THREE midwives from Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust have come together this International Day of the Midwife (May 5) to give an insight into their careers and how they have ‘delivered’ in their roles during the pandemic.
The midwives from Basildon, Southend and Broomfield hospitals spoke about their route into the profession and why they continue to love it so much.
Annie Johnson, Southend Hospital
Annie Johnson, from Rayleigh, has been a midwife at Southend Hospital for the last four years and it was a role she was drawn to when she had a placement on the delivery suite as part of her nursing degree course.
The senior midwife said: “I really enjoy being a midwife, it is a really positive role and I just enjoy caring for people.”
That caring role has been more prominent than ever this last year, as Annie explained. “Having a baby can be an anxious time, but pregnant women have been more anxious during the pandemic, so we’ve had even more responsibility to reassure them and have more support mechanisms in place for them.
“Women have still been having babies during lockdown, so we’ve felt really privileged to be a part of people’s special moments at what has been such a challenging time for everyone. It’s been lovely to recognise and celebrate the joyous moments over the last year or so.”
Carinna Griffiths, Basildon Hospital
Carinna, who lives in Chelmsford, is passionate about midwifery care. She said: “I love my job because every day brings something new and we have the privilege of being with women and their families at some of the best and worst times of their lives.”
She qualified as a midwife in 2016, has worked at Basildon Hospital ever since, and was promoted to midwifery sister in 2020. Carinna said: “We have an amazing team. All of our team from top to bottom are kind, wonderful people who always care for one another and the women in our care.
“What I love about midwifery is how diverse it is. No two days are the same. Midwifery may be becoming more complex as our population of childbearing women change, but fundamentally birth is still birth.”
This past year may have been challenging – an already anxious time for women and their families made worse by shielding and attending appointments alone – but midwives were always there for the women in their care, to lend a listening ear or a comforting word. Carinna said: “During the pandemic, the support from the public has been overwhelming and made me feel so very proud to work for our wonderful NHS.”
Roslyn Bullen-Bell, Broomfield Hospital
Roslyn moved to Essex in 1991 from Scotland and trained at St John’s Hospital, Chelmsford. Apart from a period as a consultant midwife at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, she has worked for most of the last 25 years as a midwife in Chelmsford, and now leads the department as head of midwifery and gynaecology.
Roslyn said: “It’s such an honour to hold the role. I love my job as I can make improvements to the service which involve all our staff, and I can ensure that they all feel valued and supported – from top to bottom.
“Working in the profession during the COVID-19 pandemic has made me realise what a great team we have here. They are all so supportive of each other, the women we care for, and our families at home. To this day I feel privileged to be a midwife, as we make a difference to women’s lives during such a special time for them.”