A NEW mother has praised the midwives who delivered her baby in a bid to reassure other women worried about giving birth during the lockdown.

Charlotte Cox, 27, from Newton Aycliffe, gave birth to her son Jacob William at Darlington Memorial Hospital on April 6.

Describing the experience as "definitely different" to when she had her first baby, she said: "Everything was fantastic. Everyone was brilliant and they all had protective clothing on and every time they came in it was changed. It gave me a lot of peace of mind.

"It was quite surreal."

The mother-of-two, who also has a three-year-old daughter, Mia, has had to attend her most recent appointments and scan alone and her husband Anthony, a teacher, was not allowed to remain in hospital for the duration of the birth.

The Northern Echo:

Mrs Cox, a teaching assistant, spent between five and six hours alone on the ward before he was allowed to join to her.

She added: "My husband couldn’t come in so he was in the car park for a bit because we didn’t know how quick it would be. Then he went home and was waiting, ready to come back. Once I was in established labour he was allowed to come back.

"I was probably on my own for about five or six hours.

"My mam was with me for my first labour so when I found out I was only allowed one birthing partner I was quite worried about it. But I’ll be able to look back and say it’s the best time of my life even though this was going on and making the best of a bad situation. "

She added: "My friend is about to give birth in two weeks and I know she’s scared and I know it’s really hard but the staff go above and beyond to make sure you’re ok.

"My message to new mams is that it’s going to be strange and it’s not ideal but embrace it and you will be looked after because they do go above and beyond. I just want them to know they will be really well taken care of.

"When I had my first they were amazing but this was another level. They were really trying to make me feel safe."

She was back at home with her family about six hours after giving birth.

She said: "It all went well and I was eager to get out – and I think they were als well.

"It was emotional when I was discharged because they helped so much.

"They are risking their health and not seeing their families but they’re there to look after you. They were so caring. You could tell they were scared but they were trying to help and they were reassuring all the time, holding my hand.

"I expected it to be worse, but I couldn’t have asked for any better."

Jacob is settling into life at home, but is yet to meet any of his extended family as a result of the lockdown.

She added: "None of our family has met Jacob, though they’ve seen him through the window because they live within walking distance.

"No-one can come round and hold him which is quite emotional. It’s really hard but you’ve just got to do it."