Saturday, 28 December 2019

Kate Praises Nurses & Midwives for "Supporting People At Their Most Vulnerable"

Last month, we learned the Duchess of Cambridge had privately spent two days with Kingston Hospital Maternity Unit in London. It was very much under wraps, though we knew it was in connection with her early years work and role as patron of the global campaign, Nursing Now. The three-year initiative is aimed at raising the profile and status of nursing worldwide, so that nurses can make an even greater contribution at the heart of efforts to tackle the rising burdens of disease. Tonight, we learned more about Kate's time at Kingston Hospital with the release of photographs and an open letter to midwives across the country ahead of 2020's 'Year of the Nurse and Midwife'.


From time spent at the hospital to accompanying midwives and nurses on home visits, Kate's letter praises the efforts of people in these essential professions, whose tireless work often goes under the radar. I'm handing the mic over to the Duchess herself by sharing extracts from her letter which accompany the images perfectly...


"Dear Midwives, Next year the world turns its attention to the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, and recognising and celebrating the humbling work that you and your colleagues do day in, day out, to improve the lives of others. You are there for women at their most vulnerable; you witness strength, pain and unimaginable joy on a daily basis. Your work often goes on behind the scenes, and away from the spotlight. Recently however, I was privileged enough to witness a small section of it first hand, spending several days at Kingston Hospital's Maternity Unit. Although this was not my first encounter with the care and kindness provided by midwives across the country, it gave me a broader insight into the true impact you have on everybody you help."


"Over the last few years, I've dedicated a significant amount of my work to the Early Years - the pivotal period of development between pregnancy and the age of 5 where children build crucial .foundations for life. Your role in supporting this critical phase of development extends far beyond the complicated task of delivering a baby successfully. The help and reassurance you provide for parents to be and parents of newborns is just as crucial. It goes a long way in building parents' confidence from the start, with lifelong impact on the future happiness of their children. The Early Years are more critical for future health and happiness than any other moment in our lifetime. Even before we are born, our mother's emotional and physical health directly influences our development and by the age of 5 a child's brain has developed to 90 per cent of its adult size. Your role at the very start of this period is therefore of fundamental importance."


"During my time at Kingston I accompanied community midwives on their daily rounds and was welcomed in to people's homes. I was truly touched by the trust that people placed in me, sharing their experiences and voicing their fears openly. I also spent time in hospital clinics and on post-natal wards. No matter the setting, I was continually struck by the compassion that those of you I spent time with showed, and the incredible work ethic you demonstrated on behalf of your entire profession - not only performing your rounds but working tirelessly through the night to support people that were at their most vulnerable. The founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale - whose 200th anniversary we celebrate next year, once said: "I attribute my success to this: I never have or took an excuse" and it is that mantra that I have seen time and time again in all of my encounters with you. You don’t ask for praise or for recognition but instead unwaveringly continue your amazing work bringing new life into our world. You continue to demonstrate that despite your technical mastery and the advancement of modern medicine, it is the human to human relationships and simple acts of kindness that sometimes mean the most.


"So as we look ahead to next year, I want to thank you for all that you do. It has been a real privilege learning from you so far, and I look forward to meeting and learning from even more of you in the coming years and decades - Catherine".


The Duchess wore a pink geometric dress from Michael Michael Kors (with thanks to Heaven) The sold out dress is described as a "multicoloured printed midi dress featuring a v-neck, an all-over print, a belted waist, long sleeves, a mid-length and a straight hem."


And accessorised with her Kiki McDonough Lauren earrings.

I expect there's a good possibility we'll see the Cambridges attending Sunday service at Sandringham either this coming weekend or next. I hope you're all enjoying a festive break; I'm working on the annual Year in Review post and hope to have it published around New Year's Day :)

60 comments:

  1. Thank you Charlotte for keeping us informed. We can be sure not to miss a Kate moment while following your blog. Have a festive holiday season!

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  2. 40 years ago this past October I gave birth to my daughter at a London hospital. I was a single parent, no family, but I was so well looked after by the midwives. As a Canadian, I wasn't used to the idea of midwives but I so remember a large gray haired Irish midwife holding my hand throughout and putting a paper bag over my nose and mouth when I panicked and started hyperventilating. "Sure and don't you worry, everything will be just fine. Don't mind the screaming next door, some women like to let it all out." It was all so calm and wonderful to have a group of women around me.

