A senior midwife at Epsom and St Helier has been chosen as a finalist in Good Morning Britain’s prestigious Health Stars Awards, and will be joining presenters Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on their famous sofa tomorrow (Wednesday 19 April) to talk about her role.
Lydia Baker, a Bereavement Midwife at St Helier Hospital, goes above and beyond the call of duty to support parents following a miscarriage, stillbirth or death of a child and provides specialist care to those who are pregnant again following their loss. Lydia has worked at St Helier for 14 years and qualified as a midwife 11 years ago. After showing an interest in supporting bereaved parents during her day-to-day role, Lydia proved that the hospitals could benefit from the appointment of a dedicated bereavement midwife.
Now, just two years after launching the service, one of the women Lydia has helped has nominated her for the ITV national awards, and she’s through to the final three. Lydia said: “I am absolutely over the moon that someone has thought to nominate me for a Health Star Award – it’s really daunting, but it’s touching to know that I’ve made such an impact! This would not have been possible without the support of my managers and colleagues at the Trust – their backing has been absolutely key in creating this tailored role.
“Losing a baby or child is an absolutely heart breaking thing to go through, but I feel privileged to be able help families during this incredibly difficult time. After suffering such a loss, most parents cannot imagine ever having another baby or being able to bring their baby home from hospital, but I’m here to help them work through their anxieties and create a very specific, hands-on care plan. I make sure I’m available for these families whenever they need me, and I know all of their particular worries and needs.
“In my experience, parents who have suffered a loss like this still feel like a mum or dad, but sadly they don’t have a baby to hold – it’s that old saying ‘I’m a mum but my arms are empty’. It’s my aim to help those mums and dads weather the storm and reach brighter, more hopeful days, and that’s why we call the new babies of bereaved parents ‘rainbows’ – they are the light following the dark.”
Aimey Shears, from Wallington, is due to have a ‘rainbow’ baby next month under Lydia’s care, after her daughter Evie sadly passed away two years ago. Aimey said: “Lydia’s support has been phenomenal. She knows my anxieties, and is an absolute constant for me – she’s always there when you need her. I know it’s a luxury to have a dedicated midwife like Lydia to help and support us, but I can’t explain the difference it has made. And importantly, this isn’t just about me – I know that Lydia will be on hand to help my husband and baby, too.”
Marion Louki, Head of Midwifery and Gynaecology, said: “We are all very proud of Lydia and the difference she makes to local families. So whether she’s crowned a winner or not on Monday, she has done incredibly well to get to the final three, and will always be a health star to us!”
For more information about the Trust’s maternity services, visit www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/maternity-services.