Midwives of Birmingham

Read our 30 second interviews with our midwives from this year's One Born Every Minute.

Happy International Midwives Day

We recently welcomed back Jamelia for a special reunion with her midwife Shantelle who helped her through her most recent pregnancy. 

Here's a little look of them together - the full video can be found on our You Tube Channel.
 
Jamelia Meets Shantelle

30 Seconds with One Born Every Minute Star, Louise Evans

Louise Evans

Name: Louise Evans

Position: Midwife

Hi Louise, can you tell us a bit about your career so far?
I trained at Russell’s Hall in Dudley where I qualified two and a half years ago. I’ve been at Birmingham Women’s Hospital for six months now and I love it.

Why did you decide to become a midwife?
I like the idea that by being a midwife, I’m looking after women and families who are healthy and excited, ready to start a new chapter of their lives. I feel lucky to be a care professional who helps people with positive and uplifting experiences.  

What inspires you about being a midwife?
How strong women are, often women come in who request epidural straightaway, and then once they’ve given birth they are so proud of themselves for not needing it. All we have to do is believe in ourselves, and each other.  

What do you like most about being a midwife?
Meeting new people every day and hearing their stories. Everyone has a story to tell and some people are just so funny.

How do you feel about yourself, your colleagues and this hospital being part of One Born Every Minute?
It’s cool but weird seeing people you work with on TV. It shows what a fun environment we work in and hopefully inspires others to join the profession.

30 seconds with One Born Every Minute star, Emma Johns

Emma Johns

Name: Emma Johns

Position: Midwife

Hi Emma, can you tell us a bit about your career so far? 
I trained in Worcester and qualified in 2016, I started working at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and then came here when the Maternity Unit closed.    

Why did you decide to become a midwife?
I’ve always loved learning about health, especially women’s health, I find it fascinating. During the birth of my own children, there were a few complications and I wanted to understand them a bit better, and help other women understand them too  – so I trained to be a midwife.

What inspires you about being a midwife?
My team. I just love my team. It’s the first time I’ve been part of a team like this, we all work together and help each other out which is great.

What do you like most about being a midwife?
The families I meet every single day. I always try and include everyone in the birth, whether it’s dad, mum or sister, I try and include everyone and give them a role. It’s a special time for everyone involved, not just mum.

How do you feel about yourself, your colleagues and this hospital being part of One Born Every Minute?
It’s brilliant. Why not showcase how brilliant we are to the entire world? You may have even spotted me in one of the episodes. If not, watch it back on All 4!

30 Seconds with One Born Every Minute star, Beth Phillips

Beth Phillips

Name: Beth Phillips

Position: Midwife

 

Hi Beth, tell us a bit about yourself:
I qualified in July 2017 after training at the University of Worcester. At the moment, I work on rotation where I am exposed to lots of different aspects of midwifery. I actually did my first home birth last week which was exciting!

Why did you decide to become a midwife?
I’ve always been fascinated with ladies with a bump. When I was growing up my step mum always seemed to be pregnant, which I guess is where my fascination came from. My Nan also used to be a Maternity Support Worker so I heard all of her stories too. I then did a placement at Russell’s Hall and just fell in love with it.

What inspires you about being a midwife?
Women! I meet such strong, empowering women every day and I’m fascinated by their strength, their bodies and their stories.

What do you like most about being a midwife?
I feel so privileged to be a midwife, that someone is putting their faith in me at such an important time in their life. My favourite part of the job is delivering babies and assisting with birth.

How do you feel about yourself, your colleagues and this hospital being part of One Born Every Minute?
It’s weird but great to see, we all sat together and watched the first episode – it was so much fun. It justifies how great our team is too. 

30 Seconds with One Born Every Minute star, Emma Flett

Emma Flett

Why do you love being a midwife? What made you decide to become one?

I love being a midwife for many reasons. I’ve always felt it a privilege to be with a family as they go through such a special moment in their lives - you can’t say that about many jobs!  

My interest in midwifery started when I was very young, and I used to love watching programmes about pregnancy and birth. I found the whole process incredible, even at a young age; something my mum reminds me about now. I think she thought I was either going to be a midwife, or have babies very young. 

How would you describe your personal approach when dealing with pregnant mums (and partners and families)?

I think I always try to instil a calming and friendly approach to try and put the mums at ease, as pregnancy and labour can be a scary and nerve-wracking time for lots of mums and families. I’m not a natural ‘flapper’ which helps in midwifery as you have to focus on multiple things at once and remain in control. 

What’s your philosophy of life / of being a midwife? What are the golden rules of the job?

Keep laughing! Many times I’m with mums through labour and we will be chatting and giggling as if we’ve known each other for years - so much so other midwives have knocked on our room after hearing us from up the corridor, no doubt wanting to join the party! I’m sure you’ll see from the series I’m not the shy and retiring type. 

Do you have any particularly memorable or important moments from your job – whether they’re happy, sad or funny – or particular mums or families or situations that will stay with you?

Although I have lots of joyous memories from midwifery, it tends to be sad ones that are more poignant. Thankfully for most women childbirth is a happy and magical time, but sadly not all births have the ending we are hoping for. Stillbirths and miscarriages are something that people don’t often speak about, or don’t know how to approach and I think it’s important to have the difficult conversations and supporting families though their grief, and speaking about their baby. Working at the Women’s Hospital, I have had the chance to work with the most amazing families who have sadly had angel babies. It’s then I feel the true privilege of being a midwife. 

What has the job taught you about people and life?

