“The pandemic has made things so difficult for pregnant women but we midwives have really felt it too – we want to nurture and support and have missed the face to face connection with mums-to-be.”
Hari Nijar is one of the #RealMidwivesofWalsall who works in the community and supports women who are expecting twins and we are celebrating colleagues like her this International Day of the Midwife.
She explained: “The MBRRACE report into stillbirths and neonatal deaths in twin pregnancies published in January this year highlighted the fact that better care may have resulted in better outcomes for babies. It also found that mums-to-be benefitted from continuity of carer with a midwife and consultant supporting them.
“I used to work at the Birmingham Women’s Hospital and while I was there saw twin to twin transfusion (a rare condition where twins share one placenta) and it really set off an interest in twin pregnancies for me. We haven’t had a midwife focusing on twins previously at Walsall so this is a real opportunity.”
Hari, who is a mother-of-two, is currently supporting 10 mums-to-be expecting twins and typically 40-45 sets of twins are born at Walsall Manor Hospital each year.
“The pandemic has made things so difficult for pregnant women as we have all had to work differently to make things as safe as possible for them. I understand how anxious it has made them and how worried they have been during this time,” she said.
“But we midwives have really felt it too. I became a midwife in the first place because I wanted to nurture and support women at one of the most important times in their lives. We have still been supporting them but it has been over the phone and virtually and I’m sure other midwives feel the same as I do. I’ve really missed the face to face connection with mums-to-be.
“I work closely with Consultant Tigist Mengitsu and Sonographer Jenny Marsden and the one to one support is true to continuity of carer recommendations from the National Better Births Review.”
Hari, who has worked with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust for three-and-a-half years, added: “This one to one support has been shown to bring real benefits to mums and babies both in terms of health and mental wellbeing and I also hope to be able to be the second midwife in the delivery suite with women having twins, wherever possible. I will also continue their postnatal care at home and I think this relationship between women and their midwife, built on trust and compassion, is what makes our role as midwives so rewarding.”