Your pregnancy, your midwife, your choice


Life and news from one to One Midwives

25 Sep

Initial Contact: A Midwife's Story

A woman is at home with her partner and as her period is late, she takes a pregnancy test and realises that her that her life is about to change forever. She is going to be a mummy. She evaluates her options regarding care and decides to contact One to One Midwives as the service they offer sounds amazing. She carefully fills in the referral form which gets sent to a member of staff who will allocate her a midwife.

This is where I come in….

Via email, I get informed that I have a referral requiring contact. I eagerly open the referral. Sometimes there is loads of information to read, a traumatic obstetric history, a new relationship or a first time mummy getting to grips with all the new terminology that comes with pregnancy. Sometimes I only know her name, address and telephone number. It doesn’t matter either way. I am excited to contact this new family so I can start getting to know them.

Nervously, I try the number I have been given. I am wondering, will we get along? Does she have other children and will they like me? Who knows about the pregnancy? Have they told the new grandparents yet or are they waiting until the dating scan? I wait as the phone rings….

…and wait

…and wait

Then the answer machine kicks in. I don’t leave a message as I don’t know who knows about this new baby yet. I’ll try again later. A few hours later, I try again and get the answer machine. Again a few hours later, I try again. I think ‘maybe she thinks I am a PPI company and she is ignoring me’. But this time she answers…

I introduce myself, congratulate her on her wonderful news and explain about the service we offer. That I will be her named midwife. That I am on call for her 24/7 unless I am taking a protected day, in which case if she calls my number, she will reach my buddy who will be happy to talk to her. I tell her that I will provide her total care throughout the antenatal and postnatal period. I also remind her that if she decides that we don’t gel (for whatever reason) then she can contact One to One who will happily reallocate her a different midwife. We chat for a further 20 minutes. I am a bit of chatter box but find that this first contact is so vitally important in establishing the relationship that will grow as the pregnancy grows. We end the call having arranged a booking appointment with her and her partner in her home. I book her in my diary and look forward to sharing this new exciting journey with her and her family.

Post by Catherine Baddeley, One to One Midwife

26 Jun

Pets and New Borns

I love it when I knock on a door for the first time and can hear a snuffle, a scuffle or a wuff on the other side. I just know we'll get on (me and the dog, that is . . . I may have to exchange a few word with the human before I come to the same conclusion!)

As any of my pet-owning families will tell you, I always have to greet the dog/cat/rabbit/gecko before I say hello to Mum or Baby, partly because I'm animal crackers, but also because I know that it's important that a dog really needs to feel at ease with any strange and new "goings on" in its environment. I've been asked many times how baby and dog should be introduced and even, sadly, whether the dog should go to make way for the baby :-(

A dog is often the first "child" a young couple will have - ours was - and it's something that does need thinking about quite seriously.

The Dogs Trust has some very good advice at

Tell us about your experience of introducing baby and dog. Do you have any advice to offer?

Now have a laugh at this photo of me with our firstborn and our lovely Border Collie/Springer Spaniel cross, Sheba . . . What year do you think was this taken? (Check out the frames!)

Post by Rebecca Last: One to One Midwife

20 May

Once upon a time....

Once upon a time, in a small market town somewhere in England, there was a large restaurant - one of a famous chain of eating places, which did very well catering for people who liked the predictability of 'table d'hote' when they went out for their Sunday lunch and regularly booked a table there.

For the most part, their customers very much enjoyed their meals and, even when the food didn't quite come up to scratch, they still came back because it was really the only eating place in the area.

One day, in a premises just a few yards down the street, there opened a much smaller restaurant, offering 'a la carte' with local, organic produce, vegetarian and even vegan dishes at prices which differed not one jot from the those at the well known chain.

The manager of the large restaurant called a meeting of his staff and said, " If this new place takes off, we're all going to be out of a job. How dare these new folk set up shop right next door and try and poach all our customers! Make sure you all make a particular effort to be nice to all the people who eat here and let's do all we can to keep it business as usual".

Some of the staff became quite anxious at his words and, when they passed the staff of the new place in the street they refused to speak to them. Soon, from somewhere, rumours began to circulate about rats in the kitchen and chefs who weren't properly trained; however, when environmental health inspectors visited they awarded a five star rating.

So that was all right.

The new place slowly gained customers who appreciated the wide choice on the menu and enjoyed a smaller and more intimate venue. Some of the old place's regular customers gave it a try and liked it whilst others preferred to stay with the tried and trusted menu. Some ate their meal at the new place but adjourned to the old place afterwards because it was licenced and they fancied a drink. Bar takings actually went up.

So that was all right.

After a while, the new place had to take on more staff and a couple of the waiters who used to work at the old place decided that the ambiance of the new one really appealed to them so applied for the posts. Conversly, some who had moved to the area with the new enterprise decided that they would feel happier with the stability of a nationwide chain and applied for jobs there.

So that was all right.


