Celebrating the launch of the flagship Midwifery project with St Day Gypsy & Traveller women

This week at the Teyluva Centre in St Day, Gypsy & Traveller Women were celebrating the launch of the new project, alongside the newly appointed Teyluva midwives and TravellerSpace project staff.

Kernow Maternity Voice Partnership (MVP), a group with first-hand lived experience of maternity services spoke to the community at Wheal Jewel Traveller site in St Day about their experience of maternity services. Many women in this community had previously suffered poor health outcomes in pregnancy and feedback given to the senior midwifery team highlighted the need for a more bespoke, personalised, family centred approach, as this community had not been receiving care which was suited to their health needs or culture.

As a result of the feedback received, a partnership was formed between the TravellerSpace charity, who run the Teyluva Centre and provide support for Gypsies & Travellers across Cornwall, Gypsy & Traveller women from the Wheal Jewel site, and the midwifery service. Joint discussions helped the project take shape. TravellerSpace provided cultural training for the midwives supported by the community volunteers, who also helped design the logo for the midwives’ uniforms. The Teyluva Midwifery Team was formed.

Midwives Amy Keates and Jessica Parker now provide bespoke midwifery care for pregnant women at the Wheal Jewel Traveller site in St. Day. Gypsy and Traveller women experience poorer health outcomes than non- Traveller populations and are four times more likely to experience pregnancy loss. The midwives, working in collaboration with the TravellerSpace charity will be attending the St Day Gypsy & Traveller Women’s Group run by the charity each week, and will be providing ante-natal care in a dedicated room at the Centre for those who would rather be seen there than at home.

As well as offering support with preconception care and health education and promotion within a safe and trusted space, the midwives will also provide antenatal and postnatal care for these women, with the hope to be able to provide support in labour. The Teyluva team will be working closely with other agencies including health visitors and the healthy pregnancy programme at Cornwall Council. The project aims to provide the gold standard Continuity of Carer which is recommended by the Governments Better Birth’s initiative. Teyluva team is hoping to expand in 2020, offering care to more women from the Travelling community across Cornwall.