Appearing on a screen by Rebecca Attwood’s bedside table, Kate extended her congratulations to the new mother. The duchess took great interest in how the birth had gone during such an uncertain time in the world. The pair chatted about the new mother’s experience of giving birth during the global coronavirus pandemic.
Kate made the morale-boosting “virtual” return visit to the NHS maternity unit where she previously spent two days on a work placement.
Footage of the call to Kingston Hospital, South-West London, has been released to highlight mental health issues that can affect new mothers.
The Duchess worked at the London hospital on a two day placement last year.
Speaking via video call from her Anmer Hall home in Norfolk, Kate said: “Hello! Very nice to meet you.
“This is definitely a first, I think! Huge congratulations.”
Rebecca’s son Max had arrived at 10pm the previous night, to which the duchess exclaimed: “My goodness, you must be exhausted.”
Speaking of the virtual visit, Rebecca, from Raynes Park in South-West London, said: “Having a surprise conversation with the Duchess of Cambridge after two hours’ sleep was particularly surreal.
“The Duchess asked us about having a baby at such an unusual time, and our experience on the maternity ward was that all the midwives made it as normal as possible – apart from the masks!”
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During the call, lead midwife Sam Frewin appeared wearing a mask and plastic apron.
“I’m smiling, can you tell?” she joked.
Taking a closer look, Kate laughed: “With your eyes, I can.”
Kate asked the midwives: “What are the main concerns that mothers and potential mothers feel?”
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Jo Doumouchtsi, a mental health midwife, told her there had been an increase in referrals for anxiety and extra worries about catching Covid-19 while in hospital.
She said: “There are women that have no mental health history that are becoming incredibly anxious because of the situation currently.”
The Duchess also took the time to check in with the midwives and ask about their families.
She questioned: “How are you and your families? Are you managing? Are you OK?”
Jennifer, who works in the antenatal and newborn screening team, replied: “The workload is the same but I think women are surprised our services are still available.
“We’re saying, ‘we’re still open, we’re still here… so do come in and we can support you.'”
The duchess has been doing a series of virtual visits to support mothers during the pandemic, even attending a virtual roundtable on her wedding anniversary.
According to the Court Circular, the Duchess of Cambridge spent the afternoon of her anniversary in a virtual roundtable discussion with a number of charities.
The organisations involved in the meeting are charities which aim to help new mothers and pregnant women.
Kate and Prince William were married on April 29 2011 at Westminster Abbey in a service that was broadcast around the world.
On Wednesday, Kensington Palace shared a photo from Kate and Prince William’s wedding day on their Instagram.
The photo depicted the newlyweds standing in the doorway of Westminster Abbey in 2011.