Celebrating international day of the midwife with Berwick midwife Paula Thomas
To celebrate #IDM2018 on 5 May, Paula Thomas, a midwife at Berwick Maternity Unit and in the community, talks about the important role she plays…
I love being a midwife and I feel I hold a privileged position being part of what is the biggest occasion of a woman’s life. After all you can walk away from most things in life – a marriage, a mortgage – however a woman can’t walk away from being a mother.
For me it’s being part of a woman’s whole journey: from when they find out they’re pregnant, which for first-time mums is unchartered waters, to seeing them grow in confidence and become more self-assured, well-informed new parents it’s just so rewarding.
People often think being a midwife is all about delivering babies and while it’s good to be there for that, it is only one moment of one day – pregnancy is nine months! A pregnant woman craves knowledge and is like a sponge, they want to do everything right – it’s an excellent opportunity to make a difference in terms of health education.
At Berwick Maternity Unit, women receive a fully-rounded holistic approach to midwifery. I am able to build strong relationships with women during appointments and even between pregnancies. This begins from the moment the woman finds out she is pregnant right through to the post-natal period at home with her new baby. As part of my role as a community midwife I can support the woman at home and we have the facility for extra support by inviting the woman and her baby into the unit during the day.
Women receive excellent continuity of care in Berwick and there’s strong research to suggest women who know their midwife and are comfortable in their environment are more relaxed, more likely to labour quicker and have fewer interventions.
I have been a midwife for more than 25 years and although working in Berwick is very different to where I started my career in a busy hospital in West Yorkshire, it’s a truly rewarding way to deliver midwifery care.
I think it’s important to mark International Day of the Midwife to promote the integral role we play in women’s lives and encourage more people to become midwives because we need more recruits.
It’s my son’s 21st birthday on the same day so it’s going to be a double celebration in our house.
For more information about maternity services in Berwick, contact 01289 356622 or visit www.northumbria.nhs.uk/maternity