Charlotte, Inpatient Midwife

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Why did you want to become a midwife?

I have been a midwife for 6 years and for as long as I can remember, I always wanted to become a midwife. Every step I made throughout my education was made with the intention to start a career in midwifery. I feel very lucky to have known my path from a young age as I had researched the career so much whilst growing up. It helped me to decide every element of my pathway which would be perfect for me.

Why did you want to join Team North West Anglia?

North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust is local to where I live and therefore it’s an easy commute. The hospital I work in, Hinchingbrooke, is also a relatively small hospital, so the midwifery team I work with is very close knit; very much like a family.

Tell us about your role?

I am an inpatient midwife rotating between labour ward/MLBU and Lilac ward (postnatal and antenatal ward), therefore my role is very varied. The variety of my role means I provide care for antenatal admissions, induction of labours, antenatal assessments, labour care, and immediate postnatal care until discharged home.

My shift will always start with a meeting to determine the logistics of the upcoming shift, helping us to handover the ward from the previous shift and allocate who we will be caring for. The shift is usually 12.5 hours so depending on the situation, it could consist of solely labour care, assisting mothers to deliver, accompanying families to theatre for a caesarean or for other procedures, immediate postnatal care or varied assessments of women from who could be bleeding or who have reduced movements. The postnatal ward is different in that a bay is allocated which is either postnatal or antenatal care.

What do you love about your role?

I love meeting new people every day from all walks of life, it gives so much variety to the job on top of the variety that midwifery already brings anyway. I love providing care giving my all for the families that I work with, I can really establish an amazing rapport with them. Having a baby is one of the biggest life events- and I am lucky enough to be a small part of that journey.

What do you like most about the Trust?

I enjoy working for North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust and have thoroughly enjoyed my six years working at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. I have always felt supported in my team and I feel able to progress my career and develop.

I have gained so much valuable experience during my time at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, and I’m excited to see what lies are ahead.

How has your role developed over the years, tell us about your midwifery journey?

The first year was a learning curve, I started as a preceptorship midwife band 5 and then gained a band 6 role a year later. That first year was a tough but incredibly rewarding journey and it helped to make me the midwife I am today. I gained experience as an integrated midwife for 1.5 years (community/inpatients) and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I have also become a mentor for students, which I absolutely love.

How has Covid-19 impacted on your role?

My role stays the same- and that is important for women. Whilst I may have PPE and a mask covering my smile, every part of my working partnership with women and their families continues as before.

Our job is to be ‘with women’ so every aspect of our care will involve physical, psychological, and emotional support which we have to adapt to each and every person depending on their needs. PPE aside, we must ensure that women experience the same level of high-quality care and experiences we always strive to provide. 

Visiting has been the biggest change as we are trying to reduce exposure to the virus, which means women can be only be accompanied when in labour up until they are transferred to the postnatal ward. 

We completely sympathise for those women who require a longer hospital stay but we like to think they are never ‘alone’. Whilst social media is a massive saviour and video calls to family members really helps, we encourage women to utilise us as much or as little as they need us. Whether this is a chat, a shoulder to cry on or any physical help that is needed.