Two midwives from North Mid have been awarded the NMC Excellence in Perinatal Mental Health award at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) annual awards. Mellissa Jhagroo and Fiona Laird received their award for tackling stigma and preventing isolation which can lead to poor mental health. The team also established a weekly alternative therapies and exercise classes that women can attend from their first booking appointment up to a year after birth.
Nicole Callender, associate director of midwifery at North Mid, said: “I’m thrilled to see that the professional leadership and innovation demonstrated by North Mid’s maternity service is being recognised on the national stage.
“The development of Magnolia Midwives is an innovative approach to meeting a particular local need – and doing this in a way which is not just good but exemplary – is just one instance in which Team North Mid is delivering our aim of providing outstanding care for local people.”
Presenting the award, the RCM’s Chief Executive, Gill Walton, said:
“It’s clear that the multi-disciplinary approach that Mellissa and Fiona have taken is working for the women in their care, and those who are struggling with their mental health are getting the very best care and support from a team of dedicated midwives and other health professionals. Ensuring women can access the right perinatal mental health support has never been more important than over the past couple of years. What Fiona, Mellissa and their team have done has ensured that, despite the challenges of the pandemic, women are less isolated and can get peer support as well as specialist help.”
Commenting Andrea Sutcliffe, the Nursing and Midwifery Council's (NMC) Chief Executive said;
“Achieving excellence in perinatal mental health is so important and can have a profound and lasting impact on women and their families. The NMC is proud to sponsor this award and on behalf of us all I’d like to congratulate all the amazing midwives shortlisted.
“I’m absolutely delighted that Fiona and Mellissa have been recognised for their outstanding work supporting the mental health of pregnant women in their care. I’ve had the privilege of hearing how their person-centred approach takes people’s diverse backgrounds and complex needs into account, leading to excellent results that help improve people’s health and wellbeing. Huge congratulations from me and everyone at the NMC – you are inspirational!”
Alternative therapies are also used by the team who run mindfulness sessions, massage, art therapy, ante & post-natal exercise classes, homeopathy, hypnobirthing, belly painting and casting to enable the women to express themselves through different mediums, and most importantly make friends.