Oh baby! Karen wins regional midwife of year

Mum Zena Barclay, midwife Karen Swan and baby Holly. EMN-150217-114446001
Mum Zena Barclay, midwife Karen Swan and baby Holly. EMN-150217-114446001

A Sleaford community midwife has won a prestigious regional award, having been nominated by one of her patients.

Nominated by proud new mum Zena Barclayof Heckington, Karen Swan has been named Johnson’s Baby Mums’ Midwife of the Year 2015 for the South and Midlands region, part of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Midwifery Awards.

Mrs Swan and the other five regional winners will attend the RCM Annual Awards ceremony at top London venue, The Brewery on March 3, to collect their awards from Professor Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of The RCM.

The event will be compered by TV newsreader, presenter and mum, Kate Silverton, when the overall national winner will also be announced.

Mrs Swan is said to have gone that extra mile before and after the birth of Zena’s daughter Holly in December 2013 at Boston Pilgrim Hospital. Complications following Zena’s previous pregnancies meant that she was very nervous and Karen carefully provided the support that Zena needed during her pregnancy and into motherhood.

When Zena experienced breast feeding difficulties, Karen was quick to diagnose tongue tie. This was a very emotional time for Zena, Karen recognised her distress and worked hard to research a way to help Zena establish breast feeding. She also supported her with regular visits, which Zena began to view as a lifeline and inspiration to keep trying.

Midwife Karen commented: “I’m absolutely delighted. It was a real pleasure spending time with Zena and given the concerns from her past experiences it was really important to me to ensure that she had the necessary support and reassurance, providing a special and positive start to life with her new baby Holly.

“I am passionate about midwifery and consider the job we do as midwives to be a real privilege. To have a nomination from a mum and to receive this award is very special. It really is the ‘icing on the cake’.”

Zena explained: “To say that she went above and beyond the call of duty is an understatement.

“Her humour, professionalism, knowledge and skill are everything that a woman could ask for from her midwife.”

Zena said: ”I am delighted that Karen has received this award. Her support to me during my pregnancies and following the births of my three children was reassuring and honest. As a teacher at The William Alvey School, Sleaford I have heard many stories about Karen’s kindness, professionalism and willingness to go that extra mile. I may have made the nomination but it is a reflection of the feelings of many women in our community.”

The Johnson’s Baby Mums’ Midwife of the Year Award recognises midwives from across the UK who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to demonstrate excellence in their field.

During 2014, nominations were sent in from mums across the country, who felt their midwives deserved that extra bit of recognition.

The entries were judged by a panel of senior RCM midwives and representatives from Johnson & Johnson, who looked at best clinical practice, emotional support for mum and strengthening 
the bond between mum and baby.

Louise Silverton, Director for Midwifery at The RCM says: “Not only do these a
wards allow mothers to thank their midwives for their exceptional work, but it also enables them to pay tribute to the fantastic job they do every single day.

“With the UK birth rate remaining historically high and with births becoming increasingly complicated, the midwives’ role is more important than ever before.”