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    1. This is a lovely story, Valerie, and I can absolutely hear the Irish midwife talking to you! Thank you for sharing this.

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    2. That's the wonderful thing about midwives. They get out of the way and let you go about your business when you know what you need to do, and they offer advice and encouragement when you hit a rough patch. Mine even washed my baby clothes for me. My son came a week early and his "going home" outfit was new and needed washed. The birthing center's air conditioning had shut off about an hour before we arrived. Their first practice was in a big, old house, and it was the beginning of August, and very hot. My husband is an electrician, so he went to see if he could get the air going and the midwives washed my clothes. With my second birth there, I delivered late at night, so instead of driving home, we just bedded down there and they fixed us breakfast the next morning. Lovely women--I'll never forget them.

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  3. What a wonderful letter and tribute to the Midwives. A lot of thought, and reflection went into that.

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  4. I suppose this is the final say from Catherine Quinn. Nice letter but I am a bit underwhelmed if that was their huge announcement. It is rather regular royal round of work, especially from the Cambridges.

    Hope next year, we will find out more about that so called Early Years initiative that in the air for a while.

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    1. I don’t know where the big announcement story comes from. From what I’ve read, Omid said that there will be some announcements during the Christmas break and that it (the timing of the announcements) was a break from tradition. Also, how this could be a big announcement if we all knew Kate had been for two days with the nurses as was published in the circular?

      The early years initiative has been in the air for a while because reporters started talking about it when Kate first established the research group but I have a feeling a lot of people would think the project is a bluff because there will be no way of quantifying its success since she won’t be raising money or selling anything.

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    2. Reporters talk about this project because someone leaks information regularly whether it comes from officialy or unofficially remains to be seen.

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    3. I don't think it is because of leaks, only the media making what they can with the information they can get. Kate established the research group, and that information can be found if you know where to look. From that fact, they deduced a big project was in the making. And they supposed it would be revealed sometime, so writing it would be in the new year was a safe guess. Nothing was confirmed by the palace.

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  5. I really think the Cambridges are making this new trend of having “secret” visits and then releasing more info and photos later, work for them. (I just wish the media would not report on the embargoed press releases they receive, building hype about “big announcements”)

    This is the perfect example. Keeping the visit under wraps at the time made sense because it gave Kate the freedom to see and experience more. November was also a fairly busy time with lots of Cambridge stories, so releasing it only now, between Christmas and New Year’s, when there is little to no royal news, means it gets better coverage for the Year of the Midwife and Nurse.

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    1. I agree with you about the press hyping these big announcement stories. Totally unnecessary because they lead to disappointment. However,this was released Friday late in the evening, so makes absolutely no sense at all coming out with it. There is still Monday though when they can still announce something big.

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    2. I read somewhere there will be an announcement about William’s new project but I’m sure that as usually he will not be given the credit he deserves.

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    3. I agree, and I don't understand the point of briefing the press beforehand.

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    4. Or maybe Isa it is just as much media hype as there has been about the RF all of this year. What "big" is it that you personally want?

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    5. Natasha, the way I understand it is briefing the press beforehand gives them time to write proper pieces on it, which is to the advantage of the royal and the project. You could see it in the fact that most newspapers ran full page features on the Year of the Midwife and Nurse. But I don’t think the idea is for the media to report on the announcements beforehand. That irritates me.

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    6. Work, work, constant steady workload. If that answers your question Valerie.

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    7. I thought you were saying the media was building up an announcement about a new project, a new campaign or a lifelong endeavour, something in the vein of the prince trust. That would be a big announcement for me. Work, constant steady work is what they are already doing. There would be no point in announcing their future workload.

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  6. my sister is doctor and my dad is a chief doctor i had a high respect on health job there lot effort caring their patient in the most thing

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  7. It's a beautiful homage to working of nurses and midwives. I except to see more events with Nursing Campaign in the next year.

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  8. Thank you for this wonderful post, Charlotte! I think it is so important that Kate supports nurses and midwives and stresses the importance of their work. I don't know about other countries but in my country, the work of nurses is often underestimated (and not very well paid), despite the fact that it is so vital! When a person has to be in hospital, it is often the care of the nurses that they comment on the most; a kind gesture, a smile, a compassionate approach make all the difference. I think Kate summed it up very well when she said "you continue to demonstrate that despite your technical mastery and the advancement of modern medicine, it is the human to human relationships and simple acts of kindness that sometimes mean the most."
    I look forward to Kate's future work in the sphere of early years development. It really is a period in life that matters so much, and highlighting this fact can bring a lot of good.

