Dewsbury midwife shares her story to inspire future midwives as she celebrates 45 years in healthcare

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On Tuesday, May 7, just two days after International Day of the Midwife, Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust’s midwife, Caroline Booth, will be celebrating her own milestone of 45 years in healthcare.

International Day of the Midwife was established in 1992 by the International Confederation of Midwives as an opportunity to celebrate, and raise awareness of, the midwifery profession and by sharing her own experience of the profession, Caroline hopes to do the same.

Caroline began her career as a student nurse at Dewsbury School of Nursing on in 1979, qualifying in 1982 when she worked in general nursing, before starting her midwifery training three short years later.

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Passionate about supporting women through childbirth, she championed home births and water births, influencing policy changes and training standards.

Passionate about supporting women through childbirth, Caroline Booth championed home births and water births, influencing policy changes and training standards.Passionate about supporting women through childbirth, Caroline Booth championed home births and water births, influencing policy changes and training standards.
Passionate about supporting women through childbirth, Caroline Booth championed home births and water births, influencing policy changes and training standards.

Her commitment to professional development earned recognition, including awards and speaking engagements.

Now, with an imminent 45 years of service, Caroline reflects on her impactful legacy and ongoing dedication to midwifery, despite the challenges in recruitment and retention.

She said: “Most notably in my career, I was instrumental in introducing water births for women in Dewsbury and changing the attitudes of GPs in relation to home births, creating a home birth team which enabled women to choose birth at home as a viable alternative to hospital birth.

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"This was so important to me as it offered greater choice and control for women.

“I also helped to develop multi-agency obstetric emergency simulation training for which the team won a number of awards, and helped to establish similar training in other trusts, presenting at the primary care conference at Birmingham’s NEC and in the Netherlands at the International Midwifery Conference.

“I’ve held a number of roles, in a variety of areas and different trusts and enjoyed all of them, but I started at Mid Yorkshire and I’ll finish there. I’ve loved developing relationships with women and their families, particularly in a community setting, at such an important time in their lives and I can’t imagine a time when I don’t call myself a midwife anymore.

"I will be so sad to hang up my uniform when the time comes but I still think of myself as having so much to give.

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“I would encourage anyone contemplating a career in midwifery to pursue it. It’s an incredible feeling being at the very start of a family’s journey, offering the support and encouragement to bring new life into the world.”

Dr Anne-Marie Henshaw, Director of Midwifery and Women’s Health at the Trust said: “Caroline, your achievements and contribution to midwifery are a testament to you and your commitment to the communities we serve.

"Thank you for your excellent service and for all that you do - we’re very lucky to have you here at Mid Yorks.”

Anyone interested in exploring a career in midwifery can find out more about the role at www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/midwifery

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