Mom with a Mission: Pregnant Kate Middleton Tackles Stigma Around Maternal and Newborn Fatalities
Princess Kate, who is currently in her third trimester, visited the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) on Tuesday to learn more about the college’s global health programs aimed to reduce maternal and newborn mortality worldwide. Kate will be a patron of RCOG, as well as the Nursing Now campaign geared toward shining a light on nurses, Kensington Palace announced.
The royal mom — who wore a matching blue Jenny Packham overcoat and dress — also saw how the college’s workshops and continued training support trainee doctors to develop safe surgical techniques and essential clinical skills in obstetrics and gynaecology.
Kate then attended in a roundtable discussion on tackling the stigma around women’s health — particularly maternal mental health.
Of Kate’s patronage, Professor Lesley Regan — the president of the RCOG — said in a statement that he was “absolutely thrilled.”
“We are very grateful to Her Royal Highness whose support will help to raise our profile as a medical charity that champions the provision of high quality women’s healthcare at home and beyond. We know that maternal health and mental wellbeing is an issue close to The Duchess’s heart, as a young mother herself. We hope that this new relationship will build on our work to improve healthcare for women everywhere, and ensure that women’s views on the care they receive are at the heart of everything we do.”
Kate ran into a friendly face during her visit, sharing a hug with Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent — the midwife who helped deliver Princess Charlotte. As she left, Kate thanked Regan and said, “It was so great to see Jacqui as well.”
Last year, Kate opened up about the realities of motherhood in a powerful speech. While Kate said being a parent is “rewarding and wonderful,” she also acknowledged that even she has difficult moments, despite the support she has with Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2.
“Nothing can really prepare you for you the sheer overwhelming experience of what it means to become a mother. It is full of complex emotions of joy, exhaustion, love, and worry, all mixed together,” she said. “Your fundamental identity changes overnight. You go from thinking of yourself as primarily an individual, to suddenly being a mother, first and foremost.”
Kate said that those challenges have led her to feel, at times, a “lack of confidence” and “feelings of ignorance.” She then went on to discuss the importance of destigmatizing mental health, in particular, when it comes to new parents.
“If any of us caught a fever during pregnancy, we would seek advice and support from a doctor,” she continued. “Getting help with our mental health is no different – our children need us to look after ourselves and get the support we need.”