New mum praises Lancaster's 'angels' working during Covid for their care during traumatic birth of baby boy
A new mum has said a massive thank you to all the staff at Lancaster's Maternity Unit who helped her give birth in the midst of a pandemic.
Hailey Fletcher had planned to have her first child at home - but due to being two weeks' overdue was told she must give birth in hospital instead.
Hailey and husband Edward opted for the Royal Lancaster Infirmary - despite Hailey having visited the Maternity Unit just once previously.
And she has now thanked the staff at the RLI for their 'outstanding care' during her labour and after care.
Hailey is now back home in Sedbergh with new son Theodore, who was born on Saturday at 3.51pm, weighing a healthy 7lb 12oz.
"I just want them to have some credit," said Hailey, who is head of religious studies at Sedbergh School.
"There were so many people involved. I know a lot of people will have been through a pregnancy during Covid who have been incredibly anxious about it but there's a whole team of people waiting to help."
Hailey was particularly anxious due to the sudden change of plans for the birth of her first child.
"I had an easy pregnancy and was really active throughout," the 34-year-old said. "I was looked after at Helme Chase and planned a home birth, but I was two weeks over and they said I had to choose to give birth at Lancaster or Barrow.
"We chose Lancaster because it was nearer but apart from a scan I had never set foot in the place, or knew anybody."
Hailey was booked in for a planned induction, but unfortunately things weren't as straightforward as hoped, and Theodore - whose heart rate was dropping - had to be delivered using forceps and a cut to Hailey.
Theodore also had to have minor treatment for being tongue-tied.
Both mum and baby stayed in the RLI overnight until Edward was able to take them home, where both are now recovering well.
"I was in for several shift changes and lots of different people were involved, but their care for me and my husband was absolutely outstanding," Hailey said.
"For someone like me who was worried and hadn't planned for it, and being a first time mum as well, I just can't give them enough credit.
"They were so good in communicating everything to me. I was terrified of going in hospital because of Covid. I had a fear that it would be very clinical and I would feel vulnerable.
"But they were angels. They we so understanding with me all the way through the process.
"They made everything so calm - we didn't feel like there was a pandemic going on.
"I think it's a really special place, and my thanks and respect go to all those people working under conditions that have been really difficult and for still going above and beyond."