Midwife Carl Allen from Manea is among local NHS staff helping to celebrate the 70th birthday of the health service
A Manea man is among a group of staff from the local NHS trust chosen to help spearhead a campaign to celebrate the health service's 70th birthday.
Midwifery is not the first thought that comes to mind when you think of men working in the NHS but Carl Allen has been delivering babies at the area's hospitals for over five years and loves every minute.
He doesn't keep count of how many new lives he has brought into the world but he estimates it is around 250 with a baby girl born on Wednesday as the latest to arrive under his care.
The North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust,which runs Peterborough City and Huntingdon's Hinchingbrooke Hospitals as well as looking after community clinics at Doddington, the North Cambs at Wisbech and the Princess of Wales in Ely, is running a campaign focussing on 70 different members of staff in a range of roles in its hospitals.
Carl, who has lived in Manea for the past three years, is among those featured and explains more about his work and why he chose to be a midwife.
There are only around 100 to 150 male widwives nationwide but Carl would recommend the role to anyone thinking about joining the NHS.
He said: "When I left school I worked in a variety of caring roles all over the UK and in America. I trained as a massage therapist and at one stage I had a case-load that included pregnant women, which really sparked my interest. In 2009 I decided to retrain as a midwife.
“I trained and worked at Addenbrooke’s Hospital before moving to Hinchingbrooke as an integrated midwife, working in the maternity unit and within the community. After that I became a full-time community midwife in Cambourne, South Cambs, which I loved.
“The first baby I saw being delivered was during a home birth. The woman was ‘hypnobirthing’ and it was an incredible experience. Hypnobirthing encourages women and their birth partners to embrace the birth process and not fight against it. There are breathing techniques, positioning, and visualisation scripts to follow, which all encourage deep relaxation.
"I have subsequently studied the hypnobirthing practitioner course and supported many women to use it effectively. In fact I have delivered babies in all sorts of ways including birthing pools. I have also delivered babies in a lift and a car park.
“My role at Peterborough City Hospital is very different to my community midwifery job. I work as a Risk Midwife where the aim is to ensure there are safe systems and processes in place to facilitate and promote patient safety. The maternity Risk Team works across the whole Trust, promoting the same standards of care at both Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough Hospitals.
"I love my job and feel really privileged to do it. Every birth is special and unique in its own way; there is nothing that compares to witnessing a baby meet its mother for the very first time.
“Midwifery is considered both a science and an art – combining evidence-based care with the cultures and beliefs of the families we work with, using our own style and personality to care individually for families. There shouldn’t be any difference between the way a male midwife and a female midwife does their job. As midwives we work with the women we look after, putting our own personal stamp on the way we do things.”