A supportive canine companion, Belle, has played a unique role as a “canine midwife” in assisting an anxious mother during her pregnancy and childbirth.
Amee Tomkin, who relies on Belle as an assistance dog for her autism, anxiety, and panic attacks, received exceptional support from her furry companion throughout her maternity journey. Belle was granted access to the hospital labor unit, making her one of the first dogs in the UK to be allowed in such a setting.
Amy, a 33-year-old resident of Milton Keynes, Bucks, expressed her gratitude for Belle’s presence, stating that the dog was patiently waiting in the hospital room while Amy underwent a cesarean section. To Amy’s delight, Belle was the first to meet her newborn son, Olly.
Recalling the heartwarming moment, Amy said, “As soon as she saw Olly, she gently sniffed him then gave his face a tiny lick to welcome him. Since then, she has never left his side.”
Throughout the pregnancy, Belle exhibited remarkable behavior. She would rest her nose gently on Amy’s bump, as if checking the baby’s heartbeat, and was even allowed to sleep on Amy’s hospital bed, according to The Mirror.
Amy purchased Belle in 2021, feeling an instant connection with the pup. Since then, Belle has been a constant companion, accompanying Amy through fertility treatments, scans, and midwife appointments.
Describing Belle’s extraordinary abilities, Amy shared, “Belle can detect symptoms of a panic attack and helps me find exits in crowded places if she senses my anxiety. She presses buttons on lifts and even holds my debit card against the machine to pay for things.”
The presence of Belle has been instrumental in providing comfort and support to Amy, who admitted that without her loyal canine companion, she would feel too anxious to leave the house, confining herself indoors.
The heartwarming bond between Belle and Amy serves as a testament to the remarkable role that assistance dogs can play in providing emotional support and assistance, demonstrating the profound impact that animals can have on human well-being.