MOTHERS in Worcestershire, who gave birth within the last year are said to have faced a “raw deal” by an NHS-backed group.

The Maternity Voices Partnership has highlighted that new mums in the city failed to receive “proper support” in the last 12 months, as government restrictions meant birthing journeys were drastically different.

Shirley Jones, chair of the Worcestershire group, said: “I don’t believe it’s anybody’s fault. But the pandemic took away a lot of support that new mothers rely on. When it first hit, those mums went through the worst times. Partners were not allowed for scans, triage or appointments.

“Mums had to listen to bad news alone and then had to call their partners in from the cars. To be called in – knowing there was bad news, must have been a horrendous time for that family.”

NHS aftercare also took a hit. Mrs Jones said: “Staffing at the NHS became stretched. There were less people to get around more women, who didn’t have any other kind of support with them.

“Health visits weren’t allowed and midwives weren’t able to do house-calls as many of them were used as nurses at Covid centres, meaning they weren’t available. There was a long time mothers went without any emotional and physical support from others.”

The group act as a voice for families and fight for “what women want and need” during and after pregnancies.

She said: “Before the pandemic, it would be normal to have friends and family around. A mum could have support all the way through her journey from the people she chose.

“But afterwards, the father was only allowed in when labour was established and would have to go home after an hour with no other facilities for visiting.”

The MVP campaigned for video calls to be allowed during appointments. She said: “We kept raising the issue which was eventually sorted. You can’t turn the tide and get those things back later on.”

She added: “I’m not here to be friends, I’m here to be a voice for the women.”