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  9. Duchess Catherine does more then anyone and she is Loved by many because you can tell that she is sincere. She loves what she does and in turn she sees progress. She is definitely ready to be Queen. So we will wait and hope i am still alive by then if not there are my daughters that love her too.

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    1. Very nice comment. I too am waiting for Kate to be queen, but as a grandmother and great grandmother, I wonder if I'll live to see it. Like you said, others will enjoy it.

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  10. Thank you Charlotte for posting this; it's a wonderful cause. Nurses and those in the allied health professions make all the difference and need more recognition. Does anyone else find it really interesting that lately Catherine has done several visits that aren't announced, so there is a chance at privacy for all involved then weeks or even months later, the program is announced. Maybe this is a Cambridge way of handling the pressure of the press pack. AND another sold out dress, makes me wonder if she is buying clothes then waits to wear them until they are sold out.

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  11. I love these post visit updates from the Duchess. It feels like the framework of her initiatives are taking shape, and this particular one really resonates with me. My partner of twenty-five years was a very dedicated neonatologist, sadly I lost him two and a half years ago. He was a champion of children, he fought fiercely for his babies, and tenderly gave their parents hope. He would tell me that he believed in life and while he would fight for the babies, no matter how small, he would also worry that with their co-morbidities what their future would hold for them. He spent countless hours with the parents listening to them, and preparing them for their life with a medically complicated infant. The hardships that they endure are hard to fathom sometimes and he tried to give them hope and prepare them for what would be their day to day reality. To say he touched many people in his lifetime is an understatement, his life's work was his passion and his professional devotion will always be his legacy. While he steered the ship in the treatment of these children, it wasn't possible without a team of healthcare workers. The midwives, nurse practitioners, and nurses (and many others) are the unsung heroes in the care of these children. Not to mention the ancillary organizations who help these parents to provide the best possible life to their children. Sadly, not all were success stories, but the best reward he would receive was when he would bring home cards and pictures of the children he cared for as they grew into adulthood. He would see the circle of life continue as the children he cared for had their own children.

    I am the better person for having had this man in my life and my world less bright for his loss, but I still beam with pride when I run into his co-workers, or the parents of 'his children' and we all remember his wisdom, his humor, but mostly his legacy of caring. He is deeply missed. I love that Kate is championing this cause and giving recognition to the nurses and midwives who work tirelessly for others. I love her statement, "You continue to demonstrate that despite your technical mastery and the advancement of modern medicine, it is the human to human relationships and simple acts of kindness that sometimes mean the most." The human element is by far the most powerful medicine and is something that we so desperately need to continue to cultivate. My wish for the new year is that everybody can have a person in their life that will show them one simple act of kindness that they will never forget, and that may forever change their life for the better. I strongly support Kate's Early Years initiative and seeing her sitting with these healthcare workers and listening to them inspires me to be a better person! Wishing everybody a Happy and Healthy New Year!! cc

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    1. CC, I am so sorry about your partner. He sounds like an incredible human being who used his life to help others. x

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    2. CC, I am so sorry for your loss and thank you for your personal and knowledgeable post.

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    3. Thank you very much Charlotte, he truly was incredible and unique! In the last year of his life when his illness became worse, I came to understand the difficult role of a caregiver and the special strength it took. I applaud those who give their life to helping others. Also during this time while he was resting, your blog Charlotte became a wonderful positive place for me to come to and for that I thank you! He use to tease me for being such an avid fan...and that I miss. :) cc

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    4. Dear CeCe, your partner must have been an amazing person, one that will not be forgotten. He touched so many lives, and in a way, continues to do so through you. Thank you so much for sharing! ❤️

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    5. Thank you Zora and Valerie for your very kind words! :) cc

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  12. Thank you Charlotte for posting this. As an RN in a major hospital in Ontario Canada, I'm so happy and proud that the Duchess is highlighting our profession in a positive way. We are nearly always the first person seen when you enter the Emergency room. A kind word sometimes is the difference between despair and devastation when things go south. Well done @Kensington Palace releasing this and GREAT JOB CATHERINE.

