Welsh midwife named Mums’ Midwife of the Year at RCM Annual Midwifery Awards
In 2013 Elouise fell pregnant naturally but following an early miscarriage, she underwent a D&C procedure which sadly resulted in her suffering Asherman Syndrome (scarring of the cervix and uterus). After years of heartache, including seven failed attempts at IVF, Elouise and her husband Paul finally found an amazing friend, Jen, willing to be a surrogate. Thankfully Jen fell pregnant and went on to deliver beautiful twin boys, Jude and Joshua in June 2017.
With Elouise and Paul living in Birmingham and Jen and her family living in Barry, Wales, it meant every scan, every midwife appointment and every visit to fetal medicine was miles away, reinforcing the physical separation and administrative hurdles to overcome. Elouise was also understandably anxious about how surrogacy would impact their treatment and the care afforded to their surrogate. Whether they would feel like “parents”, be treated like “parents” and how the hospital would accommodate their family. They needn’t have worried, as their midwife, Sarah, put their minds at ease instantly, spending time with them to understand their relationship, their needs, their fears and their expectations. She kept in touch for months via email and met them twice prior to delivery, even giving them a tour of the hospital.
Elouise, who nominated Sarah for the award, explains: “Sarah worked tirelessly to make sure everyone knew who we were, making treatment and transition between wards seamless. When one of our boys was taken to neo-natal, she made sure we saw him without delay. Sarah arranged for us to have a separate room so that we could spend valuable time alone as a new family. She made sure our surrogate was able to recuperate in a different room in the emotional hours after labour, being sensitive to ensure she wasn’t housed on an open maternity ward next to new mums. She also ensured family members did not miss out in visiting us during this special time. Sarah truly is our fairy Godmother ensuring our surrogacy experience was a wonderful one.”
On winning the award Sarah, who is a senior midwifery manager and works for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, adds: “On hearing I had won this award I was completely overwhelmed. I will always remember the birth of Jude and Joshua and the journey Elouise and Paul had gone through to become parents. I worked closely with both and their surrogate Jen to ensure that they all had a positive birth experience and the needs of two families were considered. I am sure that when Elouise dreamt of becoming a mum she never envisaged it this way, so that was why it was so important to me that no matter how she became a parent the experience she had would be positive. By receiving this award that she nominated me for, I think that dream was achieved.”
Midwives play such a pivotal role in so many mums’ lives and the Emma’s Diary Mums’ Midwife of the Year Award enables them to pay a heartfelt tribute to their own special midwife whose kindness and support truly surpassed what was expected of them.
Emma’s Diary, the UK’s support resource for mums to be and new parents, received a record 751 nominations from mums across the UK. All entries were put through a meticulous judging process by a panel of representatives from both Emma’s Diary and the RCM, culminating in seven regional winners.
Commenting Mandy Forrester, Head of Quality and Standards at The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said; “This is a really special award to have won. Mums’ Midwife of the Year Award recognises the amazing support that midwives give to women throughout pregnancy, birth and early motherhood. Sarah has delivered exceptional care and support to the mother that nominated her for this award and she should be very proud of this achievement.
“To read testimonies from mothers who have recognised that their midwife has provided safe, high quality, woman centred care is truly inspiring and certainly something as midwives we can all learn from.”
Sunil Singh, Emma’s Diary’s healthcare director, comments: “This will be our third year sponsoring the award and each year we get blown away by stories of exceptional compassion and dedication shown by hundreds of wonderful midwives across the UK. Each nomination conveys a level of care and support that makes such a huge difference to a mum and their family’s life. It is a truly humbling experience and we are delighted for Sarah, who is so deserving of this extra recognition.”
To contact the RCM Media Relations team call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].
Notes to Editors:
The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.
Emma’s Diary Mums’ Midwife of the Year Award – the judging process
Nominations were triple reviewed and a strict scoring system was applied to whittle down the entries to a shortlist of 6-8 per region, before the overall regional winner was announced. Attributes including aiding the strengthening of the bond between mother and baby, support for their emotional care and best practice in helping the mother feel involved and in control were all carefully assessed. In total seven regional winners were awarded from the regions London, South, Midlands & East England, North of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Emma’s Diary is the UK’s essential support resource for mums to be and new parents. The site provides best practice support and advice on pregnancy and early post-natal information, via responsible and reliable content that is verified by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RGCP) and supported by the RCM.
Emma’s Diary supports every stage of the journey towards parenthood and beyond by making useful recommendations that match the ongoing needs of all new mums, helping to make the experience of motherhood a positive and reassuring one while offering peace of mind that any information given is clinically verified.
Users of Emma’s Diary will also benefit from great offers, discounts and free gift packs full of relevant samples to support their pregnancy and post-natal journey.