Today (Thursday 5 May 2022), the Trust joins the country in marking International Day of the Midwife and highlighting the amazing work of the midwifery teams who care for women, birthing people and their families here at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW).
Thank you to all the midwives, maternity support workers and student midwives who have continued to provide care to our patients in extraordinary circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NHS in England has continued to deliver around 1,600 babies every day since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and midwives and other NHS staff have worked tirelessly to care for babies, parents and families in extraordinary circumstances. That works out at approximately one birth every 54 seconds in England! Here at MTW over the last year* MTW’s midwives have delivered 5,820 babies at our sites or at home – 2,953 boys and 2,867 girls.
*1 April 2021 – 31 March 2022
Read on to find out more about the experiences of one of our midwives, Sonia Cserjen:
Sonia Cserjen – Midwife
I trained at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading and finished my year’s conversion course in November 1982. After completing my training, I then joined the army as part of the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) where I worked for three years as a midwife in England, Germany and Hong Kong.
After I left the army to get married in 1986 and moved to Kent, I joined the team at MTW. I have worked in many departments and in the early years I did a few different roles such as a Sister in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), Labour Ward coordinator, and a Sister in Antenatal and Post-natal wards all at the old Pembury Hospital.
I then went on to work as a Community Midwife in the Paddock Wood team which I did until I had my children. After returning to work I did 16 years as a night Sister, where the role was very different to now! You were in charge of the whole unit including the gynaecology and paediatric units.
I later returned to the community and was the team leader for the Paddock Wood team before spending the last ten years working in the Maidstone Birth Centre – I retired three ago but am still working bank shifts, because I just can’t stop!
Recently I have been working with the COVID-19 team as a diluter and vaccinator. During my career I have been a mentor to many student midwives many of whom are still with the Trust and in management positions, and it makes me proud to think that I have trained the next generation of midwives.
Midwifery wasn’t originally my life plan, but I have loved the job! The joy of seeing people from eight weeks and then becoming parents and forming families. When I supported home births this was something that I loved, even being called out at odd times in the night. My children all grew up never knowing if mum would be home in the morning, but eagerly waited to find out if it had been a boy or girl!
A few years ago, I booked in someone who I delivered some 18 years ago! What a joy to look after the next generation, her mum apparently had remembered me and was excited to find out I was looking after her daughter, this has now happened a few times. It was so lovely to be reunited with the families and to see the once young mums become grandmothers, as I have myself! I was lucky enough to be able to have deliver all three of my grandchildren and delivered the first water birth at home 30 years ago, water births are now very common but previously that wasn’t the case.
To anyone wishing to be a midwife, it’s a rewarding job with its ups and downs, but the ups far out way the downs. For me, being a midwife is about being with a birthing family. The joy of seeing someone’s face as their baby is birthed still often gets me emotional, to help support through such a life changing experience, and having the privilege to be the first human touch another human is still amazing after all these years, knowing you have made a difference makes it all worth it.