Today (Wednesday 5 May) is International Day of the Midwife an opportunity to say thank you and raise awareness of the vital work of our midwives.
Over the past year, 5831 babies have been born at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, with 515 born in one month alone. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic meant that this year has been more challenging than others however it has been very much business as usual for the maternity team at Newcastle Hospitals.
As we celebrate the work of our midwives on International Day of the Midwife, Derry Hire a midwife at the RVI has been looking back at how this last year has been for staff in the department and how they’ve worked together to care for women, babies and families. She said: “Working throughout the past year has definitely been a personal and professional challenge. At first, I was apprehensive about coming to work because COVID-19 was something we knew very little about, but as we began to learn more, it became more normal to us. Some days I would even forget we were in the middle of a pandemic.
“My job as a midwife was mainly unchanged, there were some new challenges to face but ultimately, babies were still being born as they always have been. We had to learn and adapt quickly to a change in environment. I can imagine this has been difficult for our patients too as midwifery is a very emotional job and it is hard to reassure anyone who is feeling anxious when you cannot see a smile.
“When I look back over the last year I feel really proud. I am proud of my colleagues and myself for our resilience and all of the hard work we have done over the past year, continuing to provide high quality and safe patient care in the midst of a pandemic. I think we have all felt the burden of the pressures that this last year has brought, but we have worked so well as a team, remained positive and supported each other. I am very thankful for my colleagues.
“I love being a midwife and it has always made me proud, but I feel like there is something about the past year that has made it feel more special and important.”
As we begin to move out of the pandemic and restrictions on services begin to ease International Day of the Midwife gives us a chance to reflect, and say thank you to the midwives who have continued to provide outstanding care at the most challenging of times.
Jane Anderson, Associate Director of Midwifery at Newcastle Hospitals said: “Being a midwife places us in a position of great privilege and requires a unique set of skills. We are extremely fortunate to be part of someone’s life when they are at their most vulnerable and experience just about every emotion that a human being is capable of.
“I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of the amazing midwives we have here at Newcastle Hospitals, the challenges we have faced over the last year have been immense and I could not be more proud of the entire team. Thank you to all those midwives I have had the pleasure of calling my colleagues, my work family, my friends.
“I also want to say a big thank you to our women and their families who have been patient, kind and tolerant whilst navigating the changes caused by the pandemic. I’m proud that they have given us the very special opportunity to care for them.”
International Day of the Midwife is celebrated on 5 May each year; it celebrates and recognises the vital role midwives play each and every day.