Kate visits mothers and babies at maternity unit

The Princess of Wales has met mothers and babies on a solo visit to a maternity unit.

Mother of three Kate, dressed in a sunshine yellow belted dress with her hair down, toured the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford on Wednesday to hear about the holistic support it provides to pregnant women and new mothers.

Its NHS maternity unit delivers and cares for around 3,000 babies a year, and it received a Unicef baby friendly initiative gold award in 2022 for its outstanding work on infant-feeding and parent-child relationships.

Kate gave birth to all three of her children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – at the private Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London.

Royal visit to the Royal Surrey County Hospital
The Princess of Wales in a face mask (Alastair Grant/PA)

The visit was Kate’s first major solo engagement since being made the Princess of Wales by the King, the day after the death of the late Queen.

Early years care will continue to be a major focus in her role as the Princess of Wales, and the visit is part of a series by Kate and her husband William this week to showcase their continuing key interests.

Royal visit to the Royal Surrey County Hospital
Kate arriving at the hospital (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The princess donned a medical face mask as she toured the unit.

She was also visiting the hospital’s special care baby unit (SCBU) which provides specialist neonatal care for tiny and premature babies to meet a family who were helped to bond with their baby.

Royal visit to the Royal Surrey County Hospital
Kate chatting to staff (Alistair Grant/PA)

The SCBU is one of only a few units nationally which has the ability for mothers to remain close to their babies at all times through round-the-clock cot side sleeping facilities.

Staff also encourage parents to take part in the care of their premature babies as much as possible, including bathing, feeding and nappy changing.

Royal visit to the Royal Surrey County Hospital
Kate with a posy of flowers (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The princess also met a mother who was supported by the hospital’s Jasmine Team which works with women affected by mental health illnesses during pregnancy and post-natally.

Kate is passionate about supporting the mental wellbeing of mothers, and recently became patron of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance.