Holly Avis was caught by surprise when little Monty decided it was time to leave.
Heavily pregnant, her due date had already been and gone, but Holly was dedicating a huge chunk of her time campaigning for her birth partner to be beside her when her third child eventually arrived.
In the current climate, there is no guarantee new mums will have someone alongside them at the big moment.
Due to safety measures amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, restrictions have been placed on the amount of time that birthing partners are allowed to be present.
Holly, who had a C-Section scheduled, had been battling for her partner to be with her before and after any surgery.
But Monty had other ideas. One morning in August, he started making his exit, and was in such a rush he almost came out in the ambulance en route to the hospital.
Thankfully, Holly held on just long enough, and her healthy baby was born just before 9am in the comfort of KGH Kettering General Hospital.
This was no ordinary birth. The huge interest in Holly and Monty’s story has been drummed up as a result of Holly’s campaign for birth partner rights – which has amassed an incredible 200,000 supporters on Change.org so far.
Simply put, Holly wanted the rules changed so that mums’ chosen birth partners can be with them “from the very start of labour to the moment you are allowed to go home,” as well as for scans and appointments.
Abbi Leibert, who has been campaigning with BirthBliss Academy alongside Holly, stated: “I reached out to Holly before the campaign began because I thought that it would be best to work alongside an existing campaign that had followers.
“Holly took the time to talk to me and I feel very lucky to have caught her before she gave birth to Monty and hear about how she had campaigned locally and been on the Radio Northants, but that parliament had ignored her petition up to that point. I posted updates on her behalf.
“Since the campaign started we have seen another 20,000 signatures – now it’s over 200,000 and we have included it in our open letter to parliament.”
The Change.org campaign states: “The speed of Holly’s dilation only goes to show how many birth partners do not make it to ward in time for their babies births.
“Sitting in the carpark waiting, or even at home, how can they get to the ward in time for active labour when it could all happen so fast?
Abbi adds: “One thing I do really want to get out there to parents is that they have a voice.
“They can question what they are told by hospitals and doctors. They can ask for mental health midwives for additional support and they can always seek the support of a local doula.
“We simply support women emotionally and physically via education and the latest, evidence-based, research. We work WITH midwives, we do not replace them (nor would we ever want to, their job is essential).
“We help birthing people and their partners to advocate for themselves and ensure that they are happy with their options and their care.”
Holly stated: “Not having the partner there from the START puts her at risk of being alone in a horrendous situation.
“Many stories are coming to light that partners ARE missing births as adequate time is not being given to allow the partner to be there on time. If partners were allowed from the start, it simply wouldn’t happen.”
Thankfully, Holly’s birth story had a happy ending.
But the new mum and her supporters are refusing to let their petition fall on deaf ears.
“We mothers NEED OUR PARTNERS WITH US,” says Holly.
“With the correct PPE there is no reason why this isn’t possible now.”
Anyone that is currently pregnant and worried about their situation can visit Aims.org.
Mancunian has been named one of the ‘most attractive’ accents in the UK
Manchester is, once again, celebrating what we already know – our accent is one of the “most attractive” in the UK.
In case you missed it, earlier this year, Manchester welcomed in 2023 with the news that our city’s accent had been named the “sexiest” the country has to offer – with a survey of 2,500 people by casino comparison site Best Casinos discovering that over half of respondents ranked it the most pleasing regional accent to the ear.
And now it turns out that that survey wasn’t a fluke, because a new study has called the Manchester accent one of the “most attractive” in the UK.
But while there’s no doubt we can hold our heads high and be proud of claiming a spot in the top 10, this title does become a bit less impressive when you realise which other regional varieties have placed higher than us.
Fellow Northern accents Scouse and Geordie have taken second and third place on the list respectably, and the Welsh capital’s Cardiff accent rounding out the top five.
For us northerners, the grim reading continues when you learn that the London accent has clinched the top spot.
The Most Attractive Accents in the UK
According to Preply, 21% of women survey respondents voted for the London accent as the most attractive in the UK, compared with just 15% of men, while 10.4% of the population picked the unique sound of the Liverpool accent as second best.
Only 8.7% of survey respondents considered the Mancunian accent to be the most attractive.
The results from this survey do, at least, go some way to shattering the findings from two surveys published last year that found the Manchester accent is considered to be one of the ‘least respected’ nationwide, especially in the corporate world of work, and that Northerners with strong accents are considered ‘less intelligent’.
Featured Image – Unknown
The first bright yellow Bee Network bus has hit the streets of Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester residents will soon start to see bright yellow double decker buses travelling the region’s streets in the coming weeks.
With exactly six months to go before Greater Manchester “brings buses back under local control”, Mayor Andy Burnham has joined a number of other local leaders in unveiling the brand-new ‘Bee Network’ co-branded buses.
In what marks the biggest change to transport in Greater Manchester for almost 40 years, according to Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), bus operator Diamond – which currently runs services in Bolton – has teamed up with Go North West to run the first franchised services in Wigan, Bolton, and parts of Salford and Bury from September this year.
Diamond has agreed to start transforming their buses into Bee Network ones from this week, with more set to appear on the roads every month.
The first bright yellow double decker bus has now hit the streets of Bolton, and is serving the number 8 route – which connects Bolton and Manchester city centre via Farnworth and Salford.
As already announced by TfGM and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), when franchising is officially introduced on 24 September 2023, 50 brand-new electric Bee Network buses will hit the streets on day one, alongside new ‘Euro VI’ vehicles, and dozens more co-branded buses from the existing fleet.
A further 50 electric buses will then be introduced onto the network in March 2024, which is when the second part of franchising starts.
All of the 270 new electric Bee Network buses will be fully accessible, with wheelchair bays, hearing induction loops, audio and visual announcement systems, and anti-slip flooring.
Mayor Andy Burnham said the first Bee Network bus entering service is “very much the start of our journey”, and added that the scheme will “ultimately deliver a greener, integrated and more inclusive transport system that will transform how people travel around our city-region.”
Transport Commissioner Vernon Everitt also called the first bus’s introduction onto the streets as “a further significant step” towards the integration of the Bee Network and the “transformation” of public transport and active travel in the region.
He continued: “From September we’ll also have dozens of new state-of-the-art buses serving passengers in Wigan, Bolton, and parts of Salford and Bury.
“These will be the first of many across Greater Manchester that will, alongside the new lower fares – which are already increasing ridership – and improvements to travel information, improve bus travel for everyone who lives and works here.”