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Updated 19 August 2021

20 January 2020

A new team of midwives will be focusing their care on expectant mothers in North Dorset to ensure stronger and more personal relationships are built before the birth.

A national review of maternity services highlighted that expectant mothers and their families would prefer to be cared for by a small team of midwives they can form a bond with.

With this initiative - known as ‘continuity of carer’ - in mind, a group of midwives from Dorset County Hospital (DCH) have come together to form The Cranberry Team.

The team of eight dedicated midwives will provide continuity of care for expectant parents living in Blandford, Sturminster Newton and the surrounding areas.

The Cranberry Team will be launching today (Monday 20 January) and in time the midwives will be joined by maternity support workers.

Expectant mothers living in North Dorset will receive their care throughout their pregnancy from their named midwife or fellow colleague in the team.

They will also be invited to attend ‘Meet the Midwife’ sessions to give them the opportunity to become familiar with the rest of the team.

In addition to this, they will also be invited to attend informal discussions around birth and parenthood, allowing them to meet other expectant parents living locally.

When going into labour a member of The Cranberry Team will be called to the hospital to provide care and support for the mother and family. Women who choose to have a homebirth will receive the same pattern of care from the Trust’s Cygnet Homebirth Team.

The Cranberry Team is the first of a range of teams to be created by maternity that will be focused on geographical areas or pregnancy-related conditions.

Senior Midwife and member of The Cranberry Team Rachel Wheeler said: “This initiative isn’t new; historically midwives worked in this way for years before maternity services evolved.

“By returning to this model of care women and their families get to know their midwife more personally and build a relationship of trust prior to welcoming their new baby.

“We are all very excited about this new venture and our shared vision is to continually improve the way in which maternity services are delivered.

“We look forward to meeting our expectant parents!”

The Cranberry Team