26 Mar

Why I love being a One to One Midwife...... By Michelle Ryan

I love so many different aspects of being a One to One Midwife, but I particularly love the relationships I build with so many amazing women and families. 

In 2002, I decided I needed a change from my career as a holistic therapist, and so began my path in midwifery and started my degree in midwifery practice. I had hopes to use my skills in holistic therapies to support women in labour. However, soon into my training, I discovered how medicalised midwifery actually was, and I was disheartened by the profession. 

In 2006, I graduated from Chester University, and started working as a newly qualified midwife within a hospital maternity ward. I was never truly satisfied in my role as a hospital midwife. I would rarely see the same woman for more than the one shift, so I never experienced true continuity of care. I recall many times driving home from my busy shift feeling so sad, frustrated and annoyed that I was restricted from providing the midwifery care that I had hoped, and of course, the care that women deserved due to time restraints, staffing levels and caring for so many women at one given time. 

In early 2011, I was at my lowest ebb in my career, so I decided I had to change my job as it was effecting my health.  I discovered One to One Midwives. I applied for a post and started working as a case loading midwife in June that year. I was delighted with my new post, and I knew instantly that I had made the best decision in my midwifery career and eventually discovered the passion I had longed for in midwifery.

Reflecting on my first year at One to One, there was so much I needed to learn to adapt to my new role out within the community.  I hadn't realised just how medicalised my approach to pregnancy and birth was when I first started. However, I soon adapted to the philosophy of One to One midwives- ‘promoting pregnancy and birth as a normal physiological process’, providing ‘women centred care’, and providing ‘individualised care’ to all women and their families.

I have been working at One to One Midwives for 20 months now, and I have cared for, and met so many special women and families. Having the time to provide quality care in the comfort of women's own home is undoubtedly a huge influence in building so many strong relationships with women.

The majority of the women in today’s life, tend to fear birth and these negative emotions towards labour and birth can effect on the whole birthing process. However, as a One to One Midwife, I can offer my time to sit down and provide them with the time that they need to be fully informed about labour, and encourage them to talk about any anxieties and fears so they can overcome them. I have found that this really helps prepare women and their birthing partners for labour, and becoming new parents which is a very rewarding way to practice. 

One of my favourite ways of being as supportive community midwife, is attending the weekly Aqua Natal session at the Concourse in West Kirby and the coffee morning meet-up at Toast afterwards.

I took these lovely pictures at one of our meet-ups in February at Toast one Monday. These pictures have given me a lovely memory of a special morning catching up with so many lovely mums that I had met during their pregnancy and had cared for over the past 20 months. It was this meet up that inspired me to reflect on my role as a One to One midwife and realise just how amazing my job actually is. You see, midwifery to me is no longer a job…it’s a passion.  It is a role that I cherish. I truly care for the woman I care for and I have made some wonderful friends.

The easiest and best part of my job is building the most amazing relationships with my women and their families. I could easily sit and name each and every woman and her baby that I have cared for since working at One to One. However, the hardest part of my job is when I have to hug them goodbye at their final appointment with me (usually 6 weeks). It is so much easier when I know that they will have more babies and assure me that I will be seeing them soon…that doesn’t seem like ‘goodbye’ but rather ‘see you soon’. I do much better with those.

I often think about each and every women I have cared for over the past 20 months, wondering how they are getting on, if they are happy, and how big their babies are now, and if when I cared for them- did I make a difference? Therefore, having the opportunity to meet-up at Toast is a lovely way of seeing some of the women I have previously cared for. I can see how they are embracing their new role as a mum, seeing how amazing they are doing with breastfeeding their babies a year old despite remembering the struggles they went through in the first few weeks, and getting the chance to cuddle with their babies once more and seeing how much they have grown!!

So as you can see….. It is impossible not to think about my job and my women every single day, even when I am on holiday. I have children of my own and I have honestly thought about whether I should change my job for something that I don’t take home with me. But this will never ever happen because… every time I see how my position impacts on the lives of my women I feel truly blessed, and every time one of my women looks at me with tears in her eyes and says, “Thank you!”  I say to myself, “How can I not love this job….”

17 Feb

My Journey to Midwifery by Sue Collinson

This is me!!! I was about three years old and already had my career mapped out!  Unlike many midwives, I never had a ‘thunderbolt’ moment when I suddenly thought ‘Hey, I want to be a midwife!!!’.... Midwifery has always been in me – an innate part of me and I never once contemplated any another career choice.  It sounds corny but, to me, midwifery was a calling and is just part of who I am and where I am going.  So, with this in mind, I left school and started secretarial college!!! Go figure!! At 16 years old all I wanted was to earn my own money and I could earn a whole £27.00 a week doing a Youth Training Scheme! However, it didn’t last for long. I hated it and yearned to do something more meaningful with my life.  I thought I’d messed up by not going down the nursing route (there was no direct midwifery entrants back then) so did the next best thing.  I changed training schemes and did a City and Guilds in Health and Social Care and it was amazing! I worked in nurseries and schools and with a child minder. Eventually, after 18 months and a whopping wage increase to £35.00 in my second year, I secured employment in a nursery.   I was in heaven! I loved working with children and was truly happy – for a while.  In my heart of hearts I knew midwifery was waiting for me but I didn’t know how, or whether I could do it.

