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International Day of the Midwife 2023

Today marks International Day of the Midwife and what better way to celebrate than by shining a spotlight on the brilliant work they do every day.

In recent years, and particularly during the pandemic, pressures facing midwives has mounted substantiality and despite this, their commitment to provide care and support to women and their families has been unwavering. Here is registered midwife, Claire, describing the first time she saw a baby being born!

Claire’s story “I had happy tears in my eyes”.

I remember the first time I saw a baby being born. I was a first-year midwifery student and was unexpectedly asked by the midwife I was working with if I'd like to come with her to help at a Homebirth.

We arrived at the house not long after. The couple were relaxing in the living room between the woman’s contractions. Birth is hard work but is actually easier for women when they are at home surrounded by the people they love and where the hormone of birth (oxytocin) can do its magic! The couple's 3-year-old son was there, getting very excited as there was a "massive swimming pool" in the living room. It was actually a fairly modest birth pool, but who was I to argue? We went to work setting up our equipment, listening in to the baby's heart rate with a Doppler and making sure the woman and her unborn baby were doing well.

I remember chatting to the woman who was wondering when to send her son to his aunt’s house, as she had been told that he may get upset being at home for the birth. We briefly discussed the births I had been present at before training where children were present, as my experience was that they were more interested/bored about birth than upset. She decided to let him stay a little longer and if it felt right for him not to be there, to ask her sister to take him to her house.

Not long after we arrived, she got into the pool. The look of relief she had on her face when she realised that warm water helps with labour pains was a great thing to see!  A short time later, her new baby was born in the pool where he was brought up to the surface of the water by his mum. His big brother briefly stopped watching Paw Patrol on the iPad to say hi to his little brother then went to the kitchen with his aunt as he remembered there were some sweets in the cupboard.

I had happy tears in my eyes seeing how joyful the couple were and how powerful the mum felt for doing it all by herself. I will treasure the memory of that first birth forever.

Image of midwife Claire holding new born baby

Claire, Registered Midwife

Share your story

Do you have a memorable story of your midwife? Join the RCN Foundation and share your story today. Please send your story to and to say thank you, you will be entered into a draw to win a copy of our Dear Nurse: True Stories of Strength, Kindness and Skill book!