Just in time for last Friday’s International Day of the Midwife, a UK hospital is celebrating a baby boom of epic proportion. Darent Valley Hospital’s maternity department gathered together to celebrate 25 staff members giving birth to 26 babies in just a year. Repeat 26 babies!
Kelly Gray, the Delivery Suite Coordinator (and one of the moms who gave birth), shares in a hospital statement:
“There were 16 girls and 10 boys, including a set of twins … There are currently two more midwives pregnant, expecting their babies at the start of summer. April 2016 saw the busiest month with 5 staff members giving birth.”
After discovering just how many moms had given birth this past year, Gray managed to get nearly all the moms together for an inspiring photo. And by documenting the event, Gray also discovered this fun way to honor International Day of the Midwife, a holiday that champions midwives around the world.
“One of our colleagues had shared a story on Facebook of 5 midwives in the north of England who had babies close together, and it made us think we have far more! Lots of people suggested we could get in the local papers so I decided to give it a go,” Gray tells Babble. “We never expected it would spread as far as it has, having now been in lots of papers, on TV, and now all the way to America!”
The Head of Midwifery Deborah McAllion is as pleased as her employees to be honoring the hardworking midwives of her hospital, telling the Mirror UK, “What a great idea to show off our 25 maternity staff who have had babies in the last 12 months (or soon to have their babies)! This is a great example that midwives will always practice what they preach!”
Most of these moms chose to birth at the hospital — only a few opted for home births or live too far away. Staff member Karin Akesson was absolutely sure she wanted her daughter Alice to be born at Darent Valley, and I can sure see why.
“There was no doubt in my mind that I would give birth at my workplace. I have enormous respect and trust in my colleagues who work hard every day to provide excellent care to all families,” she tells Babble. “There was never any doubt that me and my baby would receive the best care and compassion from any of the midwives and doctors.”
Another mom, Midwife Lauren Smith, credits the team for getting her through the challenges of her son being born 33 weeks early. “They were caring, informative, and empathetic. We cannot thank them enough for their support and help through that tough period,” she tells Mirror UK.
What a beautiful testament to the trust these moms-to-be had in their colleagues!
Gray shares that, while the days can be long and arduous, one of the perks of being pregnant and working in a maternity ward is that everyone is so considerate and helpful. The environment was so positive that many moms worked right up until the week their babies were born.
Gray also echoes the sentiment that personally knowing your midwife can be reassuring during the chaos of pregnancy.
“The majority of us delivered at our own hospital, with some of us requesting certain friends to look after us. It’s also reassuring to know your midwife and we all had total faith in our colleagues,” she tells Babble. “It’s always a nice feeling being at work when one of your midwives is having their baby, and even more special to have been at the birth.”
I can’t help but think that this welcoming environment has something to do with so many of its staffers deciding to have a baby!
Kelly Gray and the incredible team at Darent Valley Hospital are a heartwarming example of how important our “village” is when we bring babies into this world!