On call with the Midwives
I recently had the pleasure of photographing Tess and Leonie, independent midwives behind recently established Your Neighbourhood Midwives during one of their routine postnatal visits. I instantly felt a connection with these two but it would be hard not too when they greet you with such warmth and open arms.
I could immediately see from the warm welcome and greetings with the client that Tess and Leonie were now part of the extended family. This was further evidenced as they talked about another client’s naming ceremony that they had attended on the weekend.
Although Tess and Leonie’s business may be newly established, between them they have decades of experience in maternity and midwifery services working for both the NHS and private practice.
Throughout the visit, Tess and Leonie listened attentively to the new Mum as she spoke about the night feeds, nappy changes, Dad’s sound sleeping, the influx of visitors and more. Their responses and comments were always to inform without judgement or criticism and offer options and alternatives to issues rather than didactic instructions. They are there to support and share their vast knowledge and experience with a holistic approach.
As I sat saddled in the car amongst the Midwives kit and mine, I couldn’t help feel like I was liking the life of a reality tv show. A flood of calls and text messages filled much of the 20 minute car journey, starting quite tamely with breastfeeding advice and how best to express before a leaving the baby for a few hours with Dad for the first time. No doubt something that Tess and Leonie have covered a million times but Tess spoke to this new Mum with such sincerity, passion and empathy that it would have made me feel like I was the centre of the universe.
Soon after the first call, they took another call from a new Mum who was about to be whisked into surgery to remove some of the placenta that was left inside. They presented her with the pros and cons of general anaesthetic vs a spinal block and suggested ways that she might approach this with the consultant. From my viewpoint, their advice was informed and unbiased to empower the Mum to make the right decision for her. Please note that Tess and Leonie were only providing postnatal care for this Mum and had nothing to do with the fragmented placenta!
I feel quite fortunate to have had three relatively easy pregnancies and deliveries through the NHS at Kings College Hospital, in South London but at that time, the only private care I’d heard of was from The Portland. If I were an expectant Mum today, I would certainly consider the services of Tess and Leonie for the continuity of quality care, the trust and support that they provide and the security that they are at the end of the phone if you need them, especially at a time when the NHS is so stretched.
It’s been such a pleasure to get to know Tess and Leonie and I look forward to working with them and future clients!