Being pregnant can be both a joyous and anxious time – and Covid has definitely increased anxiety levels among local mums to be.

But a special maternity service is available, and staff across Sandwell and Dudley are anxious to hear from women who are pregnant or to learn from the experiences of women who have given birth over the last five years.

The Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) is an NHS scheme to improve the service given to mums to be.

Che Maclaren is the co-ordinator of MVP for Sandwell and West Birmingham, although all the co-ordinators work closely together covering the Black Country.

And they all want to spread the message that they are available and need to connect with more women to ensure that the NHS delivers the maternity services that people want.

“The big issue for pregnant women at the moment is Covid.

“People are unsure about what is going on. Things are constantly changing at hospitals, and they cannot take partners or children to appointments.

“Women are anxious.

“Our job at MVP is to be the middle person between service users and the professionals, and we do that by listening and holding meetings and providing questionaries.

“But not enough people know about us, so we need to spread the word.”

If you are a woman who wants advice or to share their experience, go to: