Date of release: 5 May 2021
Say hello to midwife Asha James-Giscombe – she’s one of our ‘staff spotlights’ in this year’s International Day of the Midwife campaign.
Originally from Nottingham, Asha moved to the Midlands in 2017 and has since worked across the Trust’s many maternity specialties: antenatal, community, delivery suite on so on. Now a core member of the postnatal team, Asha cares for a range of women on the maternity ward, from those who are pregnant to those who have just given birth.
The 28-year-old said: “What I like about the maternity ward is the mix of emotional and physical support you can give.
“You can have a big clinical input, whether it’s overseeing blood pressure, watching baby’s movements, providing treatment for an infection etc., but you also provide holistic care and a listening ear during a period of anxiety. If the woman or baby is experiencing a health complication and needs treatment, we’re here to help them through it.”
Despite not studying healthcare related A-levels at school, Asha’s passion for midwifery was sparked while on a placement with the National Childcare Trust (NCT) in Norwich. Here she supported the local hospital – the Royal Derby Hospital – and realised that midwifery was a career in which she could grow and expand her skillset. And having recently started on a leadership programme, the midwife is pleased to be continuing in that development.
“Since moving to RWT I’ve been supported to progress and learn. I’ve been enrolled on training regarding the examination of babies, while I’m also studying a professional midwifery advocacy course (looking at support midwives in their development and women in their care choices). I’m really grateful to be given such opportunities to develop and expand my knowledge.”
Reflecting on the past 12 months, Asha remarks on how brilliantly the Trust’s maternity team have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I can’t fault the team, they’ve been fantastic,” she said. “We have continued to provide an amazing service to our women whilst also showing a great deal of courage and resilience.
“Like with all other NHS services, it’s been a challenge getting to know the service-users under the layers of PPE, plus it’s been incredibly hot at times, but we’ve got on with it and reminded ourselves it’s an important measure to keep us all safe.”
When asked about a stand-out moment in her career Asha replied: “I saw a gentleman the other day whose partner had given birth at the hospital. He is a member of staff so bumped into me in the hospital corridor and stopped me to say thanks for everything I had done to support his partner who was experiencing complications following the birth. He got quite emotional and it made me realise how much of an impact you have on people’s lives. I was pleased to hear she is doing really well.”
And that lasting impact is, for Asha, what makes midwives so special, and why International Day of the Midwife is a chance to celebrate the profession.
“This year’s campaign means a great deal to me as we recognise the achievements of midwives and their contribution to maternal health. In many communities around the world the midwife may be their first and only contact of healthcare. We are there at key milestones in people’s lives and can make a big difference in our work. I’m really proud to be a midwife!”