As Mental Health Awareness Week in the U.K. is about to start, Kate Middleton hopped on a Zoom call with staff and patients at Kingston Hospital in London.
As part of a roundtable, midwife Jennifer Tshibamba noted, “We want women to know we’re still here, we’re still open. Even with what’s going on, we’re here to listen to you, we’re still here to make sure we provide you with the best care for your pregnancy, for your baby and support your family.”
As an advocate for maternal mental health care, the Duchess of Cambridge has been busy with calls including speaking to online support groups for moms including Katie Massie-Taylor, co-founder of Mush, and Julia McGinley, Head of Parent Support at Netmums, a U.K parenting site.
“As organizations, you’re playing such a vital role giving key information. You’re hugely trusted by the public and therefore the information you provide is a lifeline to a lot of people,” Kate said of the sites during the pandemic.
There was also a virtual visit to new mom Rebecca Attwood, who had only given birth to her son the night before.
“This is definitely a first, I think! Huge congratulations,” Kate said laughing.
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🏥 The Duchess of Cambridge has spoken with midwives, health visitors, parents and leading sector experts about the challenges and impact that COVID-19 is having on new and expectant mothers and their families. Watch the full film 🎞️ on The Royal Family YouTube channel of The Duchess’s conversations, held ahead of the UK’s Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week — which aims to create wider awareness of maternal mental health, and signposts support for parents #MaternalMHmatters
Speaking to the Daily Mail about the call, Attwood said, “Having a surprise conversation with the Duchess of Cambridge after two hours’ sleep was particularly surreal. The Duchess asked us about having a baby at such an unusual time, and our experience on the maternity ward was that all the midwives made it as normal as possible – apart from the masks!”
A press release from Kensington Palace pointed out, “Typically more than 1 in 10 women will experience a mental illness during pregnancy or in the first postnatal year, and around 7 in 102 will hide or underplay the severity of their illness.”