The Duchess of Cambridge paid a virtual hospital visit to new parents amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Maternal Kate Middleton cooed over Rebecca Attwood and John Gill’s newborn son Max hours after his birth via Zoom. “This is definitely a first, I think,” the royal mom of three said. “He is so sweet. Aww, congratulations.” The couple welcomed their baby boy the night prior to Kate’s video call. “My goodness, you must be exhausted!” the Duchess said.
Following her chat with Prince William’s wife, Rebecca told People magazine: “Having a baby is an extraordinary experience at any time, but having one during lockdown and then having a surprise conversation with the Duchess of Cambridge after two hours‘ sleep was particularly surreal!” She continued, “The Duchess asked us about having a baby at such an unusual time, and our experience on the maternity ward was that all the midwives made it as normal as possible – apart from the masks, it was exactly the same as when we had our first son, Rafe, in 2015. The midwives were amazing on both occasions.”
Aside from speaking with Max’s parents, the Duchess, who is patron of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, also chatted from her home in Norfolk with midwives, health visitors and leading sector experts about the challenges and impact that coronavirus is having on new and expectant mothers, as well as their families. Kate’s conversations took place ahead of the UK’s Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, which aims to create wider awareness of maternal mental health, and signposts support for parents. “Babies come all the time so the fact that you’re having to work in these difficult times, so well done,” the Duchess told staff after commending them for their hard work.
Kate interrupted her ninth wedding anniversary celebration last week to participate in a roundtable discussion via video link with charities and organizations that support pregnant women and new mothers. Last year, the Duchess secretly worked at the Kingston Hospital Maternity Unit in London for two days. In an open letter to midwives, Princess Charlotte’s mom reflected on her time at the hospital, while thanking midwives for their “humbling” work. She penned, “During my time at Kingston I accompanied community midwives on their daily rounds and was welcomed in to people’s homes. I was truly touched by the trust that people placed in me, sharing their experiences and voicing their fears openly.”
Kate added, “I also spent time in hospital clinics and on post-natal wards. No matter the setting, I was continually struck by the compassion that those of you I spent time with showed, and the incredible work ethic you demonstrated on behalf of your entire profession - not only performing your rounds but working tirelessly through the night to support people that were at their most vulnerable.”