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  13. Hmm I'm confused. In the U.S. midwives are used exclusively as women who assist in home births with little medical intervention. They wouldn't work at a hospital and certainly not in a maternity ward. It sounds like Kate actually visited a maternity ward of a hospital and talked to OB-GYN nurses. Which is wonderful and fantastic but it's not in the job description of a midwife.

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    1. It is different in the UK. It seems as though they work hand in hand with nurses in the hospital as opposed to what we are used to in the US.

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    2. They do work in hospitals in Spain and they are actually the ones that help you deliver the baby unless something goes wrong and the gynecologist has to intervene. So maybe it’s the same thing in the UK and you’re talking without knowing how their system works and you’re implying KP lied when reporting what Kate did.

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    3. Ivy, you don't seem to have done any research before you posted your comment. Midwives have been used extensively in hospitals in the UK for years as I described in my post above about my experience 40 years ago. And you could also have checked on the Web re midwives in U.S. hospitals, such as https://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/midwives/, specifically this paragraph: "Midwives believe in facilitating a natural childbirth as much as possible. Accordingly, it is common to receive care from a midwife in a private and comfortable birthing center or in your own home. Because of their professionalism and expertise, midwives are often part of a labor and delivery team associated with a local hospital. You can choose to use the services of a midwife whether you elect to give birth at home, a birthing center, or at a hospital." Hope that broadens your knowledge base.

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    4. Ivy - I'm in the US (California) and there are midwives in hospitals as well as homes. In California, for example, Kaiser Permanente insurance uses midwives routinely in hospitals.

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    5. Ivy Lin, while healthcare is different in all countries, U.S. midwives are not used exclusively in home births. There is a difference between a certified midwife (CM) and a certified nurse midwife (CNM). The difference is the credentials of the caregivers. They both must have the same clinical skills, however, certified midwives aren't required to hold a registered nursing license. Certified nurse midwives (CNM's)must hold a graudate degree and a valid license as a registered nurse. Many hospitals allow CM's and CNM's to have privileges in their facilities, their participation in attendace at births varies by hospital, and is usually based on birth volume, city vs. rural settings and state guidelines. Midwives are not doctors and cannot perform C-sections, but they are highly trained and can attend to low-risk births without a doctor present; if there is a complication they must get an on-call OB-GYN to perform the surgery. Many work in collaboration with doctors and in some states CNM's are allowed to have their own solo practice. There is an increase in the use by hospitals of ancillary/allied health staff such as certified nurse midwives, advanced nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and the list goes on. It IS in the job description of a midwife to work in a hospital and certainly in a maternity ward, and their work along with other ancillary/allied health workers is an excellent compliment to providing continuity of care to patients. While I am not familiar with the credentialing requirements, the UK has a long standing history of using midwives and most assuredly Kate is probably talking to BOTH nurses AND midwives. A better understanding of their role, and its importance in healthcare, is exactly what Kate is working to highlight!! cc

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    6. Midwives work in hospitals in the US, in addition to attending home births. Many work with OB-GYNs in case surgical intervention is necessary but depending on the state, they can work as independent practioners and certainly have hospital privileges. Studies show that births attended by midwives have better outcomes that those attended to by physicians.

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    7. Midwives are able to deliver babies in a hospital in the US. Many also practice at birth centers or attend home births; they have more flexibility than physicians. Many midwives practice with an OB-GYN in case surgical intervention is necessary but depending on the state, midwives are allowed to practice autonomously. Studies show outcomes are better when a baby is delivered by a midwife.

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    8. Hello Ivy, this is not the case throughout the US. In both hospital systems in our city, certified nurse midwives work in the hospital alongside physicians. In our hospitals, as well as many others in the US, women giving birth can choose from a physician (OB-GYN) or a certified nurse-midwife (CNM).
      There are 3 types of midwives in the US:
      1) As noted above, CNMs are registered nurses who are educated in nursing and midwifery and certified through the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Based on where they are licensed, they can practice in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
      2) Certified midwives (CMs) are non-nurse midwives who have a bachelor's degree or higher in a health field, have completed an accredited midwifery education program, and have passed a national exam. Only a few states permit CMs to practice; and
      3) Certified professional midwives (CPMs) who are non-nurse midwives with training and clinical experience in childbirth, including childbirth outside of the hospital, and have passed a national exam. Not all states permit CPMs to practice.
      Though I am not familiar with the British system, iI anticipate the Duchess was speaking to those with specialized training in midwifery as well as licensed nurses.

