herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

From Here To Maternity sees cameras go behind hospital doors to capture start of life

FILM crews have been given access to Ireland's maternity wards to capture the first moments of birth.

Our own version of the hit show One Born Every Minute, called From Here To Maternity, is due to kick off on RTE at the end of the month.

The six-part documentary follows expectant mothers and fathers as they take their first tentative steps into parenthood.

The doors of Cork University Maternity Hospital were open to the cameras over four months.

RTE said the programme-makers had "unprecedented access to the labour and neonatal wards".

"The series is a unique insight into the emotional journey of bringing new life into the world," it says.

Naval officer Eamon Downes and his wife Lynda are introduced to viewers in the first episode.

The couple are expecting their first baby and Eamon is aware that his life is about to change forever, but is less sure about how he'll cope at the birth.

The Downes have a nervous wait, anxiously hoping that the birth will not go overdue as Eamon is scheduled to begin a two-year stint at sea with the Irish Navy soon afterwards.

"All my friends have said that it's the most amazing thing that's ever happened to them in their lifetime," said Eamon.

"I can't wait to be part of that gang."

And Katherine and Cian McCarthy are expecting triplets -- and they already have two young children under three.

The producers have tracked the progress of the triplet pregnancy, with unique access to the weekly scans and ultimately the operating theatre.

There are tentative moments when, as the weeks go by, one of the babies begins to struggle and doctors warn the McCarthys that this triplet might not survive.

Consultant obstetrician and gynecologist Dr Keelin O'Donoghue oversees the pregnancy.

"There is no doubt that humans are not best designed for carrying triplets," Dr O'Donoghue said.

Cameras are also allowed into the neonatal intensive care unit where premature babies are cared for in incubators until they are big enough and well enough to be taken home.



midwife

The programme, which airs on Tuesday, February 22, at 8.30pm on RTE1, also introduces us to mother-of-two, Catherine Kingston, who has 12 years experience as a midwife.

In Catherine's experience most parents are fortunate enough to bring home a healthy baby.

"When I'm in uniform, I'm the professional giving advice," she said.

"But it's very different when it's you who's the patient," she added. "I worry just like anyone else."

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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