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Lock-a-bye Baby


By Elisabeth Cowell, Partner

What a month it’s been for Boris Johnson and his partner Carrie! Today, just 17 days after Boris left intensive care, they have returned to hospital but this time for a much happier reason – to welcome their new baby boy into the world. 

With the NHS on the frontline of the crisis and social distancing measures in place, we have been finding out what it’s like to have a baby in lockdown.  Thank you to those who have shared their experiences and congratulations! This article is in honour of all the new mothers and fathers who have welcomed babies to their families in recent weeks, as well as to the midwives and healthcare professionals who have made the moment as special as usual.

Clotilde Gros, our Newgate colleague, who has just given birth to a second boy, Maxence:

“When I found out my son was arriving four weeks earlier than anticipated, I was very scared. In my mind, the focus of the NHS was very much on fighting the pandemic – but the care we received at the maternity ward was second to none and I am so grateful for the support of all the doctors and midwives on the ward.”

Colin MacDonald, father to new-born Blake and Skye who is nearly 2.

“I'll be honest and say that I had an emergency birth plan ready, in case the hospital was overrun. Luckily it wasn’t and the birth was very smooth and we felt really well looked after. All the midwives wore surgical masks and gloves but it's impossible to do social distancing. Certain doors were locked and you had to buzz to get through but it was quiet since we went to the hospital at about midnight. I had to leave the hospital immediately after the birth. We've isolated ourselves for 7 days to see if we get symptoms and after that we can have Skye back, who is with her grandparents at the moment. She's been asking to go home and is upset with us; that's been the hardest.

“Things seem pretty hard in the world at the moment but having a baby born during this time makes me realise how content I am and how lucky I am that I have my family.”

Sadie Mitchell, mother to 8-week old Tillie and 3-year old Luna.

“It has been heart wrenching to introduce her to family and friends via video calls. Instead of seeing our loved ones enjoy cuddles in person, we instead have screenshots of smiley faces from the group calls we have set up. It’s so deflating and there have been many tears, but I like to think of this as her very own slice of history and I look forward to showing her these unique memories in years to come.

“It’s hard not to feel overprotective when leaving the house for her first health review and vaccinations at our local surgery. However, the staff have been incredible in not only registering her without an official birth certificate but by making us all feel safe with waiting rooms practically empty and doctors wearing PPE.

“It’s definitely a strange time to have a new-born but we have decided to view this as a positive time for us all. We would never have had the opportunity to have 2 months of quality time together.”

Louise Phillips, mother to baby Theo. 

"It’s actually quite nice to have so much to focus on. I’m not really in tune with what’s going on around us. It is also lovely to feel no pressure to have people meet him or go out and about."