MaMa conference success
Having just returned from this year’s MaMa conference, I am reflecting on having met so many wonderful, hardworking birth professionals. It is inspiring to see their commitment to supporting women and their partners during the life-changing stages of pregnancy and birth.
I would like to congratulate Sarah Scarlett again on winning the Student Midwife of the Year award, which I presented to her on Saturday evening. In this interview with Sarah below, she explains the value of support networks, what motivates her and how the KGHypnobirthing teacher training course has helped her.
Our presentations were well received and gave midwives practical ways of supporting women in their care. During ‘Hypnobirthing integral to mainstream midwifery care’, I explained how the role of hypnobirthing has changed over the past decade and how women are now proactively asking for it, as well as highlighting how hypnobirthing impacts their pregnancy, birth and post-birth experience. We regularly teach courses in the NHS and hypnobirthing is rapidly being incorporated into more and more NHS hospitals. In ‘Hypnobirthing in your daily practice’, I showed that hypnobirthing exercises can prove the value of the work we in KGH do which will impact on a midwife’s daily work and filter through to the rest of the department. It is good to help midwives keep up-to-date in evidence and research. I know how important it is to support midwives in this way.
Our stand was very busy throughout both days and The Hypnobirthing Book proved very popular. It was fantastic to meet so many people and I am just sorry I didn’t have time to speak to everyone individually. We are already looking forward to attending again next year!
Student Midwife of the Year
Presenting the award of Student Midwife of the Year at the MaMa Conference recently, it struck me that the motivation and excitement of being a practising midwife is just as strong now as it has ever been. Having interviewed Mary Cronk MBE and heard her enthusiasm as she relayed countless stories to me, I couldn’t help thinking that she would love to see the pure joy and vivacity of this year’s winner.
Sarah Scarlett, a student midwife who began her training at the University of the West of Scotland in September 2016, won this year’s award for Student Midwife of the Year. When asked about why she chose to be a midwife, she enthusiastically exclaimed: “Birth is not just about a new life coming into the world, it is also the birth of motherhood, and indeed parenthood. If we can help to create close, loving, secure relationships, I truly believe we can change the world: one mother at a time, one baby at a time, one family at a time.” How inspiring!
Sarah continues: “The privilege of being part of a family’s life at such a special time and the amazing friends I have made, my fellow student midwives, who are always an incredible support.” Brimming with passion for her subject, last summer she undertook an elective placement in Athens for a charitable organisation, Amurtel, who provide maternity care to refugees and asylum seekers. Of the experience, she remarks: “It changed the way I see midwifery and made me realise the importance of fully holistic care and the value of support networks to all pregnant women and new mothers. I was humbled by the incredibly brave and powerful women I met, who in very difficult living conditions were making a better future for their children.”
Of course, being a midwife is also very challenging. Sarah recognises this and credits her network of friends and family in Glasgow and her hometown of Dublin for being there for her after a difficult day or giving her moral support for managing the tricky balancing act between placement, assignments, work and of course maintaining a social life!
In September 2017, Sarah attended a KGHypnobirthing teacher training course, which has helped in her approach to midwifery in many ways, including: “I feel that I’ve been able to bring the calming influence of hypnobirthing into my practice. I often use the KG breathing techniques and imagery with women I am caring for. The importance of language is also something I have brought into my practice. Words are powerful. We must always remember that.” Her feedback on the course is: “I loved the KG Hypnobirthing course! All the information provided is evidence-based and completely relatable to practice. It is a powerful tool for women and their partners.”
And just like Mary Cronk, Sarah sees the most valuable lessons as: “Always listen, always trust women’s instincts, small things can make a big difference, support your colleagues, find your tribe and be kind to yourself.” What better role models do we need? Well done, Sarah!