Lecturer, midwife and mother celebrates profession’s contribution during COVID-19 crisis

Ruby Handley-Stone

A Birmingham midwife who appeared in the BBC’s documentary ‘Life and Birth’ has told of the importance of the profession during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To mark International Day of the Midwife (Tuesday 5 May) Ruby Handley-Stone, Lecturer in Midwifery at Birmingham City University and practicing midwife, has celebrated the career and how midwives are providing support for parents and families during challenging times.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to changes to birthing practices and how expectant mothers interact with healthcare professionals, placing increased emphasis on the way midwives work.

Ruby, whose mother was also a midwife, was inspired to enter the profession after seeing first-hand the care she was given during her own pregnancy.

And with midwives working to deliver babies throughout the Coronavirus crisis, new rules, infrastructure and practices have been put in place to ensure midwives can continue to carry out their vital work safely.

Ruby Handley-Stone, Lecturer in Midwifery at Birmingham City University, said: “The relationships we as midwives have with the women is a crucial element at this time.

“It’s essential that we build rapport as best as we can through other means to ensure that they feel supported in these scary times for pregnant women.”

“My mother was a midwife, so I grew up with some interest in the midwifery profession. However, it was receiving great care and having such a positive birthing experience myself that led me to consider how I could give that care to other women, and realising that it was the career I wanted myself and really had a passion for.”

Each year International Day of the Midwife celebrates the positive impact midwives have on the lives of millions of people around the world.

With the UK coming together every Thursday to applaud the work of those in the health and care sectors, the work of NHS and care workers is gaining more recognition than ever.

Ruby, who works to train student midwives alongside her role in practice believes taking on the two roles helps ensure her teaching is up-to-date and that she remains hands-on in her field.

She added: “Having a dual role as a midwifery lecturer as well as a practising midwife keeps me inspired as I get regular contact with the women we look after and also the students.

“It’s not easy to adjust from night shifts at the hospital to lectures in the daytime, but it’s not something I would give up easily. Practising as a midwife keeps my teaching up-to-date and relatable to the students that are out there in practice with me, while at the same time reminding me how much I love the midwifery profession.”

Ruby Handley-Stone will appear in episode three of ‘Life and Birth’, which is due to air at 8pm tonight (5 May) on BBC 1.