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New mum says Withybush Midwife Led Unit is five star

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A Pembrokeshire mum whose twin girls died after being born at 24 weeks has praised the midwives at Withybush Hospital MLU (Midwife Led Unit) for the safe delivery of her little boy.

Keeley Rose, aged 30 from St David’s, gave birth to Tyler four weeks ago, with a little help from community midwives Elspeth Thompson and Julie York.

Born at 38 weeks, Tyler is a bouncing, fit and healthy baby boy and Keeley managed to bring him into the world with the support of her partner Fraser, the midwives, a birthing pool and a little gas and air.

It was a highly emotional birth as in March 2013 Keeley and Fraser lost their twin girls Isla and Harper, who were born prematurely. Isla died at Withybush Hospital shortly after birth and Harper three days later at Singleton Hospital.

“It was a massive shock,” said Keeley. “I’d been having back pains in the day and then had an enormous pain. I rang an ambulance and tried my best not to push but I could feel the babies coming. There was no explanation other than sometimes twins come too early. It’s still obviously painful, but they are part of our lives and we want to remember and talk about them.”

Keeley, who works as a healthcare assistant in the MLU at Withybush Hospital, was under consultant led care for most of her pregnancy with Tyler due to her previous early labour. But she was able to transfer back to midwife led care when she reached full term with her single pregnancy.

“I had to keep an open mind because of my history, but I knew, if at all possible, I wanted to have as natural a birth as possible without needles or drugs and different people prodding me.

“I attended antenatal yoga and learnt about perinatal massage and I took the attitude that it was mind over matter and I wanted to avoid epidurals and drugs.

“Thankfully I was able to have the option of birthing at the MLU once I had reached 37 weeks and because it was a single baby not twins.”

Keeley went into labour at almost 38 weeks. “I came into the MLU and tried to stay as active as possible. It was lush – five star – really comfortable and the midwives were great. Elspeth was really reassuring and made me feel safe and in control. Frazer was allowed to get into the birthing pool with me and having his support meant I didn’t feel alone.”

Tyler was born in the morning but it didn’t stop the couple and midwives celebrating with a glass of bubbly orange to celebrate his birth. And once the family were ready, they were discharged and Tyler was able to spend his first night in the world in his own home.

“The whole experience was wonderful,” said Keeley. “A fresh, happy memory, which we will treasure.

“I would really like to share my experience with others to encourage women to consider birthing in the MLU if they can. I’ve worked in the unit so I’ve seen the wonderful care provided from both perspectives. I would advise other mums-to-be not to be frightened but to speak to their midwife and visit the unit to make an informed decision.

“I would also advise fathers to get involved too. I took for granted a lot of information as I work within the service, but I made a special effort to ensure that Fraser was part of the pregnancy and birth so he came along to appointments and classes all along the way. By doing this, Dads can become an active part of the birth.”

Keeley is now enjoying time with Tyler at home. “Some days I feel like I don’t leave the sofa but it’s all worth it,” she said.

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Tragedy above Milford Haven takeaway

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DYFED POWYS POLICE has confirmed that a 20-year-old male passed away in Milford Haven last Saturday, April 17.

Police were called to the USA Fried Chicken store on Charles Street at around 1:30pm but have said there are no suspicious circumstances.

A Herald reporter was at the scene and witnessed a number of police cars and an ambulance while plain-clothed officers were also seen.

HM Coroner has been informed.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson added: “We were called to Charles Street in Milford Haven on Saturday 17 April at approximately 1.34pm to reports of a medical emergency. We attended the scene with one emergency ambulance where we assisted colleagues from the police.”

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Tavernspite School the ‘healthiest of schools despite the pandemic’

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THE STAFF, governors, parents, and of course, the children of Tavernspite Community Primary School are delighted to gain the Welsh Network of Healthy School Schemes National Quality Award for an incredible 5th time after a recent and very rigorous assessment.

The school is already well known and highly regarded for its outstanding work in developing the health and wellbeing of all members of its school community. To achieve this prestigious recognition in the midst of a pandemic is all the more impressive. 

Health and Wellbeing at the school is led by teacher, Lauren Arthur, who has done an incredible job preparing for this re-assessment and raising the profile of the Healthy Schools scheme.

The assessor Mrs Lynne Perry, enjoyed a virtual tour and presentation by Year 3 pupils who took great pleasure in proudly showing Mrs Perry all the wonderful work the school has done to ensure its children are safe, happy with high levels of emotional and physical wellbeing.

In her report, Mrs Perry wrote, ‘Tavernspite School continues to be an outstanding health promoting school. The health promoting school ethos is evident across the whole school population and it runs seamlessly throughout everything that the school does. Tavernspite School continues to give high priority to promoting and enhancing the health and well-being of the whole school community.’

The school received fantastic support from Mrs Liz Western, Senior Public Health Officer and Lead for Healthy Schools and Pre-schools, Pembrokeshire, to whom they are very grateful.

Head teacher Kevin Phelps said, ‘We were delighted to receive this award for the fifth time, particularly considering the experiences we have all been through these past twelve months. Health and wellbeing has never been so important and we are proud to be leading the way like this.’

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Joinery learner through to Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year Finals

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PEMBROKESHIRE COLLEGE joinery learner, Conor Ratcliff has made it through to the final ten in this year’s Screwfix Trade Apprentice of the Year competition.

Now in its seventh year, the competition celebrates the next generation of tradespeople as they start out on their career. With over 2,500 nominations, Conor was shortlisted to the top 30 where he had to deliver a video presentation to industry-leading judges and trade body representatives. Judged on professionalism, creativity, innovation, enthusiasm and knowledge of their trade, Conor impressed the judges and is now in the final 10.  

Simon Jackson, Screwfix Customer and Digital director, commented: “Every year we are amazed by the outstanding quality of entrants and, this year, we are on the lookout for apprentices who go above and beyond to succeed within their chosen trade.

“We’ve seen how this career-boosting accolade and £10,000 prize bundle helps kickstart an apprentice’s career. I’d like to wish everyone through to this stage the best of luck!”

The prize package includes everything a future tradesperson may need to start up their own business including £5,000 of tools, a £3,000 training budget and £2,000 worth of technology. The college where they study will also receive £2,000.

Conor is thrilled to have made it through to the finals and commented: “I am extremely honoured to have made it this far in the competition and I am very excited for the final event. It would be an amazing opportunity for me, if I won this competition.

“I hope it encourages more people to consider an apprenticeship in a trade, the Carpentry and Joinery department have been incredibly supportive during my studies.”

The Final is due to take place imminently where the judges will conduct an online interview with the ten finalists before selecting and announcing their overall winner.

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