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Letter of the week: my run helped raise funds for Stroud Maternity Hospital

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Dear Editor,

I ran the Stroud Half Marathon to raise funds for Stroud Maternity Hospital. I have raised a total of £1,300 for the unit which I am absolutely thrilled about.

The previous fundraising within the unit has gone towards purchasing crucial items.

Fundraising feels more important than ever with the current closure of the postnatal provision. This is something that I feel very passionate about. I had all my children in Stroud and the support that each and every one of the staff members gave to me pre and postnatally was invaluable. The first time round the midwives and MCA’s were there to help piece myself and my husband back together after one of the most petrifying journeys ever. You go in as a person and leave as a parent!

The continuity of care for me is something that I will value forever. My midwife was there for me throughout all of my pregnancies, supported me through a miscarriage at 12 weeks and even came into the unit to deliver my last baby only hours after she had landed in the country following a family holiday.

IMG20221023135953 | Letter of the week: my run helped raise funds for Stroud Maternity Hospital
Claire Rudge with her Stroud Half Marathon medal

Following a previous diagnosis of postnatal illness, the time that I was given postnatally in the unit allowed me to figure out what had just happened and to work out in my own head how to move forward. Even as an experienced mum this was something that was so desperately needed. If I had been told I had to go home after six hours I would have been absolutely distraught and my mental health without a doubt would have suffered.

The bond me and my midwife built over the years is something nothing else can compare to. She was there through huge life events!

The half-marathon was by far the hardest thing I have ever done, and I’ve had three children. Physically and mentally, I am by no means a ‘runner’ however seeing the crowd of Stroud Maternity supporters with their banners and signs, all talking to the other spectators about the fundraising and petition to reopen postnatal care was all the motivation I needed to get over that finish line.

Stroud is something that no other maternity provision in the county is.

Please continue to support us by joining our Facebook group to keep up to date with what’s coming up to keep the unit open. March for Midwives will be taking place on November 20th in Stroud, lets’s show our solidarity and support to all those incredible individuals that have done so much for us over the years.

Petition to keep the unit open and postnatally functioning is – https://chng.it/wKmDF6P8Vz

Yours with optimism for the future of SMU

Claire Rudge

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