It’s highlighted how everyone and every pregnancy is different. Throughout my degree, I learnt the theory and academia, whereas in reality women and their bodies don’t always follow the textbooks. It’s so important to never push a woman’s concerns or thoughts aside, because they know their body better than anyone. When a mum tells me her baby is coming, I believe her! 

Tell us about your dog Toby

I could talk about Toby for days but I’ll keep it brief. Toby is a little shihpoo - a Shih Tzu crossed with a poodle - and he’s effectively a little black ball of fluff. I realised my obsession with him was a little over the top when I took him for a professional photo shoot, followed by photos with Santa a weeks later. The poor mums must get so bored of me whipping out photos and talking about him. I’ve even had to correct people a few times when I talk about him and people think I’m talking about a child. I do realise he’s not a baby or a child, but he’s my little fur-baby.

 

30 Seconds with One Born Every Minute star, Shantelle Smith

Shantelle picture in uniform

During this series, we are celebrating the midwives behind the show just like Shantelle who said she had always dreamed of being a midwife.

When she left school, Shantelle trained as a hairdresser and carried out this career until she had her baby daughter. Shantelle said “Having my daughter was definitely the turning point… It did bring a level of maturity and that was what made me feel like I was ready.”

With this feeling of a new level of maturity, Shantelle pursued her dream of becoming a midwife and has never looked back. Shantelle demonstrated incredible care and passion for the job in hand during the One Born Every Minute episode last week, and just like all the midwives we’ve seen, she created a calming, yet determined atmosphere for Gemma as she gave birth to her little girl.

Find out more about our midwives like Shantelle on this series of One Born Every Minute, every Wednesday on Channel 4 at 9pm.

30 Seconds with One Born Every Minute star, Dayna Wright

Dayna Wright

">Watch the full video on You Tube

Name:  Dayna Wright

Position: Midwife

Dayna is seen treating Samantha and Tony during the first episode of One Born Every Minute.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

My parents come from Bedfordshire originally. Straight out of sixth form at 18 years old, I moved to Birmingham to study as a midwife at BCU. I completed my three year placement within Birmingham Women’s Hospital and stayed on after I graduated. Overall I have been with BWH for 6 years.

Why did you decide to become a midwife?

I’ve always wanted to have a career in nursing. I originally wanted to be a nurse but midwifery just stood out to me. Before training, I had romanticised the pregnancy journey and looked at it with rose-tinted glasses – it’s definitely a tougher job than I originally thought it would be, but wholly rewarding.

What inspires you about being a midwife?

It can be challenging but very rewarding. I feel blessed to be a part of a life changing experience for a woman. She will never go through the experience of having her first baby again.

What do you like most about being a midwife?

My heart lies with low-risk births. I currently rotate between Delivery Suite and Birth Centre but eventually I’d like to have a full time role within the Birth Centre. I like being the single point of contact, building trust and relationships with the women I treat. It’s so important to me that I meet them and find out all about their lives.

How long have you worked at Birmingham Women’s Hospital?

Three years as a student and three years fully qualified.

When did you know you wanted to be a midwife?

I’ve never wanted to do anything else.

Experience on One Born Every Minute

I found being on One Born Every Minute quite challenging at first, it was hard to get used to the cameras in the room during that intimate moment, but the team were really empathetic of the situation.

30 Seconds with One Born Every Minute star, Rebecca Reynolds

 

Rebecca Reynolds

Name: Rebecca Reynolds (Becky)

Position: Home Birth Midwife

Hi Becky, firstly can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am 30 years old and have been a midwife for eight years. I have worked all over the world including in New Zealand and London. I have worked across the full scope of midwifery practice including working with vulnerable women and women in high dependency care.

Why did you decide to become a midwife?

I have always been fascinated with pregnant women and the way babies develop in the womb. I thought that it would be the most incredible job to be able to care for women and babies.

What inspires you about being a midwife?

I think it is a real honour and privilege being able to care for women at such a special time their lives and share in their experiences. It is a position of great responsibility but offers great rewards in return.

What do you like most about being a midwife?

I like meeting women at the start of their pregnancy and having continuity throughout their antenatal care and birth. It is wonderful to build relationships with the women and their families.

How long have you worked at Birmingham Women’s Hospital?

Since January 2017

When did you know you wanted to be a midwife?

When I was 16 and did work experience at Birmingham Women’s Hospital and saw my first baby being born.

30 Seconds with One Born Every Minute star, Harriet Fisher

Harriet Fisher

Harriet Fisher is one of our incredible midwives appearing in the current series of One Born Every Minute which was filmed at our hospital last year. Currently airing on Channel 4 on Wednesday’s at 9pm, Harriet shone in the first episode of the series and since then she has gone on to become something of a national treasure. We managed to catch up with Harriet this week and asked her to be the first star of our 'Midwives of Birmingham: 30 seconds with…' series.

Firstly, why did you decide to become a midwife?

I have always wanted to be a midwife. My mum swears I sat on my bed having had a lengthy conversation about growing up and after going through several job possibilities, I apparently decided midwifery was for me.

What inspires you about being a midwife?

  • The strength of women
  • The love of families
  • My amazing, inspiring colleagues.

What’s your favourite thing about being a midwife?

I love working for the NHS. Free at the point of use, looking after everyone, no matter who they are or how much money they have.

How long have you worked at Birmingham Women’s Hospital?

I will have worked here for 10 years in October

How do you feel about being a part of One Born Every Minute?

It was fun. I am now slightly embarrassed and overwhelmed by the love I have received but it’s been a really positive experience.