My midwifery dreams were put on hold for a couple of years whilst I was busy being a mum.  First to come along was Rachael weighing 8lb 9oz followed by Christopher three years later weighing 9lb 2oz.  There was an older student midwife who delivered my son and the yearning of becoming a midwife stirred once again.  I bombarded the poor woman with questions about her age, what qualifications she needed, where she was studying and more importantly, how could I become a midwife……

Christopher was 4 years old when I decided to get the qualifications pertinent to midwifery.  I studied part time during the day and worked as a barmaid of an evening – increasing my social skills and earning money along the way!  I then discovered that universities favoured students who had studied on an Access to Health course so I applied for that and was fortunate to be accepted.

One of my tutors was a midwife and she fuelled my passion to become a midwife on a daily basis. I was like a sponge soaking up all of her midwifery stories and experiences.  It was exhilarating and actually WANTED to go to college to learn!!  She told us on numerous occasions that midwifery was a very competitive profession and that rejection is high simply due to the high caliber of applicants and sheer number of midwifery candidates.  This didn’t deter me one little bit.  If anything, it made me more determined and I began to look for ways to stand out from the crowd – so I joined the nurse bank at the local acute trust.

This was NOT what I wanted to do!  I emptied commodes, cleaned commodes, made beds, handed out lunches, fed patients who wouldn’t do it themselves, assisted patients to the bathroom, bathed patients, and basically fetched and carried for the overworked nurses on the ward.  By golly it was HARD! But, once again, it made me determined to gain precious experience of working in a hospital setting and gave me a better chance of being accepted onto my midwifery course......and accepted I was!!!

I remember my interview as though it was yesterday and I was an absolute bag of nerves! However, the other applicants were ALSO a bag of nerves so I didn’t feel quite so bad!  Waiting for the acceptance/rejection letter was torture but it was soooo worth it when the letter started with ‘we are pleased to inform you that your recent application to study midwifery has been accepted’. The memory is etched in my mind and will stay with me forever!

The feeling of elation was short lived when I discovered I was pregnant again.  Don’t get me wrong, I was absolutely thrilled beyond words to discover I was expecting again and even more overjoyed when I discovered that there was not one but two babies  but bitterly disappointed that, for me, my aspirations of becoming a midwife were put on hold for another year..... This, of course, left my mind when my beautiful baby boys were born. First Harry weighing 6lb 12oz and then Elliot weighing in at a dainty 5lb 13 ½ oz.

Not to be deterred, I reapplied for midwifery when the boys were 9 months old and, to my absolute delight, I was once again accepted. 

Being a student midwife was wonderful, scary, exhilarating, exhausting, inspirational, frustrating and sheer hard work requiring every ounce of endurance I could muster. As time wore on, I realised that I “felt” more and more like a real midwife – still so much to learn and experience, but something had changed inside me. From just being interested in birth I wanted to know everything about everything to do with pregnancy, birth, and early motherhood and I had opinions on all the whys and wherefores (and still do).  Looking back, I’m still not sure how I survived those three years as a student midwife!  Juggling a house, a husband, shift work, assignments and four children was HARD but I was so proud of myself for achieving my dream and I finished university with a first class degree with honours – and honoured I truly was.

I qualified in the September and started work at the local acute trust in the October.  It was amazing and I loved every second of it!  As I neared the end of my six month temporary position I was extremely fortunate to secure employment in one of the largest maternity units in the UK and stayed there for 18 months gaining invaluable experience working as a rotational midwife on the antenatal ward, postnatal ward, labour ward, midwifery led unit and was even fortunate to work a stint on community.  It was whilst I was on community that I saw the benefits of continuity of care and the effects it had on the women I looked after and I wanted more!!! Unfortunately, my little stint on community was only temporary for 6 months and I was due to go back to being a rotational midwife in the main hospital.  I did NOT want to do this as at all so I enquired to One to One Midwives to see when they were recruiting as I knew they were based in the heart of the community and I knew this is where I wanted to be.

I have been working for One to One since November 2011 and feel that I have found my niche in midwifery.  It has been challenging at times and it has certainly stretched my midwifery knowledge to the max but it has been such a privilege to be a primary caregiver and I gain so much satisfaction from truly getting to know the women in my care throughout their pregnancy and beyond.  I have built up so many special bonds with not only the women but their families too and I’m not ashamed to say that I have shed a tear on numerous occasions when discharging my women! 

My passion for birth and pregnancy is constantly growing and I’m not sure it will ever stop! As long as there is more to be learned I will continue to grow and offer my services as a One to One midwife to the women of the Wirral and I look forward to meeting you on your journey.......

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