The Postnatal Community Midwifery Home Care Service, an initiative of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) piloted last year at the Women’s Wellness and Research Center (WWRC) has cared for more than 1,700 women and their newborns since launching sixteen months ago. The service, which provides postpartum specialized care to women who have experienced a high-risk pregnancy or given birth by Caesarean section, is the first of its kind in Qatar.
“We are delighted by the success of this program and we are eager to make it available to other women who have had a C-section at WWRC. We are also happy to report that we are supporting other HMC maternity facilities as they prepare to launch this service at their facilities,” said Dr. Hilal Al Rifai, WWRC’s Medical Director.
Since June 2018, the Postnatal Community Midwifery Home Care Service, which is operated by a team of seven midwives and seven patient care assistances from the WWRC, has provided care to over 1,700 women and made more than 3,200 home visits. The team works in close co-operation with the Mobile Doctors, HMC physicians, and the Pediatric Emergency Centers as part of ongoing efforts to provide specialized postnatal care to mothers and their babies within the comfort of their homes. Women registered for the service receive up to two visits from the midwifery homecare team, with the first visit happening within 72 hours of giving birth and the follow-up visit occurring within 7 to 14 days after birth.
“During the visit, the team will assess the physical and emotional well-being of both the mother and her baby, provide education on normal changes women can expect after delivery, and provide support for both the new mother and her family around managing the care of a newborn,” said Ms. Fatima Yusuf, Director of Nursing at WWRC.
“During the visits, the team can help identify potential medical issues that could require additional care and can refer the mother or newborn to her nearest primary health center if follow-up care if needed,” explained Ms. Yusuf.
Ms. Haila Johar Salim, Executive Director of Nursing at WWRC expressed her delight at the success of the program, noting it has helped reduce the number of women presenting at Emergency Departments with postpartum complications.
“We are glad that this service has been well received by the service users and the community at large. We have doubled our team and are offering the service to more women. We continue to recruit staff and hope to reach our target of providing care to all women identified as candidates for this service,” said Ms. Salim.
“By providing an in-home service with a qualified midwife, our goal is to ensure mothers receive consistent advice about maternal health issues and well-being. The ultimate goal is to keep the mother and baby healthy after birth. I believe our dedicated team has been instrumental in helping to decrease the number of women seeking urgent care at the hospital due to postpartum complications. Through monitoring the number of women who had a C-section in comparison to those who visited the Emergency Department post-delivery, we observed a noticeable drop in Emergency Department visits. In cases where women were experiencing potential medical issues, our team was able to offer immediate treatment and referral to appropriate specialties, removing the need for these women to visit the Emergency Department,” added Ms. Salim.
Last month Al Khor Hospital launched its own Community Postnatal Midwifery Home Service. The service is an extension of the Maternity Homecare Service initially piloted and implemented at WWRC.