Much of Isobel Byrne’s role is about providing support, education and empowerment to women before, during and after they give birth.
"Sharing these emotional and momentous early days with women and their families is a very special and unique opportunity."
Isobel said: “Many women who come through the doors are frightened of labour and don't know what to expect. My job is to help guide them, to give them the tools they need to have a positive experience. The thing that I find most rewarding about my job is seeing that you've helped someone to trust their bodies, and to feel more confident and at ease with giving birth and being a mother.”
Soon Isobel will transfer to being a community based midwife, but for the past two years she has been working on the postnatal ward. Most recently she has been the link midwife between the neonatal unit and postnatal ward, a role which focuses on the more vulnerable women who have unwell babies on the neonatal unit.
She said: “I provide emotional support and help these mothers gain more confidence and power, for example, by teaching them how to hand express the liquid gold needed by their new baby. Sharing these emotional and momentous early days with women and their families is a very special and unique opportunity.”
University College London Hospital has the only Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care unit in north central London. As a result Isobel has seen all sorts of complicated cases that she might not have experienced anywhere else, for example, pregnant women who have very complex medical histories or babies with unique complications.
She said: “I'm constantly learning new things. There are difficult days, of course, as the NHS is put under increasing pressure, but the sense of camaraderie that you develop with your team is amazing - I know the friends I've made here will be friends for life.
Isobel said the education opportunities at UCLH are unique, adding: “There are so many funded courses that you would not be able to access for free in other Trusts. For example I've completed my mentorship course, attended suturing and acupuncture workshops and will be applying for the accredited Neonatal Life Support course. Also, with so much research happening at UCLH there are great opportunities to get involved at the ground level and be part of developing research based practice for the future.
“For anyone looking for a varied job role as well as learning and education opportunities, this is the place to be.”