Advice for new mums-to-be in Essex

Giving birth can be a scary time when things don't go to plan, so a dvd about it has been made to help new mums-to-be in Essex.

Childbirth & You - Understanding Interventional Childbirth has been developed from an idea by Mr Barry Whitlow, a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology at Colchester General Hospital.

It was filmed there after he was concerned there wasn't enough straight forward information for expectant mothers and their partners about births that need intervention because of complications.

With help from Health Enterprise East (HEE) and the NHS Innovations Hub for the eastern region, supporting NHS staff that come up with ideas to help patients, the dvd's been produced and is now on sale at places including Amazon and

Barry Whitlow said: “What causes anxiety and concern for women and their partners is when obstetricians have to intervene in a birth,” he said.

“Yet, ironically, this is an area where there is a need for more factual information whereas there is plenty of material readily available about more straightforward deliveries.

“I don’t want parents-to-be and their families to rely on anecdotes as a source of information so came up with an idea to make an informative DVD which would give good quality factual information in plain English rather than medical jargon.”

The 45-minute DVD covers a variety of topics, including caesarean section, forceps and ventouse deliveries and pain relief, as well as natural birth.

Film footage from the maternity unit at Colchester General Hospital has been combined with animations of the natural birth process and interventional methods and interviews with mothers, midwives and Mr Whitlow.

Mr Whitlow said Childbirth & You had been designed so that expectant mothers and their birthing partners can prepare for birth and ask their health care professionals further questions. It also helps to familiarise them with what to expect when they go to hospital, he added.