Midwife is sat on a sofa, holding a baby.

Sarah, from Stockport, gave birth to her fifth child, Arlo, in 2022 and worked with her midwife Eleanor to develop a personalised care and support plan.

Sunday 5th May is annual International Day of the Midwife. A day we recognise, celebrate and show gratitude to midwives all over the world for their service to healthcare.

Midwives across Greater Manchester provide care and support to women and their families while pregnant, throughout labour and during the period after a baby’s birth. They provide clinical examinations, parenting classes and teach new and expectant mothers how to feed, care and bathe their babies.

Midwives also help mothers plan for the birth of their baby by assisting them in creating a personalised care and support plan (PCSP).  A PCSP helps women explore, understand, and make choices on their pregnancy, birth and early parenthood so that their care is centred around their individual needs and circumstances.

Sarah, from Stockport, gave birth to her fifth child, Arlo, in 2022. Sarah, who is autistic, developed her PCSP with her midwife Eleanor to make sure her needs were taken into account.

“I don’t like hospitals as they make me feel very anxious and overwhelmed, which is why my first choice was to give birth at home.

“My midwife came to my house to help me, and my partner, make my personalised care and support plan. We went through it all together and I felt listened to and able to make informed choices about my care. The plan also took into account my other children’s additional needs as my five-year-old son is non-verbal autistic.

“We also put contingency plans in place in case a home birth wasn’t possible. I had a hospital passport which detailed my preferences, such as preferring staff to not wear face masks as I need to see people’s faces and having low level lighting and minimal loud noises due to my sensory needs. Eleanor also arranged for me to have a look around the hospital beforehand.

“Due to pain I was experiencing, I did choose to go to hospital and be induced. Again, I felt supported through this decision and the team at the hospital adhered to my plan and took all my needs into account, explaining everything to me as it was happening.

“I felt in control and listened to throughout the whole process. I can’t thank my midwife, Eleanor, and the rest of my care team for a truly positive experience and the care and compassion that me and my family received.”

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