The Duchess of Cambridge has paid a virtual visit to newborn babies via videolink, as she urges new parents to reach out and ask for help if they need it in lockdown.

The Duchess, who spent time with midwives last year as part of a learning exercise, cooed over 16-hour-old baby Max and congratulated his proud mother, who gave birth in hospital during the coronavirus pandemic.

Asking how pregnant women and new parents are coping under Covid-19 rules, she urged them not to fear overburdening the NHS and ask for help when they need it.

In two engagements, both held via video, the Duchess heard how expectant mothers are feeling greater anxiety and nerves about going into hospital, as professionals emphasised that their services are still open.

Addressing concerns that women may fear putting pressure on an NHS which is already trying to cope with coronavirus, Jennifer Tshibamba, a midwife at Kingston Hospital, told her: “We want women to know we’re still here, we’re still open.”

“Parents do need to go out and reach out to those who can support them, particularly those who can provide knowledgeable resources as well,” said the Duchess.

“We’ve heard it from the frontline workers, for those who are struggling, they don’t feel they can reach out because they feel guilty for doing it, which is extraordinary to hear.

“With new mums and parents and families, they don’t want to feel like they’re overburdening but it is so important to reach out and ask for help when you do need it.”

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