On International Day of the Midwife, we asked our Midwives what it means to them to be a Midwife.  

This is what they said...

Today, midwives across the world including those at NCIC will be celebrating International Day of the Midwife 2022.  The theme for this year is ‘100 Years of progress’.

NCIC is taking the opportunity to reflect on progress in midwifery and to look ahead to future plans. The Trust also wants to thank all the midwives, maternity support workers and student midwives who help to care for women, babies and families across Cumbria. 

Amanda Kennett.JPGAmanda Kennett Associate Director of Midwifery at  NCIC said: “I’m extremely proud of our maternity teams here at NCIC, they are resilient, compassionate and extremely hard working. No one ever forgets their midwife and the difference they made. I want to thank all of our maternity teams, you are incredible today and every day!”   

NCIC is investing in Midwifery with plans to recruit overseas and the very first Midwifery apprenticeships will begin in September 2022. The apprenticeship will offer a new route into the career and is a first for the Trust. 

Midwifery Matron Janet Riley said: “We’re thrilled to be able to offer apprenticeships for the first time, this is a great way to get into midwifery, learning practical skills alongside your academic studies. It opens the door for people who are looking for a different route into the role. We have also expanded the number of student midwife placements we offer to make sure we maximise the number of midwives qualifying in our region. It is an excellent career choice and very rewarding. I can’t imagine doing anything else.” 

The midwives across NCIC all have their own unique journey which led them to becoming a midwife. Some are at the start of their career journey whilst others are nearing the end.

After having two children of her own, Sherrelle Smith knew she wanted to pursue her dream of becoming a midwife. Sherrelle completed a BSC Midwifery course at the University of Cumbria and qualified last September, she now works with the Midwifery Continuity of Carer Team at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

She said: “I have always wanted to be a midwife but after having my own two children I knew it was the career for me. I wanted to be part of a family’s journey from the start of pregnancy right through until baby was born. It is such a special time and I feel it is such a privilege to be with the women.

She said: “I love everything about my job. You can leave the women in the room or at home with their birth partner and new baby knowing you have provided the best care and the women can start a new chapter as a mum.” 

Sammie Kidd was a maternity support worker at the West Cumberland Hospital who has recently started her midwifery training.

Sammie said: “I trained in early years education for four years before deciding that I preferred the pregnancy and birth elements, rather than early years.

“I feel I have benefitted from linking the knowledge I have learnt on the ward in my role as maternity support worker to midwifery skills. Midwifery is challenging but rewarding.”

Christine Longcake 1.pngChristine Longcake followed her dream and became a midwife at the age of 44. She has recently retired from NCIC, aged 59.

She said: “Midwifery to me is about being ‘with women’ in all aspects. My own personal experiences of pregnancy and childbirth varied with each child and I was left with a feeling that if I ever I had the privilege of becoming a midwife; as cliché as this may sound, I would want to make a difference to the women I cared for.

Christine has some advice for anyone thinking of a career in midwifery.

“Go for it! Anything is achievable as long as you want it enough. If you can communicate well, are enthusiastic, kind, caring, compassionate and committed to learning you are 90 per cent there. Good luck to anyone starting on their own unique journey to midwifery, for me, it’s been an honour and a privilege.”

Explore the different roles in midwifery and find out how you can get on your way becoming part of a maternity team.

Interested in joining our maternity teams here in North Cumbria?

Check out the NHS Jobs website for all our latest vacancies.

Chief Nurse, Jill Forster gives a special thank you message to all of the midwives across NCIC.

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