Yana Richens

Global Advisor to the Royal College of Midwives

Graduated in 1998

Throughout her midwifery career, Yana Richens has strived to not only bring new life into the world but to try and ensure that the experience for mothers is as good as it can be, whatever their status, colour or body shape.

Yana began her career as a nurse in 1979 but it wasn't long before she decided to study Advanced Practice Midwifery and began to practise as a midwife in 1988. In 2004, she was appointed Consultant Midwife at the hospitals of University College London, one of the most prestigious appointments in her field.

More recently, Yana was appointed as Professional Global Advisor to the Royal College of Midwives, and was successful in obtaining a NIHR funded fellowship to undertake a PhD, on the subject 'A fear of childbirth'.

She was the first midwife to be awarded the prestigious Mary Seacole Fellowship by the Department of Health and has been recognised by the Queen with an OBE in recognition of her services to nursing and midwifery.

A member of the Chief Nursing Officers' national advisory group, Yana provides specialist advice on black and ethnic minority issues in the NHS. She was one of the first midwives to set up an obesity clinic for pregnant women with a raised BMI and a clinic for women whom had had a gastric band or bypass.

She has also pioneered work that seeks to improve the lot of expectant mothers who have HIV, women who suffer pre or post-natal depression and women who give birth with midwives who don't speak their language. She has also helped set up a charity to improve the lives of women oppressed by the practice of genital mutilation.

She is co-editor in chief of the British Journal of Midwifery, an editorial board member of the Nursing Standard, and has served as an invited member of the perinatal mental health group commissioned by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.