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Midwives at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will join together this Friday to celebrate an event at the city’s Royal Infirmary (BRI) which recognises the vital role they play in improving maternal and child health.

International Day of the Midwife, which takes place annually on May 5, is the internationally recognised day for highlighting the work of midwives here in the UK and across the world.

Head of Midwifery at the Foundation Trust, which runs the BRI and St Luke’s Hospital, Sara Keogh, said: “International Day of the Midwife is a great opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work our midwifery team do in providing a quality and safe experience for women and their families throughout pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period.

“Midwives, maternity support workers and student midwives work tirelessly every day to ensure women, their babies and families get the best quality care they deserve, often in demanding circumstances.

“This professional attention by the team contributes to having healthy families across Bradford, so I’m delighted we are recognising the invaluable contribution that our staff make.”

Raising awareness

This year’s theme is Midwives, Mother and Families and Bradford’s midwives will be raising awareness of Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) by hosting a mums’ and babies’ music session.

Specialist Midwife (Parent Education) and Supervisor of Midwives, Becky Palethorpe, explained: “Action on Postpartum Psychosis is a national charity supporting women and families affected by the mental illness, postpartum psychosis (PP).

“PP is a severe mental illness which begins suddenly following childbirth. Symptoms include hallucinations and delusions, often with mania, depression or confusion.

“More than 1,400 women experience PP each year in the UK – that’s one to two mothers in every 1,000 mothers. An episode of PP can be very frightening for women and their families. Most women go on to make a full recovery, however the journey to full recovery can be long and difficult.”

Midwives will also be holding a ‘guess the name of the bunny’ competition to raise funds for APP which is a registered charity hosted by the University of Birmingham, as well as participating in a bake-off and tea party with new mums.

The BRI’s maternity service provides antenatal and postnatal care to around 6,000 women every year.

Women have their babies in either the midwife-led Bradford Birth Centre, consultant-led Labour Ward or in the comfort of their own home.

Excellent work

Chief Nurse, Karen Dawber, added: “Recognising International Day of the Midwife is a great way to thank our midwifery and maternity staff for all the excellent work they do.

“For staff to choose to celebrate the day by working with families and raising awareness of postpartum psychosis is an example of the dedicated work that our staff do.”

The first International Day of the Midwife was launched by the Royal College of Midwives in May 1991.

For more information on APP go to http://www.app-network.org/