebrate it our way by bringing food.”

Kate Amy, a labor midwife, added, “I really enjoy working on Christmas.

“It’s always a very happy and festive time of year.

“Obviously it can be a shame to be away from your families during the holidays, but for me, I really love my job, so it’s really nice to be here.

“I think there is a lot of talk about people who have due dates at Christmas or around Christmas, people often tell them when they are pregnant,” Oh, we hope you don’t. Christmas baby “, but often times people are just happy to meet their baby when it can be.

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