Student midwives rewarded after nomination from grateful mum

Two Swansea University midwifery students who set up their own pregnancy support group have been honoured for their dedication to mums-to-be.

Holly Morse and Melissa Traynor established the Baby & Me group to help reduce social isolation for new mothers and offer a safe and supportive environment for parents to meet and share early parenting experiences.

The pair have just received a Patient Choice Award from ABMU Health Board after being nominated by grateful mum Laura Morris who said it was their guidance and advice that led to her having a successful home birth.

She said: “This was the most wonderful experience and outcome for me and all my family.

“I first started going to the group with my bump and found it to be lovely and welcoming. Since having my baby girl, I have attended regularly for taster sessions of interesting and useful classes and met mums with babies of a similar age.

“Holly and Melissa put a lot of effort and time into the group and I know it is highly valued by the other mums.  It is a great idea to have support from student midwives and they should be commended for having the idea and for their commitment to keeping it going despite considerable personal and work commitments themselves.”‌

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Laura Morris, student midwives Melissa Traynor and Holly Morse with Swansea Council’s Mark Child.

Holly and Melissa, now third year students, were reunited with Laura when they were presented with their award certificates by Mark Child, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, at a ceremony held at Singleton Hospital.

The awards were introduced by ABMU Health Board to give patients, carers, relatives and visitors the chance to say thanks to a member of staff or team they feel have made a real difference and provided outstanding care.

Holly said they set up the student-led group as a way of improving practice while supporting women and were both delighted to see how well the group had been received. 

“We are very proud and very touched that Laura took the time to nominate us. It is lovely to know that we were able to make a difference,” she said.

The group still meets regularly at Swansea Wellbeing Centre in Walter Road, and Melissa said the continuity of care that it offers to parents was very important as well as providing them with the chance to meet other families at the same stage.

“It has been really satisfying to see friendship groups establish and parents supporting and learning from each other. We have been privileged to able to help families at such an important time of their lives,”she said.

Midwifery lecturer at Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Sciences Susie Moore said: “Holly and Melissa have been responsible for the entire vision of this group,   organising, fundraising and promoting it as well as striving to encourage other students to actively participate in the venture.”

She said their award was very well deserved and added: “They are both highly motivated students, reliable and  always willing to go above and beyond what is normally expected from students to support services that seek to improve maternity care. ”

Baby & Me – from Bump to One, meets every Monday in term time from 10am-11.30am. All welcome, free with suggested donation of £2. Swansea Wellbeing Centre, Walter Road, Swansea SA1 5PQ