5 May 2020, 8:39 a.m.

Gloucestershire Hospitals will be lighting up its buildings in a spectacular way this evening (5 May 2020) to mark International Day of the Midwife.

The Tower Block of Gloucestershire Royal Hospital will be host to a colourful celebration of midwives from 8.30pm onwards, whilst the Pillars entrance at Cheltenham General Hospital and Stroud Maternity Unit will be illuminated in celebration of the enormous contribution that midwives play around the world.

The hospital Trust which has 306 midwives, provides care throughout pregnancy and birth to just under 6,000 women, babies and their families every year in Gloucestershire.

Vivien Mortimore, Chief Midwife and Divisional Director of Quality and Nursing said: “Pregnancy and childbirth during the outbreak of COVID-19 has led to increased anxiety for pregnant women and their families. Midwives have adapted the care they provide in response to the outbreak and I am extremely proud of the way they have risen to the challenges presented. In these uncertain times, women, babies and their families can be confident and reassured that maternity services are here for them.

“The International Day of the Midwife 2020 has never been more special and I’d like to thank each and every one of the Midwifery team for all the work that they do.”

Professor Steve Hams, Director of Quality and Chief Nurse said: “We are delighted to be celebrating International Day of the Midwife in such an innovative way this year. We would like to thank Evenlode Films and Productions, a Cheltenham-based production company for their generosity and the hospital charity for making this possible. It’s something that we’ve never done before and we’re all looking forward to the display.”

In line with social distancing, people are asked not to attend the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital site to view the display, however, it can be viewed on Gloucestershire Hospitals main Facebook page, live this evening from 8.30pm onwards.

The hospitals have received some wonderful feedback from women who have used its maternity service during COVID-19. Gloucestershire resident Kristie Maunoury gave birth to her son at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on 29th March during the first week of the COVID-19 lockdown. She said: “The maternity staff in the women's centre were absolutely amazing. I will be forever grateful to them for all of the care and support that they gave to me during my labour, the birth and the three days afterwards. Yasmin was my midwife on the delivery suite and she was just brilliant. We ended up going to theatre and the doctors, nurses and other staff looking after us were faultless, working quickly to ensure that my baby and I were both healthy and safe. The staff were incredible, and are absolute superheroes looking after so many women and babies during these difficult times!”