Couple reveal they welcomed one of Britain's first lockdown babies

Our lockdown baby! Mother reveals her baby daughter was one of the first in the UK to be born after restrictions were announced – and midwives told her about the Prime Minister’s speech while she was in labour

  • Chelsea and Matt Best, of Northamptonshire, had Britain’s first ‘lockdown baby’
  • Baby Millie was born at Northampton General Hospital on 23 March at 11.38pm
  • Came hours after the Prime Minister delivered the speech announcing measures

A couple welcomed their daughter just hours after Britain went into lockdown, making her one of the country’s first ‘lockdown babies’. 

Midwives told mother Chelsea Best, 28, that the Prime Minister had announced the restrictions while she was in labour at Northampton General Hospital last Monday night.

Three hours after Boris Johnson’s 8.30pm speech, at 11.38pm, Chelsea and husband Matt, 30, welcomed daughter Millie Eliza Best, weighing 7lbs 11oz. 

Describing how she was kept up-to-date with unfolding events during her 25-hour labour, Chelsea said: ‘[The midwives told me] just to let you know, Boris has announced full lockdown. Right, keep on pushing.’

Chelsea and Matt Best welcomed their daughter Millie just hours after Britain went into lockdown, making her one of the country’s first ‘lockdown babies’. Pictured, in hospital

She continued: ‘At the time I’d been having gas and air for pain relief but I can really remember them saying ‘we are now in lockdown’ and thinking about the implications for my husband knowing that he would not be able to stay.

‘We didn’t know if he was going to be stopped by police on the way home. It was a surreal experience, but amazing nonetheless.

‘After Millie was born he had about an hour with her, then it was just me on my own.  

The couple brought Millie home to Corby, Northamptonshire, on Wednesday, but have not yet been able to introduce her to any family members because of the strict social distancing rules. 

Midwives told mother Chelsea Best, 28, that the Prime Minister had announced the restrictions while she was in labour at Northampton General Hospital last Monday night. The couple were allowed to take Millie home from hospital on Wednesday. Pictured, at home together

Social distancing rules mean tiny Millie, pictured, has not yet been introduced to her family 

Chelsea said: ‘It is an emotional and demanding time having a baby and not being able to show everyone what you have brought into the world and not knowing when you will be able to.

‘But it has been amazing that we have had the chance to bond as just the three of us, getting to know Millie’s likes and dislikes.’    

Chelsea and Matt, who work in a family haulage business and were married in 2018, have been showing Millie off to family on video calls. 

Chelsea continued: ‘Matt’s grandparents are in their eighties and self-isolating. We’ve managed to teach them how to WhatsApp video call, which they absolutely love.

‘Seeing us and Millie cheers them up because they’ll be in isolation for 12 weeks. We haven’t been out much ourselves because we don’t want to put Millie in a situation where she could be exposed to coronavirus.

Chelsea praised the efforts of staff who kept her up to date while she was in labour. Pictured, baby Millie Best as a newborn

Matt was only able to spend an hour with Millie before he had to leave the hospital because of the new social distancing rules. Pictured, Millie travelling home (left) and snoozing (right)

‘Matt has extended paternity leave now and is very much enjoying having the extra time to spend getting to know her. The NHS staff were brilliant and I can’t thank them enough, especially the midwives who were amazing.

‘They were so supportive when I was on my own in the hospital and were constantly checking on me.

‘I’m so grateful to them for the risks they are taking just being in the hospitals with coronavirus around. It must be so scary for them.

‘I’d noticed there were rumours about a lockdown coming into place and I was starting to get stressed about the birthing partners being stopped or being allowed.

‘I was definitely worried if Matt would be able to be there for the birth and went into labour knowing that lockdown restrictions would change everything. I’m very glad that she was born when she was so that he could see her.’

Matt added: ‘It has been pretty surreal to be honest. All the NHS staff and the midwives have been fantastic. With everything that is going on it hasn’t actually affected us and it’s been business as usual.

The couple praised staff at Northampton General Hospital (pictured in file image) for their efforts

‘It feels very normal as such, but before it felt like I wasn’t going to be able to see the baby. Now I think the rules are changing in hospitals whether birthing partners can come or not. I could be one of the last dads able to.

‘The lockdown stuff hasn’t really been affecting us and we are doing exactly what we’d be doing anyway. It has been great for myself, Chelsea and Millie to spend time bonding together.

‘We’ve been using video calls to keep in contact with the rest of the family, who are dying to see Millie but they can’t at the moment. 

‘On her 18th birthday we can look back and say she was one of the first lockdown babies. She won’t be able to understand so we’ll have to explain that Boris announcing the lockdown was the sound she came into the world to. It really is a momentous occasion and it’ll be something for her to talk about in years to come.’

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