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WWL Midwives celebrate International Day of the Midwife

Newsdate: 4 May 2018 


As a midwife of almost 44 years, Barbara Pilling from Abram has delivered countless babies throughout her career, even helping some of her colleagues through labour, but it was a surprise to her to find out she had actually been working alongside one baby she delivered 41 years ago.

Community midwife, Barbara, and her colleague, midwife, Ann Fairclough, who both work from Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL), recently discovered that Barbara had delivered Ann while she was working at Billinge hospital in 1977 after Ann saw their names together on the 1977 register.

Ann, from Standish, said: “I first worked with Barbara when I worked for one of the community teams based in Leigh. It was my first ever time working in the community as a qualified midwife and Barbara was always there to give advice and support, some of which I will remember forever.

“It was only when I moved to work on the Delivery Suite at Billinge Hospital that I realised Barbara had helped my mum deliver me.

Ann continued: “The hospital keeps a register of all the deliveries they have every year and it was when I was looking through the 1977 register at my delivery I saw Barbara's name; I knew then that my mum would have been in good hands.

“I have been a midwife for 20 years and have spent my career working for WWL. Throughout those 20 years I have worked with many fantastic midwives - Barbara is one of those.”

The pair, along with the rest of the midwifery and maternity team at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, will celebrate International Day of the Midwife this weekend to highlight the important role midwives play in the health of mothers, children and families.

Barbara said: “I’ve been a midwife for almost 44 years.
Barbara, who is the longest serving midwife in WWL, said: “I started with the Trust in 1967 as a student nurse, qualified in 1971 after having two children, and in 1972 I started back as general nurse. I then earned my midwifery qualification in 1974 and have worked for the trust ever science; first as a hospital midwife and now as a community midwife.

“I only found out I’d delivered Ann recently and I was quite surprise really. I’ve delivered the babies of some of the midwives I’ve worked with but it was surprising to find out I’d delivered one of the midwives! I can’t remember how many babies I’ve delivered – thousands!

“I just love my job, every part of what I’ve done, wherever I worked, I’ve enjoyed working there.”

Barbara continued: “The best thing about being a midwife is having the joy of seeing a new life come in to the world and seeing their parents being so happy.

“The job has changed quite a bit but I would encourage and help anybody who wanted to take up midwifery, it’s a brilliant job.”

As part of the International Day of the Midwife celebrations, midwives and maternity staff at WWL will be providing babies with a certificate to celebrate being born on May 5 and having a tea party on the ward.

They will also be awarding the peer nominated WWL Midwife of the Year, Support Staff of the Year and Student of the Year.