Working while pregnant – Community Midwife

Louise Kehoe, 31, talks about working in a busy Colchester hospital whilst pregnant

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“I found out I was pregnant on holiday and when I returned to work it felt very odd. I was delivering a baby and thinking ‘That’ll be me in nine months!’. I kept it secret until I was ready to tell my colleagues a few weeks later. Being a pregnant midwife has its advantages as you know exactly what to expect, while expecting! We reassure mums-to-be that they mustn’t panic, but I did find myself checking the baby’s heartbeat on equipment at work, just to be sure. That’s a habit I had to get out of.

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“I get daily reality checks”

My shift starts at 8.30am and involves driving around doing postnatal checks and delivering babies at women’s homes, in hospital or at our birthing centre. Each day can involve everything from a water home birth, to supporting an anxious new mum.

Watching a baby arrive when you’re carrying one yourself is truly amazing, although it’s a daily reality check of what your body’s going to go through, something I could sometimes do without. I finish at 5.30pm, but I can be on call straight after that, until 8.30am. It’s tiring, even when you’re not pregnant, but shift work is good practice for being a mum, as I found out when I had my first daughter, Scarlett, who’s now 19 months.

“My colleague will deliver my baby”

Talking to mums-to-be every day means I need to be on top of the latest information, which can be helpful but a bit scary. I hope that by going through it myself I can reassure them, and talk about my hopes and worries, too.

Being in the pregnancy and baby business means my colleagues are really sympathetic to any symptoms I’ve been suffering from, such as morning sickness, offering to step in if I’m feeling a bit green. It’s actually one of my colleagues who’ll be delivering my baby, which felt a bit weird at first, but I’m just pleased I’ll have a friendly face there to support me.

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I’m also looking after women who are at roughly the same stage of pregnancy as me, which women find really encouraging. At the end of the day, we’re going through it together, which helps me as much as I hope it helps them.”

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