The Princess of Wales, at the Royal Surrey County Hospital’s maternity unit yesterday, told mothers-to-be not to wait to ask for help.
The Princess of Wales has urged new mothers not to forget to take care of themselves as well as their babies, and to ask for help as soon as they need it. The Princess, who visited a maternity unit in her first solo engagement since the end of royal mourning, said new parents too often tell themselves “I don’t have time” or “my children come first” at the expense of their own health. She argued that prioritising care of the mother is essential to give children the best start in life.
THE Princess of Wales has urged new mothers not to forget to take care of themselves as well as their babies, and to ask for help as soon as they need it.
The Princess, who visited a maternity unit in her first solo engagement since the end of royal mourning, said new parents too often tell themselves “I don’t have time” or “my children come first” at the expense of their own health and wellbeing.
She argued that prioritising care of the mother is essential in order to give her children the best start in life.
The Princess, whose visit to the Royal Surrey County Hospital overran by at least half an hour after she stopped to speak to hundreds of members of staff, new parents, and even women in labour, cooed over newborns and reminisced about her own three babies.
She had chosen the engagement especially to highlight the importance of joined-up antenatal and postnatal care, emphasising her continued commitment to the topic of early years development in her new role as Princess of Wales.
She was delighted to have a cuddle with baby Bianca Moran, who was born early, at 34 weeks and five days, and is currently being cared for by a specialist team and her mother Sylvia.
“She looks so comfortable, are you sure,” the Princess asked, visibly delighted to be allowed to hold a newborn and stroke her head. “She’s very sweet,” she said.
She also spent time on a postnatal ward with four babies who had been born in the past 48 hours, asking parents how they were coping.
Hearing about some of the “eventful” births, she empathised: “No matter how much everyone tells you what you expect, it’s a shock to the system isn’t it?
“You have this idea of what will happen but every single birth is different.”
The Princess had chosen to visit the hospital herself in recognition of its outstanding status in maternity care.
“The fact that you’re providing this amazing support is really needed,” she told staff. “That’s why I wanted to be here and celebrate it, and showcase the importance of midwives and these services in general.”
The Prince of Wales, meanwhile, undertook a separate engagement at St George’s Park, the England National Football Centre currently celebrating its 10th anniversary. As well as meeting young players in training, he spent 15 minutes with the England men’s team manager, Gareth Southgate, discussing the “technical and mental” preparation for the forthcoming World Cup.
NOAH has become the most popular name for boys in England and Wales while Leslies are on the way out, says new Office for National Statistics data.
The new No1 has knocked Oliver off the top spot ending an eight-year reign.
As well as a tendency towards shorter names, academics have pointed to the popularity of gender-neutral choices as another possible reason why Noah has become the most used given that a record number of girls took on the female equivalent – Noa – in 2021.
However, Olivia stayed top of the girls’ list for the sixth year in succession and Lilibet made the list for the first time, which James Tucker of the ONS attributed to Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-windsor, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s second child, who was born in June last year.
“It was the first time that Lilibet broke the threshold as there were eight of them in 2021, so that could well be a Royal effect given that there were potentially none before that, or three or less,” he said.
In total, 4,525 baby boys were named Noah in 2021, and 3,649 girls were named Olivia, up from 3,640 in 2020.
Noah was the fourth most popular boys’ name in 2020 and has risen 15 places since 2011.
Mr Tucker said: “While Noah and Olivia are enjoying their places at the top, some names could be in danger of falling out of favour.
“Leslie has had relatively little popularity in recent years, with fewer than seven boys named each year since 2018.
“Noah has been in the top 10 for quite a while now, and it seems to be younger mothers who are favouring Noah at the moment, it just seems to be particularly popular among them … as generally they are going for shorter names.”
Muhammad was the fifth most popular boys’ name. Mohammed was 35th in England and Wales and Mohammad 83rd, meaning that the name is more popular than Noah if the various spellings are combined.
There has also been an increase in the number of David Bowie-inspired baby names following the musician’s death in 2016, data shows.
The number of boys in England and Wales named Ziggy – a reference to his acclaimed 1972 album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars – rose from 49 to 136 between 2016 and 2021.