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Celebrating our midwives on International Day of the Midwife 2020

Community Midwives at Omagh Hospital

Our Maternity Services are celebrating the outstanding commitment of our midwives on International Day of the Midwife today (Tuesday 05 May 2020). This is celebrated each year around the world to pay tribute to the role of midwives who provide dedicated specialist service and skills to woman and babies every day.

Brenda McCabe, Community Midwife Lead for the Southern Sector of the Western Trust explains: “Midwifery is one of the oldest professions that will continue to be needed for all time. Even during the COVID19 Global Pandemic midwifery is still going ahead and our mothers and their babies still require our specialist midwifery expertise.

“Maternity services are in full operation, unlike other aspects of health care that have had to be paused, this demonstrates the importance of midwives who provide antenatal and postnatal care to our mums. We have worked extremely hard since this out break to put in place reasonable provisions to try and provide a safe environment, so we can provide this required care.

“It is important that mothers with their babies are aware of this, so they can feel safe and secure in coming to their necessary appointments and checks. It is unsettled times for all of us. To be a midwife is to ‘be with woman’ so we have kept this ethos at the heart of our contingency planning to provide on going care.”

Brenda has also composed a beautiful poem to highlight the key role midwives play every day in supporting mums. Brenda said: “An ‘Ode from a midwife to a mother’ opens with the message as to why we do what we do and ends with the feedback that mothers have provided to us about their experience.

Paying tribute to our wonderful midwives across the Western Trust area Deirdre Gill, Clinical Risk Midwife and RCM Representative at Altnagelvin Hospital said: “A special thank you to pregnant women, partners, parents, grandparents, friends and families of our babies for being exceptionally patient during this time. We would like to take this opportunity to thank EVERYONE for assisting us in providing a safe and effective service over the last number of weeks.

Deirdre added: “The public message is to ‘Stay at Home’ and we fully endorse this. However, if you have any medical appointment such as a midwife or obstetric appointment please do attend this if you or none of your family have any COVID19 symptoms. Please ring us in advance of this scheduled appointment so we can advise what plan of care is then best for you then.”

If you are concerned about you or the well being of you baby please contact you nearest community or hospital midwife immediately by phone, and they can advise. There is a 24 hour midwife helpline number.

  • For Altnagelvin Hospital please ring T: 028 7161 1412
  • For Tyrone and Fermanagh areas please ring T: 028 6638 2175

Reassuring mums and their partners Deirdre added: “Attending appointments on your own at present is required and necessary to protect us all. We are aware that may seem daunting but the midwives and the team are aware of the disappointment or anxiety. We will be there for you at all these appointments to help support you through this. When it comes to the time of the arrival of your special delivery our maternity teams recognise that it is vitally important for mums to have their birthing partner with them to share in this magical moment. We are delighted to have made this provision possible during this COVID19 Pandemic. We wish all our mums a very safe and special delivery and we will be there to support you every step of the way!”