Master's student crowned Winner of a Royal College of Midwives award

Sarah Spencer, an MSc Leadership for the Health Professions student at Swansea University Medical School, has been crowned the WINNER of the Mums’ Midwife of the Year award 2018.

The Emma’s Diary Mums’ Midwife of the Year Award, which is one of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Annual Midwifery Awards, celebrates the pivotal role midwives play in many mums’ lives. Midwife, Sarah Spencer, from the University Hospital of Wales, who is also studying for a Masters in Leadership for the Health Professions at Swansea University Medical School, has been crowned this year's winner.

Sarah Spencer MSc Leadership for the Health Professions student

Sarah was nominated by mum, Elouise King for the incredible support she provided throughout Elouise’s pregnancy. After years of heartache, including seven failed attempts at IVF, Elouise and her husband Paul finally found an amazing friend, Jen, willing to be a surrogate. However, with Elouise and her husband living in Birmingham and Jen and her family living in Barry, Wales, it means that every scan and every midwife appointment was miles away.

Elouise was also understandably anxious about how surrogacy would impact their treatment and the care afforded to their surrogate. She was concerned about whether they would feel like “parents”, be treated like “parents” and how the hospital would accommodate their family.

They needn’t have worried, as their midwife, Sarah, put their minds at ease instantly, spending time with them to understand their relationship, their needs, their fears and their expectations. She kept in touch throughout the pregnancy via email and met them twice prior to delivery, even giving them a tour of the hospital

Elouise told Emma’s Diary:“Sarah worked tirelessly to make sure everyone knew who we were, making treatment and transition between wards seamless. When one of our boys was taken to neo-natal, she made sure we saw him without delay. Sarah arranged for us to have a separate room so that we could spend valuable time alone as a new family.

“She made sure our surrogate was able to recuperate in a different room in the emotional hours after labour, being sensitive to ensure she wasn’t housed on an open maternity ward next to new mums. She also ensured family members did not miss out in visiting us during this special time. Sarah truly is our fairy Godmother ensuring our surrogacy experience was a wonderful one.”

Winning midwife, Sarah shares how she felt upon finding out she had won:

“On hearing I had won this award I was completely overwhelmed. I will always remember the birth of Jude and Joshua and the journey Elouise and Paul had gone through to become parents. I worked closely with them both and their surrogate Jen to ensure that they all had a positive birth experience and the needs of the two families were considered.

“I am sure that when Elouise dreamt of becoming a mum she never envisaged it this way, so that was why it was so important to me that no matter how she became a parent the experience she had would be positive. By receiving this award that she nominated me for, I think that dream was achieved.”

Commenting Mandy Forrester, Head of Quality and Standards at The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said; “This is a really special award to have won. Mums’ Midwife of the Year Award recognises the amazing support that midwives give to women throughout pregnancy, birth and early motherhood. Sarah has delivered exceptional care and support to Elouise the mother that nominated her for this award and she should be very proud of this achievement.

It is inspiring and fantastic to see the care and support Sarah gave to Elouise which meant she had a really positive birth experience.”

First published by Emma's Diary | March, 2018