My first inspiration, a photograph of my mother at work with her pinnard stethoscope in 1967. The seemingly unhomely clinical environment and masks were routine practices to protect mothers and babies from infection. Several decades later, I followed my mother’s footsteps, training as a Nurse and then a Midwife in 1994.
In my years spent as a Hospital and then a Community Midwife I managed a caseload of women through the childbearing process. Although challenging, almost 200 mums per year! I became an expert in normal labour care and childbirth in all settings- from the home and midwife led environments, to one of the largest obstetric maternity units in the UK.
As my clinical expertise and seniority increased, I became Team Leader and Supervisor of Midwives. As a Supervisor, I was responsible for ensuring high standards of care and safety were maintained by midwives for the women and families in our care.The role included being an advocate for women through one on one counselling sessions. This included birth debriefing and complex care planning to support women in their choice of how and where they wanted to give birth.
In my Team Leader role, I had greater freedom to use my knowledge, skills and expertise to influence the care both myself and my team of midwives delivered to women and their families.
I currently work on a part time basis within the NHS as a Birth Midwife and Professional Midwife Advocate. This means that I can continue to maintain strong professional links alongside having the time and space to work independently as a Midwife Practtioner, offering you my years knowledge and expertise.
I am certified NIPE (New-born and Infant Physical Examination Programme) trained .This means that I am qualified to carry out detailed examinations of new-born babies. I am also a full member of both the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Nursing.
As a former Supervisor of Midwives and now a Professional Midwife Advocate, I am experienced in supporting mothers who are classified as complex and high risk to choose how and where they want to labour and give birth. I have done this very successfully over the years drawing from both my Nursing and Midwifery knowledge through joint care planning with the mother and her obstetrician and specialist midwives.
This has been particularly successful for mothers wanting to birth in their own home or in the midwife led birth centre.
Having worked as a Midwife for many years both on the labour ward and in the local community, I have found that unexpected complications, concerns, fears and worries can be dealt with more smoothly and easily with a planned anticipated approach. This will guarantee a positive experience for you and your baby no matter what route your birth process decides to take. I will ensure that you have control over how your birth is managed. I will help you to be aware of your options and be involved in the decision making, ensuring that you feel empowered through the whole experience.
As your independent Midwife Practitioner, I will be able to give you all the Time and space You need for unhurried relaxed appointments in the comfort and security of your own surroundings.
Research studies demonstrate that for healthy women without medical problems, having an Independent Midwife reduces your chances of having medical or surgical intervention, getting ‘stuck’ in labour , large amounts of pharmacological pain relief and after birth haemorrhage(heavy bleeding). You will also have more success with breastfeeding and be less likely to have postpartum (after birth) depression.
Birth is both an art and a science. I have studied and examined a lot of research exploring the psychological influences on childbirth physiology. The psychological is very much interwoven into the physiological and are both in play throughout labour and birth. Knowing and trusting your midwife from the start, having the freedom and flexibility to discuss and ask questions whenever you need to , knowing how to prepare for the birth and afterwards and be given the time you need to do this are all proven essentials necessary to achieve the best outcome for you and your baby. Having a trusted professional friend, expert in her field providing this level of continuity throughout pregnancy, birth and afterwards is simply not affordable within our current NHS system.
As an Independent Midwife I can support you outside the system at the same time help you access it swiftly and efficiently, should you need to.
I am highly experienced in conducting both home and water birth, including vaginal birth after a previous caesarean.
There is a significant amount of evidence about the effects of the birth experience on the psychological wellbeing of the mother, her baby and her family.
The way birth happens matters. It is not just about having a healthy baby which is obviously important, but much more.
I believe the mother is central to family function. Her wellbeing and psychological health has a huge impact on a child’s development, how she sees herself and how she views her relationship with her partner.
If Mum isn’t right no one’s right...
By listening and helping you to work through your birth story experience, I will be able to help you come to some understanding and help you find ways to look forward to the future.
Childbirth for most healthy women is a normal and natural process. It is personal and relies on emotions, feelings and hormones . You need to feel safe, secure and trust your midwife in order to relax and ‘let go’. This encourages the waves of oxytocin to be released which help you give birth. Contrary to this in our modern technocratic world, we measure pregnancy and birth in absolutes. A linear time frame where we control and contain, disturb, cause distractions, over analyse and worry. This in turn causes fear and tension, making it more difficult for the mother to relax into and move through the birth process.
From helpful well-meaning advisors with their own birth stories, (especially the negatives which are better remembered!) to navigating through torrents of information on social media and the internet, there are numerous choices to make about birth groups and courses, not to mention new mum and baby must have care products, equipment and clothing.
My Active Birth and Early parenting Course is designed to help you to assess and access what is and what is not relevant to your own individual circumstances. The course will also help you to explore your own questions and concerns around childbirth and parenthood so that you can make informed choices about what is best for you.
You and your birth partner includes Dads! will receive interactive and Practical Hands on advice in a small group setting ,a maximum of 6 couples, finding out about the whens, the whats and the whys of child birth and those early parenting days! I do also offer the course to individual couples if this is preferred.
As a mother you should feel proud of what your body is able to do regardless of the level of help you may or may not have needed. This is important because I believe it can be a contributing factor to feelings of disappointment, upset and then low self esteem. This could ultimately affect those first few hours and weeks with your baby and new family.
Your childbirth journey is special and unique to you. It is my sincerest hope that attending my course will help you to feel prepared for your birth and be able to celebrate its uniqueness to you and your baby. The course also includes a post birth get together celebration for afternoon tea.