Written by Lucy Coe for Doctify

Birth. Its as old as humanity itself but these days there seems to be so much conflicting information on the best way to do it. With the advent of the internet, the sea of clashing opinions can feel daunting to an expecting mother. Which is why sometimes the best person to turn to is a trained professional.

We spoke to Senior Midwife in London, Lucy Coe about what it is Midwives actually do and how one can support you throughout pregnancy, birth and beyond.

What are the specific functions of a Midwife?

Midwives are specialists in normal pregnancy and birth, and their role is to look after pregnant women throughout a phase of antenatal care, during labour and birth, and for up to 28 days after the baby has been born, where we can support you with your postnatal recovery and feeding your baby.

On the Kensington Wing, we offer Midwifery and Consultant Led Care Packages. I lead the Midwifery Led Care team. We are a team of seven Midwives who care for women during scheduled antenatal appointments. As part of the MLC package, you are linked with one of our experienced Consultant Obstetricians, so if there are any deviations from normal antenatally or during labour and birth, we can refer you to them.

You meet all of the team throughout your pregnancy, so you’ll know whose looking after you when you attend in labour. We also provide antenatal classes and waterbirth workshops, so we can teach you everything you need to know to prepare you for this exciting stage of your life.

What training does a Midwife receive?

The usual pathway into Midwifery is a three year degree course at University. This is full time and includes in-depth theory and practical work. Some Midwives train as Nurses prior to Midwifery, then complete an 18 month course to qualify as a Midwife.

The Midwifery Led Care team are all experienced Midwives, who have worked in low and high risk environments. However, one thing that unites us is our passion for promoting normal birth, and we love nothing more than a beautiful waterbirth. Once we qualify, some Midwives opt to continue their development. On the Kensington Wing, we are trained in Hypnobirthing, the use of aromatherapy, massage, and even acupuncture.

Can a Midwife be used instead of a doctor in childbirth?

Absolutely! If you are keen to be supported through natural childbirth, and you are fit and healthy with a straightforward pregnancy, there is no reason why you cannot have a Midwife support you throughout your journey.

Teamwork is paramount on the Kensington Wing. We all work together to ensure that you feel safe and secure with whoever you choose to care for you.

Do Midwives provide support before and after birth, or only during?

There are Midwives available on the Kensington Wing 24/7. We are here to support you at any time- day or night, and we encourage you to contact us if you have any queries, questions or concerns.

Under the Midwifery Led Care package, your regular antenatal appointments expose you to all members of the team, so you get to know us, and will ideally know the Midwife who is caring for you when you go into labour, and looking after you once your baby has been born.

Under the Consultant Led Care pathway, you meet a Midwife for one appointment during your pregnancy, and you will be supported by a Midwife in labour.

The Kensington Wing’s care doesn’t stop when you leave us to go home with your new arrival. We also offer a Private Postnatal Package, facilitated by Midwives who you know. This package includes up to five visits in your home, to help you settle into family life.

At what point in pregnancy is a Harmony Prenatal test performed?

A harmony test can be performed at any point from 10 weeks of pregnancy, as long as you have had your first ultrasound scan. The Kensington Wing also offers an ultrasounds scanning service, if you would prefer to complete everything with us.

Do you have any tips for women who have just given birth?

Relax! You’ll never get those initial precious moments back.  As soon as possible (and if it’s not being done already!) dim the lights, and place your baby skin to skin. Spend as much time as you need getting to know your new family member. Your Midwife will be busying themselves making you your well-deserved toast, and a lovely cup of tea.

What, in your opinion, is the most special and unique aspect to having a Midwife assist with birth?

Under the Midwifery Led Package, I get to meet all our ladies during their pregnancy. It is so rewarding to be able to care for someone who you’ve met before and built a relationship with. We provide one-to-one care in labour, so all my efforts go into supporting you with your birth preferences, offering aromatherapy massages or acupuncture.

 


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