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    9. Midwives are part of the NHS in the UK. The TV show "Call the Midwives" shows how the midwives delivered women at home years ago, but instead of throwing the midwives out of the new health system, they were very wisely kept on. I'm not totally up on how that operates, so any of you British commenters can set me straight, but I think midwives do most of the prenatal care and delivering, and any medical care the woman would need, or if problems arise during the pregnancy or birth, doctors and nurses would cover that aspect. I have to correct you on the use of midwives in the US. Some midwives do practice in some hospitals. I think in the South that is more common. I have a good friend in Georgia, who was cared for and delivered by a midwife in the hospital. Some midwives also practice at out-of-hospital birthing centers. I'm in Pennsylvania, about 30 mi. from the city of Pittsburgh, and I gave birth at a free standing center with a great group of midwives, almost thirty years ago. They have long been affiliated with several different hospitals in the area. The hospital pays the insurance for the midwives and provides backup if a woman should develop problems while delivering at the center. Twenty-some years after I delivered my two youngest children there, my daughter gave birth to her two babies there. It's a shame more hospitals don't utilize midwives in their maternity practices. Women would get much better care and the nurses, who are usually woefully overworked, would have more time to care for their patients medical needs. It was wonderful too, to have the midwives come to my home to check on me several days after I was home, and to check on my babies. They had the time to help me with breastfeeding and answer all my questions.

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    10. Ivy Lin, in the UK, unless you have a high risk pregnancy or complications during labour, you will probably be assisted by a midwife and not a OBGYN, whether you are giving birth at home or in a hospital. The midwifes are not nurses nor doctors, but specialists in delivering babies. I don’t know if that is similar to what an OBGYN nurse in the US would do. But in the UK the correct way of saying would be that she visited midwives at a maternity ward.

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    11. IvyLin, maybe they are not as common in the US, but midwives certainly deliver babies in hospitals here. I had both my children delivered by midwives in a hospital and many hospitals even have midwifery centers on their campus (so you can have a “home birth” experience with the safety net of medical interventions right next door). Maybe it’s a regional thing? I’m in the northeast and it seems more and more common to see women with low-risk pregnancies use midwives in this area.

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    12. Ivy Lin, in the US Midwives have been working in hospitals, Dr Offices, clinics, and Birthing Centers for many years...as well as home births (which are not as common now). Gone are the days when a midwife would only assist at a home birth. My dear friend is a Midwife with a Master Degree in Nursing and Midwifery and has worked mostly in hospitals and Birthing Centers. Christmas and New Year’s greetings!

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    13. I am an RN currently furthering my education to become a Certified Nurse Midwife, and also mother of 4 children. I birthed all my children in hospital, with the help of midwives, on a regular maternity ward. I live in the US, and I always have.

      Midwives absolutely DO work in hospitals all over this country. They can, and do, perform almost all the same skills as an OB-GYN, with the exception of c-sections (or other emergent deliveries).

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    14. Ivy Lin, there are also midwives who work in US hospitals. It’s pretty common at large hospitals. When pregnant, I was given the choice to be under the care of a midwife (usually okay for low risk/no complications pregnancies). Anon in CA

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    15. Whoa whoa I stand corrected. I had no idea that midwives were used in the UK in hospitals. Thanks for the infromation.

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    16. Always looking for something to complain about.

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    17. Midwives are in most US hospitals I thought? Both of my daughters were delivered in a hospital with midwives attending. They were part of my ob/gyn practice. I saw all the MDs as part of my pre natal care but their approach was save the MD’s for high risk situations or birth complications and the midwives did the straightforward births. But still under the umbrella of the ob/gyn and part of the hospital. I think sometimes the confusion lies with certified nurse midwives (cnm’s) requiring fairly advanced formal study and certification (and the kind typically included in medical practices) vs the colloquial “midwife”. I have heard stories of people having home births attended to by midwives but I think the certification process here is a little bit unclear and unregulated.

