April 12, 2016
Meet Our Members: Heather Berry
Heather has been working as a midwife for over 30 years. Her road from student midwife to my current role as self-employed independent midwife has been long and convoluted. Highlights include her first community post as relief for Mary Cronk MBE when she started working with the then regulatory body. Her teachings and wisdom relating the all things pregnancy and birth, including breech, had a profoundly positive effect on Heather’s attitudes and working philosophy throughout her career as a midwife.
Fast forward a few years and she gained much pleasure in recruiting and supporting amongst other newly qualified midwives to work within a continuity case load model for a large London foundation trust.
Why did you become an Independent Midwife?
I was attracted to midwifery initially as a way to explore working within the NHS. Much of my working life until then had been abroad. As a midwife I had found a caring role which spoke to my heart and my soul.
Why did you choose independent Midwifery?
I choose to be an independent midwife as it gives me the professional flexibility to offer an evidence based package of care where it directly relates to the women involved. The broader work of IMUK as an organisation appeals to my inner sense of justice and fair play. Every midwife should be able to work in a self-employed capacity should they choose.
“The broader work of IMUK as an organisation appeals to my inner sense of justice and fair play.”
Do you ever feel isolated in your work?
I Never feel isolated thanks to the other local Independent midwives on the island and the broader community at IMUK.
Where is your ‘patch’?
The Isle of Wight and beyond.
What are the best part(s) of being an independent midwife?
Supporting women and families using a model of care that I know will maximise the chances of them achieving positive outcomes, both physically and emotionally. Having the time to provide care when and where families need it.
What is your philosophy around pregnancy and birth?
I see my role very much as one of service.
“I recognise the wholeness of women as they journey through pregnancy, labour, birth and into early parenting days.”
How do you see your role during a baby’s birth?
My aim is to enable informed choice by providing information and encouraging women to be confident that they can and will birth their babies. I believe providing care that produces safe effective results is as much about not doing as it is doing. I recognise the wholeness of women as they journey through pregnancy, labour, birth and into early parenting days. Occasionally emergencies can arise, so I keep myself up-dated and practiced for these uncommon events to ensure I still respond in an appropriate, calm manner.
One thing you wish someone told you before you become an independent midwife?
How much I would enjoy the experience.
What has been the most challenging part of being a business owner?
Keeping on top of my paperwork. But I am a great fan of a good spread sheet.
The most unusual situation you have found yourself in as an independent midwife?
Hopping on the Hovercraft with a placenta safely stored in a cool box.
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I used to fly gliders… Soaring on a ridge or in thermals – nothing like it!
Do you have a message for birthing women?
Employing an independent midwife is an investment in both your physical and psychological well being.
Heather has been working as a midwife for over 30 years. Her road from student midwife to my current role as self-employed independent midwife has been long and convoluted. Highlights include her first community post as relief for Mary Cronk MBE when she started working with the then regulatory body. Her teachings and wisdom relating the […]