Midwife wins prestigious ‘Midwife of the Year’ award for helping women have the birth they want

A midwife at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has been awarded the prestigious MAMA Midwife of the Year 2014 award for helping women to have the birth they would like.

Victoria Cochrane, the Trust’s group practice project lead midwife, was nominated for her work supporting women who choose a birth which may be outside the recommended guidelines for their situation and for putting women in touch with their local hospitals, senior midwives, Supervisors of Midwives and other relevant services for support and advice.

She was nominated for the award, sponsored by The Practising Midwife journal, by Elizabeth Prochaska, the founder of Birth Rights, the UK’s only organisation dedicated to improving women’s experience of pregnancy and childbirth by promoting respect for human rights.

Victoria, who joined the Trust in 2005 and works in its maternity services at St Mary’s Hospital and Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea Hospital, received her award, a glass statue from TV presenter Carol Smillie and Royal College of Midwives chief executive Cathy Warwick, at the Mothers and Midwives Alliance (MAMA) conference in Glasgow.

She said: 

“I am very proud and humbled to receive this award, and it’s fantastic to be recognised in this way.

“I won the award for my work in supporting women to choose the type of birth they want, whether it’s a vaginal birth after having a caesarean section at home, a breech birth or a home birth with other risk factors, for example, and for helping them navigate the complex and at times confusing system, to where they can get advice and support in their own Trust. My role as a midwife and supervisor of midwives is to ensure women make informed choices, that are respected and supported in the safest way possible.”

As the Trust’s group practice project lead, Victoria has also overseen the roll out of seven new community midwifery group practices to provide continuity of antenatal and postnatal care as well as a home birth service. The project means women will see the same midwife during their pregnancy.

Pippa Nightingale, the Trust’s head of midwifery, said: “I am delighted and proud that Victoria has won this prestigious award. Victoria is an excellent midwife who is passionate about supporting women’s choice. She is a real credit to the Imperial College Healthcare midwifery team.”

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