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  14. I absolutely love this post! My family are in the medical field, my grandmother was a doctor before her passing and my boyfriend is a nurse and my goodness the work they do for their patients is amazing. The quality care they provide and the stories I hear of how at times they are treated is quite astonishing! So to see this post and to see how the Duchess is bringing awareness into the work and responsibilities these nurses as well as midwives do on a daily basis is very much appreciated!! Thank you Charlotte for sharing and just increasing my validation of how wonderful and remarkable the Duchess is.

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  15. Judith of Michigan28 December 2019 at 20:43

    As a retired RN who spent her entire career working with mother, babies, and young children, I am moved to tears by the words of DOC! What an honor for all maternal child nurses and midwives to have Catherine celebrating our work. Even among my American nursing colleagues I have heard the words “oh you only work in OB” - meaning as opposed to critical care or the ER! But I second Catherine’s opinion that there is no more important work than caring for mothers and their children! There have been comments with almost every post about the DOC’s Early Years work that imply it is not a that significant! Many times I wanted to post a rebuttal! Her work is a wonderful example of the Queen’s comments in Her Christmas address regarding small steps! Eventually it will be obvious what giant steps they have been! Catherine’s efforts may seem low key but she is laying a solid foundation to build on - not just for the next year or two but throughout her life! If one is objective in analyzing and knowledgeable of the impact of the Early Years, it starts to become clear that it is the key to addressing all other future problems for individuals. So hooray for The Year of the Nurse and Midwife!

    On another thought, I’d like to join so many others in thanking Charlotte for writing this wonderful blog and building a beautiful community of commenters! I started following when the Cambridge’s were in Bhutan and have been a devoted (my daughter’s think obsessed) follower ever since! I feel like I know so many who post regularly personally! The fashion of the Duchess is what brought me here but the history, detailed information and the many opinions are why I stay! Well sometimes just the pictures, such as Prince George and a Princess Charlotte on Christmas morning too! To you Charlotte and all your followers, may I wish you a very Happy New Year and a wonderful 2020!

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    1. I agree with everything you said about this blog! And add that comments like yours are why I stay!

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    2. Thank you, Judith! I'm so glad you commented this time! 😃Happy New Year to your and yours!

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  16. Actually, that is a common misconception about midwives, even here in the states. While yes, many focus on home births, many are part of the Maternity & Delivery Teams at Hospitals across the country. My husband has delivered countless babies & I can attest to the fact that women do deliver babies with a midwife in U.S. Hospitals & often times there are complications & an OB/Surgeon is able to whisk the mother & baby swiftly into the O.R. for a swift & life saving C-Section (as happened with my sister in law!). My understanding is that this is even more so in the UK.

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  17. From observing Kate for these past few years, when she knows in advance the colors of the organization/country she will wear a color or theme in her outfit. This wonderful event recognized the nurses and midwives work, she wore a dress that she could find with fuchsia that the midwives/ nurses were wearing in their uniforms. I commend her for finding a nice conservative print/dress that worked for the event.💖.

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  18. Midwives works i some hospitals in Canada, I know they work in mine.

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  19. Royal 👑 Watcher30 December 2019 at 08:43

    Very impressive, I will follow Nursing Now in 2020 and Kate's involvement with great interest. Well done!

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  20. Wonderful work, no greater cause, except EARTHSHOT! Can’t wait for you post on this magnificent effort to combat our existential threat. No one with a competent brain can deny the looming threat of climate devastation.
    Kate’s dress: may I say again, wonderful work and commitment.

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  21. For anyone interested in the role midwives play in the UK, I will explain the typical process for a woman with a low risk pregnancy who wants a hospital birth (i.e. the majority of women).

    When you first find out you are pregnant, you would see your family doctor, known as a GP (General Practitioner, the first port of call for everything medical except emergencies) and they refer you to hospital.

    From then on, you are unlikely to see a doctor again until after the birth (unless intervention is needed or you have a C-section). Midwives cover the whole process from ante-natal check-ups to the birth itself, and home visits afterwards.

    I have had two babies in recent years, and was fortunate to have straightforward births each time. The only doctor I ever saw was my GP each time (to let them know I was pregnant and for the post-natal six week check). A doctor also checks the baby at the hospital before you leave, but I didn't actually see the doctor as my husband took the babies along.

    I hope this helps readers who are not in the UK to understand just how much births here are midwife-led. Midwives are hugely important and do an amazing and very stressful job, and are very valued.

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