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Early years

03rd May 2020

The Duchess of Cambridge checks in with mums who have just given birth during the pandemic

Duchess of Cambridge

She has spoken before of her own experiences of being a brand new mum, and how she often found those early days when Prince George was a baby both lonely and sometimes isolating.

So it really isn’t surprising that it was a matter close to her heart for the Duchess of Cambridge to check in with women who have just given birth in the middle of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Kate dialled in from her home in Norfolk for a surprise virtual chat with midwives and new mums on a maternity ward in South London to mark maternal mental health awareness week, according to The Times.

The Duchess, who has previously shadowed midwives at the hospital as part of her study into early years development, chatted to new mum Rebecca Atwood on the call who had given birth to son Max just a few hours earlier.

Rebecca told The Times the experience was ‘particularly surreal’, but paid tribute to the midwives who tried to make the birth ‘as normal as possible’.

In an earlier call with maternity experts, Kate encouraged new mums to ‘reach out for help’ to ‘normalise anxieties’.

‘You speak to six mums and all of you realise you are going through the same thing. Before that you were worried that you’re the only one,’ the Duchess said.

It is only a few months ago that Kate, who is now a mother-of-three, spoke about her own experience being a brand new mum, and highlighted the ‘isolation of early motherhood’ that so many new mums are feeling.

‘If only I had had a centre like this,’ she told new mums at a children’s centre in Cardiff before recalling how she felt after becoming a mum to George in 2013.

‘It was the first year and I’d just had George – William was still working with Search and Rescue and we came up here and I had a tiny tiny baby in the middle of Anglesey it was so isolated, so cut off. ‘I didn’t have any family around and he was doing night shifts.’

She emphasised then how important it is to talk and ask for help.

‘It is lonely at times and you do feel quite isolated, but actually, so many other mothers are going through exactly what you are going through,’ she said. ‘It is being brave enough, like you obviously were, to reach out to those around you.’