Kate Pinney, midwifery manager
I have worked as a midwife within the NHS in all aspects of midwifery, but focusing largely on high risk antenatal care. I am also engaged in some postgraduate study on reaching vulnerable and isolated pregnant women and their families - enabling and optimising their access to care within the NHS and other services.
As the midwifery manager for the Tommy’s Pregnancy Information Service, I manage an expert team of midwives who provide a helpline to women and their families giving advice and support to women needing specialist advice pre-pregnancy, throughout pregnancy and postnatally. As a team, we are able to access conferences and study days to be able to keep up to date on the latest evidence based information and ongoing research within the sphere of midwifery.
Providing an additional support for women and their families can make a big difference in their lives. Pregnancy is very different for all women, and can bring unpredictable challenges. Having Tommy’s midwives at the end of the phone or email to being able to talk through anxieties and concerns, as well as providing up to date evidence based information and knowledge of ongoing recent research, can help women feel empowered and have more control throughout their pregnancy.
Sophie King, midwife
I started working as a Midwife at Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust in September 2011. I worked in all areas of the trust, from the antenatal clinic, antenatal in patient ward, high risk labour ward, low risk birth centre and the postnatal ward. Moving between areas meant that I gained experiences within all aspects of pregnancy and maternity care.
I became an official member of the team at Tommy’s in September 2015 and feel privileged to work as a part of such a special charity! I work in a team of midwives on the pregnancy line, giving advice and support to professionals as well as women and their families.
My areas of specialist interest are bereavement, baby massage and water birth.
Joanne Birtwhistle, midwife
I have been practicing as a midwife for the past 11 years.
During my career, I have had the pleasure of working with many different families from a variety of cultures and backgrounds. I've worked as a rotational midwife, midwifery sister and research midwife. These roles have enabled me to gain experience in all aspects of midwifery practice. On labour ward I have provided care for women who have required high dependency care as well as normal births, both aspects of which I enjoyed immensely. I also have experience of providing care for women who have chosen water births and those women recovering after caesarean section.
I am currently involved in midwifery research, which focuses on finding ways to improve the management and care of many conditions of pregnancy and to help women with complex pregnancies have better outcomes in the future.
I have a keen interest in premature birth and transitional care, having worked in all areas of premature babies, together with supporting families and providing education and counselling throughout this process. This role has been enhanced by my work with Tommy’s, providing support to families with experiences of miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth.
My role at Tommy’s has enabled me to develop both personally and professionally and develop skills which I have found to be valuable additions to my role as a midwife; enhancing listening skills, counselling, assessment skills and finding strategies for positive outcomes.
I subscribe and read midwifery journals as a way of keeping myself informed of current issues and research within midwifery and the surrounding professions. This in turn contributes to my aim to try to involve women in the management of their care and adopt a caring and empathetic approach, to ensure they have a positive experience of midwifery and a smooth transition into motherhood.
We empower women by giving them the high quality information they need during pregnancy to make pregnancy safer and a whole new generation healthier.
In the UK, 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth. Often, no one can tell parents why it happened. Our research aims to find out why pregnancy goes wrong and how to stop it happening.