Special delivery: International Day of the Midwife

Published: Friday 5th May 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Today is International Day of the Midwife. We have a lot to thank midwives for, as without them many of us would not be here.

They work tirelessly at all hours, supporting expecting mothers and families as well as assisting women in labour. It’s a hard job, but one that brings a lot of happiness and emotion.

We spoke with Paris Senior (pictured above), a midwife at Hull Royal Infirmary and Managing Director of Holistic Midwifery.

“Each day is completely different as a midwife. In fact, no ten minutes are the same,” she chuckles. “I’m a rotational midwife, which means that I work on the labour, postnatal and antenatal wards.”

On the labour ward, Paris and her fellow midwives help women through their deliveries. It also acts as an A&E for pregnant ladies experiencing problems that need urgent attention.

Meanwhile, the postnatal ward is full of newborn babies and their families. The midwives will look after the babies and help women adjust to becoming a mother.

The antenatal ward is for women who are experiencing medical conditions or complications. The midwives will also help start labours when needed.

“It’s an absolute joy to be a part of the women’s lives. That’s the best part of the job.”

When she’s not at the hospital, Paris is running her own massage and aromatherapy business: “We offer holistic therapy for pregnant women and new mothers.”

Aromatherapy has been applied in midwifery for many years. Paris uses essential oils to relieve the pain and ailments related to pregnancy.

“I have been interested in aromatherapy in my own life for quite a while. And I’ve always known that it can be very helpful in midwifery,” Paris tells us.

“You’re very limited in what pain relief you can have when you’re pregnant. But with aromatherapy the side effects are positive.”

Paris explains that the essential oils work in a similar way to drugs: “You can apply the oils to your skin, which then enter your body via your hair shaft.”

“You can also inhale them, using a cloth or diffuser. The particles enter your nose, travel to your brain and get transferred to your lungs. The lungs then send them around your body via blood vessels.”

Aromatherapy can ease a lot of pregnancy-related issues, such as back pain, urine infections, high blood pressure and swollen ankles. On top of this, pure, unadulterated essential oils can often reach places where standard drugs cannot.

“I wanted to give women more choice in their pain relief,” Paris adds. “It’s also a great opportunity for the mothers to get a bit of ‘me time’ and relax. Especially if they combine their treatment with massage.”

Aromatherapy benefits pregnant ladies so much that Hull Royal Infirmary is launching its own programme for women in labour in the next couple of months.

If you’d like to get in touch with Paris Senior for a consultation and to see if holistic midwifery is right for you, visit holisticmidwifery.co.uk.

Julie (flowery top)

If you’re interested in training to be a midwife, the University of Hull has several undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Julie Jomeen, Professor of Midwifery at the University of Hull (pictured above), has an international reputation for research into maternity care:

“The University plays a pivotal role in the region’s health. We train many of the region’s doctors, nurses, paramedics and midwives,” she tells us.

“Midwifery is an extremely rewarding career and one which people are passionate about. What could be better than bringing new life into the world? I know that many midwives describe their job as a privilege.”

The University helps its students to gain the skills and advanced knowledge required to become a confident and supportive midwife. This includes the ability to give compassionate care throughout pregnancy and childbirth.

“Midwives on our course, which is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, study in the Faculty of Health Sciences. They are alongside other health and social care providers, from mental health nurses to paramedics.”

“We are committed to making a difference by driving improvements to healthcare in the region and in the UK as a whole.”

“We conduct high-calibre research into pregnancy and maternal wellbeing. It is this kind of research that will be at the heart of a new £28million health campus at the University.”

The new Allam Medical Building will provide specialised training in real-life settings, including a mock hospital ward, operating theatre and intensive care nursing facilities.


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Published: Friday 5th May 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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