THESE amazing women were born to be heroes.
Meet the incredible midwives who have been nominated for the Who Cares Wins award.
The winner will be honoured in a glittering ceremony in London later this month and aired by Channel 4.
The Covid crisis made their work increasingly difficult, with expectant mothers forced to give birth alone at the height of the pandemic.
Not only did these pioneering midwives have to contend with new restrictions but this terrific trio also found time to help deliver babies on their holidays, usher in innovative new schemes to help mothers with HIV and be a point of comfort for those dealing with child loss.
Here we present the Best Midwife finalists.
IT was a sunshine break that turned into a busman’s holiday for midwife Angela Chamberlain.
Who Cares Wins awards
The Who Cares Wins awards honour those who have helped take care of the nation.
Here are the categories:
- 999 Hero
- Best Charity
- Best Doctor
- Best Midwife
- Best Nurse
- Groundbreaking Pioneer
- Mental Health Hero
- National Lottery Award
- Unsung Hero
- Young Hero
On a plane back from Tenerife with her husband Russell, 43, she heard an announcement over the Tannoy asking if there was anyone medically trained on board.
Angela, 40, said: “I said I am medically trained but if it is diarrhoea and vomiting I don’t want to know as I have got work tomorrow.
“But he replied somebody might be having a miscarriage so I immediately went to offer my services.”
In a toilet cubicle Lauren McLean, 29, had gone into labour.
Angela, from Walsall, said: “Lauren’s mum explained to me that she was 30 weeks pregnant and had been having abdominal pains for a couple of days and now she was leaking fluid and had a lot of pressure down below.
“She had been to see a doctor before flying but he didn’t examine her and I knew I had to examine her.”
With Lauren at the front of the plane, Angela had to get her to the back of the plane to examine her in the cabin crews’ room at the back where they could have some privacy.
She said: “I saw the baby’s head immediately so I knew that she was in full labour and was ready to give birth. The pain was her body telling her she was ready to deliver this baby.”
With three hours before they were due to land, Angela knew they had to land quickly as with such a premature baby as hospital was needed urgently. As the pilot diverted to Faro in Portugal and requested an ambulance, Angela had to tell Lauren not to push.
Thirty minutes later, Lauren was in an ambulance while the midwife explained what was happening to the paramedics.
Angela said: “We were on the ground for 40 minutes and just before we took off Lauren’s sister got a text saying she had delivered a baby boy Oscar and was in neonatal intensive care.
“It was still touch and go because he was so early.”
Data analyst Lauren, from Solihull, who nominated her for the award, said: “There is no doubt that she saved Oscar’s life. He is thriving now but he could easily have died because he was so premature.
“I cannot thank her enough.”
A SPECIALIST infectious diseases midwife has pioneered a new project to offer pregnant women living with HIV free milk vouchers for their children.
Mum-of-two Nicola Johnson, 45, created the scheme at Barts Health NHS Trust in London.
The project will offer women cared for across the Trust’s three sites access to free formula milk through a voucher scheme.
There is a risk of women with HIV passing the condition onto children through breastfeeding.
For Nicola, this makes it all the more important to give mums-to-be living with HIV the option to use formula milk to feed their baby without the burden of extra costs.
Midwife Nicola says: “In my work, I’ve seen the stigma and inequalities directed towards women living with HIV.
“I wanted women I care for to benefit from having access to free formula milk as part of a commitment to end HIV in a generation.
“To have a project that supports a small cohort of vulnerable women was important for me.”
Nicola was born at Whipps Cross Hospital, the hospital where she trained as a midwife and works today.
The mum, who previously worked in retail banking, retrained to become a midwife 16 years ago after having her son Joshua.
Nicola, from South Ockendon in Essex, said it was hard to describe how she felt after being nominated for The Sun’s Best Midwife award.
She added: “I’m honoured to be nominated.
“It’s nice that someone appreciates and recognises what you do, especially on a larger scale.”
Nicola’s line manager Folakemi Oginni, who nominated Nicola for the award, says: “Nicola is a very humble, respectful, reliable, dependable, and caring individual.
“She is a true advocate for her patients, ensuring they receive the maximum possible care. She always goes above and beyond in helping others.”
The project will be rolled out across three London sites in the Barts Health NHS Trust later this year.
Nicola hopes that if successful, it could be extended to other London boroughs and further afield as well.
IT was a tragic moment that no parent should go through.
At 34-weeks into her healthy pregnancy, doctors told Carly Hogson that her unborn baby Poppy had died.
The news shattered marketing executive Carly, 37, and husband Roo, 37 – but they were not left alone with their grief.
Bereavement midwife at Imperial College Hospital, in London, Lauren Hutton, 30, was tasked with helping them come to terms with their tragic loss.
She spent hours talking to the couple to help them deal with their grief.
Carly, who nominated her for the Best Midwife award, said: “Lauren is incredible. She took very good care of us from the minute we found out that Poppy had died to when we left hospital and beyond.
“She was with us for many days immediately afterwards and gave us a lot of support in the months after she was stillborn.”
Lauren, as she does with other parents, offered support over the phone in the months after Poppy’s death.
Lauren, from Stevenage, Herts, said: “I support families after they have had pregnancy loss or the death of a baby. I helped Carly and Roo view Poppy in the mortuary, I wanted to be there with them.
“I took time out to spend as much time as they needed.”
Carly, with the help of Lauren, set up Poppy’s Fund to raise vital money for Imperial Health Trust and the funds were spent on several key items including a life start trolley which can be used to resuscitate premature babies.
Lauren said she helped raise money for the charity.
She said: “Carly and Roo are incredible. After what they went through they wanted to create a legacy for Poppy so they set up the fund and they have raised £100,000 for the hospital.
“My husband works in the music industry so I helped design some T-shirts and hoodies which were produced by a friend’s company. I would sell them from a stall or go around the wards.
“The money has bought vital equipment for the unit.”
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