The Women’s Wellness and Research Centre (WWRC) under Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) launched a pilot postnatal midwifery home care programme for new mothers and their babies, the Postnatal Midwifery Home Care Programme, the first of its kind in Qatar, and run by a team of qualified midwives. It will initially be available to new mothers who suffered from high-risk pregnancy or caesarian delivery and require extra care.
A team of qualified midwives will provide new mothers and their newborns with check-ups, education, and support during the postnatal period. With as many as one in three women delivering by caesarian section at WWRC, the hospital cares for many women with high-risk pregnancies.
Speaking about the new service, Haila Johar, Executive Director of Nursing at WWRC said they are so proud to be piloting the postnatal midwifery home care programme. She said that by visiting women in their homes shortly after childbirth, the HMC community midwife team will be able to identify and prevent many common maternal and newborn health issues. They will also play an important role in enabling women make informed decisions about when and where to access care.
In addition to supporting the health and well-being of a mother and her infant, the programme also aims to prevent and/or decrease unnecessary visits or admissions to the WWRC Emergency Department. Up to a quarter of women who delivered by caesarian section will visit the Emergency Department after her baby is born for a related non-urgent medical issue.
Director of Nursing Fatima Yusuf said that during home visits, one of their midwives will assess the physical and emotional well-being of the mother and her newborn, educating her about what to expect in the coming days and weeks, and providing her and her family with support managing the care of their newborn.
During the visit, our midwives will also be able to identify if the mother or her baby has any health issues which may need further attention. They will be able to advise the new mother if she, and/or her baby, requires any additional follow-up care from her primary healthcare provider – potentially preventing an unplanned visit to the Emergency Department.’
Currently, the Postnatal Midwifery Home Care Programme is only available to women who deliver at WWRC, live in Doha, and have had a high-risk pregnancy or caesarian delivery and require wound care. The service will be managed by a team of six community midwives, with each team conducting 12 to 14 home visits per month.
Women will be referred to the postnatal midwifery home care team by their discharging physician and their first home visit will be scheduled within 48 to 72 hours of their delivery. Subsequent follow-up visits will be scheduled as needed.
Johar said that by providing an in-home service with a qualified midwife, they develop a trusting and supportive relationship with mothers and ensure they receive consistent advice about maternal health issues and well-being. The ultimate goal, she said, is to keep mother and baby healthy after birth.
According to Johar the pilot programme at WWRC will be expanded to all HMC maternity facilities. She added that there are plans to further expand the service to all birthing facilities in Qatar, providing care to new mothers who experience a high-risk pregnancy or caesarian delivery within 28 days of giving birth.
For updates and more information about the programme, visit hamad.qa.