Midwives become first in Hull to check for small or large babies

Midwifery Sister Wendy McKenzie and Midwife Amanda Pritt with Clinical Specialist Sonographers Suzanne Richman and Ann Brown.

Two midwives have become the first in Hull to carry out special scans on women at risk of having small or large babies.

Midwives Zoe Clark and Amanda Pritt have undergone intensive training to carry out growth scans for women who need extra monitoring to ensure their babies are developing normally.

The midwives received 150 hours of practical training from sonographers in the Ultrasound Department at Hull Women and Children’s Hospital while studying to Masters level at Sheffield Hallam University.

New ultrasound equipment has been purchased for the Antenatal Outpatients Department which will support the work of the sonographers who carry out 12,000 growth scans, 6,000 dating scans and 6,000 anatomical scans a year.

Wendy McKenzie, Midwifery Sister at the Antenatal Outpatients Department, said: “We have worked closely with the Ultrasound Department to support Zoe and Amanda so they can become our first midwives to offer growth scans to the women we look after in Hull.

“Thanks to a great team effort between our departments, we’re now able to offer women growth scans by our midwives.

“Amanda and Zoe have worked really hard to achieve their qualifications, fitting their studies around their normal shifts, and we’re really proud of them.” 

In the UK, the average birth weight of newborn babies is 7lb 8oz for boys and 7lb 4oz for girls.

All pregnant women are measured at midwifery appointments and at scans as underweight or large babies can lead to birth complications and health problems for the child.

Smoking, certain medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney problems and pregnancy over the age of 40 are risk factors for growth restriction and underweight babies while women with BMIs of 30 or more are at a higher risk of having larger babies.

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust introduced its GAP programme for at-risk women from 28 weeks as the city has high numbers of pregnant smokers and women with high BMIs.

Health Education England funded the training for Amanda and Zoe enabling them to conduct  growth scans as part of the GAP programme.

Clinical Specialist Sonographer Suzanne Richman said: “We helped Zoe and Amanda with practical training alongside their university studies, showing them how to put the theory into practice.

“Having this additional support service means we will now be able to have two additional sessions to see all the women who require additional monitoring.

“We’re a very busy team so it’s great that the trust can now offer this additional service to women.”

[Allison Coggan – Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust]

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