The High­land Mid­wife

TV Times - - News - The High­land Mid­wife Wed­nes­day / C5 / 8.00Pm Elaine Reilly

Mid­wife Mor­ven Fioretti on the chal­lenges and de­lights of birthing ba­bies in the Scot­tish High­lands…

We’re a small team cov­er­ing a large area. I can have 170 preg­nant ladies

mid­wife mor­ven fioretti

Mid­wife Mor­ven Fioretti wit­nesses the mir­a­cle of life ev­ery day, so you could un­der­stand if she took it for granted. But work­ing in the re­mote Scot­tish High­lands, with ex­pec­tant moth­ers of­ten many miles from the near­est ma­ter­nity ward, there’s never a dull mo­ment.

C5’s new three-part doc­u­men­tary se­ries The High­land Mid­wife, voiced by for­mer Call the Mid­wife star Pam Fer­ris, re­veals the re­al­ity of ru­ral mid­wifery.

‘It’s never mun­dane. Ev­ery time I de­liver a baby, know­ing how much has taken place for that baby to be born, it is still amaz­ing,’ says Mor­ven.

‘I’ve been a mid­wife for 23 years, 21 of them in Tain, Scot­land. That’s about 100 peo­ple a year – roughly over 2,000 peo­ple I’ve looked af­ter!’

Here, Mor­ven re­veals more... Have you ac­tu­ally de­liv­ered a baby on a moun­tain­top yet?

No, I haven’t had to do that! When I left my last job they teased me that Moun­tain Res­cue wanted to take a mid­wife on a path. The joke was, they knew I would go. In a small com­mu­nity, it’s all hands on deck!

Have you al­ways had an in­ter­est in be­com­ing a mid­wife?

I come from a farm­ing back­ground, so I’m used to help­ing lit­tle lambs and calves come into the world. I also worked for a vet at one time and we would of­ten get stuck in and help the vet out. While I was do­ing my nurs­ing train­ing I did a mid­wifery place­ment and it was then I thought I’d quite like to be­come a mid­wife, so I ap­plied. What ap­pealed to you about work­ing in the High­lands? Con­ti­nu­ity of care is re­ally im­por­tant. When you work in a com­mu­nity like Tain you get to know peo­ple. Once I booked in a young cou­ple and, as they were leav­ing, the fa­ther turned around and said, ‘My mam told me to tell you, you were my mid­wife’. I couldn’t be­lieve it – I’m not that old!

What are your big­gest chal­lenges? We’re a small team cov­er­ing a large area. Dur­ing the week I work with 60 to 70 preg­nant ladies. At the week­end you’re the only per­son work­ing for about 170 ladies at a time! Mo­bile phone sig­nals can be a bit patchy, too. I al­ways feel more anx­i­ety when I’m on call for a home birth and I can’t get a sig­nal.

What are the best and worst things about your job?

The hard­est part is when a lady loses her baby. The im­pact that has on the par­ents and their fam­ily and friends is dif­fi­cult. The best part is be­ing there at the birth and see­ing a baby come into the world. See­ing how pow­er­ful women are when they birth their ba­bies is amaz­ing. Also, see­ing a mother meet­ing her baby for the first time af­ter wait­ing

all that time is lovely.

Have you no­ticed a busy sea­son?

When I worked in a spe­cial-care baby unit we used to get more ba­bies ad­mit­ted dur­ing the full moon. We also tend to have more ba­bies in Septem­ber. I think it’s due to Christ­mas par­ties and peo­ple look­ing for­ward to the New Year.

Have you seen a lot of changes over the course of your ca­reer? Very much so. When I started GPS were much more in­volved, whereas now, nearly all care is given by com­mu­nity mid­wives. Peo­ple only go to hospi­tal for check-ups and con­sul­tant ap­point­ments – so it’s much busier than it was be­fore. I also teach hypno-birthing – it’s bril­liant! I’ve ex­pe­ri­enced it all.

Bairns in arms: Mid­wife Mor­ven Fioretti with her sat­is­fied cus­tomers

Mor­ven has been de­liv­er­ing ba­bies

for 23 years

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