“Being a midwife is one of the oldest and most important professions in the world. Let’s remember that and be proud of it.”

Sheena Byrom qualified as a midwife in 1978 at Burnley General Hospital. Her knowledge, love and passion for midwifery awarded her an OBE and produced a best-selling book ‘Catching Babies’. She continues to share educate and inspire midwives everywhere alongside her midwife daughter Anna – and including her goddaughter Jessica Acker, Burnley Birth Centre Manager and Team Leader at Lancashire’s Women’s and Newborn Centre.

She said:

The best thing about being a midwife is the privileged position you’re in to serve women and families through one of the most important times of their lives. That meant the world to me. And although I don’t essentially ‘catch babies’ anymore I still support midwives through presenting, writing, podcasting and facilitating talks, workshops. and podcasts.

I worked in Burnley and Blackburn all my NHS career which included nine years at Bramley Meade, a maternity home in Whalley. That was a catalytic time for me as it taught me to be a midwife in the deepest sense of the word. I was one of the UK's first consultant midwives and I ended my career as the Head of Midwifery before taking early retirement in 2010. Midwifery is now a family affair!

Sheena ByromI’ve been friends with Jess’s mum Freda since we were 17. It was already an honour being Jess’s godmother so when she told me she wanted to be a midwife I was delighted! I can’t remember now where I was when Jess broke the news, but I knew she had been harbouring the desire for a long time.

Jess trained at ELHT and qualified as a midwife in 2009. It was so special seeing her in her uniform and following in her ‘Aunty Sheena’s’ footsteps.

Jess said that the stories I used to share with her inspired her to become a midwife. But Jess has done everything herself to reach her goal – all credit goes to her!

I’m incredibly proud of her. She has achieved so much and is a well-respected midwife loved by all who meet her.

ELHT is a shining light in maternity care. It’s up there as one of the top places in the county to have a baby.

Being a midwife is who we are – it’s more than just a job. So what’s wonderful now is being able to share stories with Anna, Jess and Aimee of our mutual experience. It’s the best!

If you want to hear more of this visit ELHT audio on your podcast platform https://buff.ly/3AVJ8CD