A heartwarming incident took place at Milton Keynes University Hospital in the UK, where a dog played a remarkable role in supporting her pregnant owner through the process of childbirth. This event is one of the first instances of a dog being allowed inside a hospital labor room in the country. Amee Tomkin, accompanied by her two-year-old assistance dog named Belle, experienced the support and companionship of her beloved pet throughout her fertility treatment, scans, and midwife appointments during her pregnancy.
A Lifelong Connection and Enduring Support
Belle’s exemplary behavior earned her the privilege of being present in the maternity ward of Milton Keynes University Hospital. The hospital staff, recognizing Belle’s calm nature and the positive impact she had on Amee’s well-being, allowed her to provide support during Amee’s caesarean operation in April. Belle even eagerly awaited Amee’s return and had the honor of being the first to meet Olly, Amee’s newborn son. Amee, who struggles with autism, anxiety, and panic attacks, expressed her gratitude towards Belle, stating that she couldn’t have gone through the experience without her faithful companion.
Amee, who acquired Belle in 2021, instantly established attachment with the canine. Recognizing the potential of Belle as an assistance dog, Amee trained her diligently, and it quickly became evident that Belle possessed a natural talent for her role. For the past 18 months, Belle has been Amee’s constant companion, accompanying her wherever she goes. When Amee became pregnant after 12 years of fertility treatment, Belle continued to be by her side throughout the entire pregnancy. Amee’s midwife was astonished by Belle’s calm demeanor and the comfort she provided.
A Crucial Presence, Support and Love
Belle’s presence during pregnancy and childbirth played a vital role in alleviating Amee’s anxiety. With her remarkable abilities, Belle could detect signs of panic attacks and assist Amee in navigating crowded places by finding exits. She even learned to press elevator buttons and perform contactless payments using Amee’s debit card while shopping. Belle’s unwavering support enabled Amee to manage her anxiety and leave the house with confidence. During the childbirth process, Belle’s presence was indispensable.
Milton Keynes University Hospital’s decision to allow Belle in the labor room showcases their recognition of the positive impact animals can have on patients’ well-being. This heartwarming story serves as a reminder of the incredible support and love that animals can provide during life’s most significant moments.