[C]upcakes, massages and manicures and a live Twitter Q&A are on the menu tomorrow across UHMBT as midwives and midwifery clinical support staff are celebrated on International Midwives Day.
International Midwives Day is promoted by the International Confederation of Midwives and is held every year on 5 May across the world.
This year, the theme is ‘Women and Newborns: The Heart of Midwifery’. Midwives around the world work hard every day to ensure women and newborns receive the quality care that they deserve.
Special ‘market stalls’ will be set out in our restaurants at RLI, FGH and WGH, between 12noon and 3pm with information about UHMBT’s midwifery service, and staff will be on hand to answer any midwifery-related questions.
The catering teams will be providing midwives and midwifery clinical support staff with free cupcakes and they will receive ‘giveaways’ and also have a chance to win a prize on the tombola.
Midwives will also be taking part in a special one-hour Twitter Q&A tomorrow, where local women can ask a midwife any general question they may have. The Twitter Q&A will run between 12noon and 1pm. To ask a UHMBT midwife a question, please tweet your question using the hashtag @UHMBT #DM2016
Anne Wallhouse, Community Midwife Manager at the RLI, said: “I am a Community Midwife Manager and oversee the community team at Lancaster. I also work clinically and participate in the on-call system to support the homebirth service.
“As a Supervisor of Midwives, my aim is to safeguard and enhance the quality of care for the mother and her family – and through advising and supporting women and their families, help them to understand and make decisions regarding their obstetric and maternity care.
“I was lucky enough as student nurse at Kings College Hospital in London, to have the now Emeritus Professor of Midwifery Paul Lewis, as my mentor during my midwifery placement, who strongly influenced and impacted upon my desire and drive to become a midwife and enabled me to fully appreciate the merits of normality, home birthing and the birth centre philosophy and ethos.
“As a midwife, I feel privileged to be able to share women’s experiences throughout their pregnancy continuum and to support women-centred care where every woman is able to make decisions based on her needs.”
Emma Jackson a Midwife at Helme Chase, WGH, said: “I became a midwife because supporting women, and their families to bring a baby into the world, is the biggest privilege and best job I could wish for.
“Working at Helme Chase and in the local community, gives me the opportunity to develop relationships with women; which is very fulfilling. It is especially lovely if you get the opportunity to also look after women during labour. I love being part of a team that continually works towards putting women at the centre of their own care”.
Sarah Anderson, Supervisor of Midwives at Helme Chase, said: “At school I worked as a volunteer at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, which led to me becoming an auxiliary nurse. I was encouraged to train as a nurse, which I did at Charing Cross in London. I enjoyed gynaecology and midwifery so much I decided to train as a midwife. Nearly 30 years later, I am still a midwife and I still love my job!”
Julie Oakes, a community midwife and specialist mental health midwife, at FGH said: “Midwifery is a profession that always interested me. As a child, my aunty was a midwife on the Isle of Mull in Scotland, so I grew up listening to her wonderful stories which really inspired me.
“I decided to become a midwife after witnessing births during my nurse training. The miracle of life was just so amazing; I wanted to be a part of it. As a midwife, I feel honoured to be with families at this special time. When I first qualified, I thought midwifery was all about delivering babies. However, now I know that the most important and enjoyable part of my role is supporting women and their families in any way I can, to enable them to have the most positive pregnancy and childbirth experience.”
The role of midwives was recognised at the Trust’s recent ‘Your Health Heroes’ awards when Amanda Plackett, Matron for Maternity, was presented with the ‘Midwife of the year’ award.
Amanda was named UHMBT’s ‘Midwife of the year’ for being an ‘exceptional leader to the Trust’s community midwifery services’. Amanda received numerous heartfelt nominations from local women and her colleagues, one of which said: “Amanda works tirelessly with local women across our communities and also our staff to improve services. She works hard to meet women’s wishes and needs. She has made changes in rota-provision which means women now have greater opportunities to see less than two or three midwives throughout their pregnancy, but also that at least 85% of our women have a named midwife that they see throughout pregnancy and in the postnatal period.”
Sascha Wells, Deputy Director and Head of Midwifery, UHMBT said: “Midwives at RLI play a crucial role in maternal and child health and the International Day of the Midwife is an important day to share the essential services they provide.
“We must ensure every woman and every newborn child has timely access to the best possible care before, during and after pregnancy and child birth.
“I would like to the opportunity to thank and celebrate, not only our midwives who work at RLI, but all our midwives across Morecambe Bay, across the UK and around the world”
To find out more about UHMBT Midwifery services, please visit: www.uhmb.nhs.uk/our-services/maternity
If you are interested in a career in midwifery, please visit: Lancaster & Morecambe College’s website or UCLAN’s website: http://www.uclan.ac.uk/courses/bsc_hons_midwifery_direct_entry_programme.php