In Conversation With...midwife Rhiannon Young

We know there are lots of very interesting people in our Trust, whether through your work, your interests or your hobbies outside work. We want to get to know you and share your story.

This week we spoke to one of our midwives, Rhiannon Young, who recently appeared on TV for the first time! Rhiannon, along with other colleagues in our Maternity team, was caught on camera for the MTV show, Young and Pregnant UK. One of the young mums, Alisha, gave birth at Queen’s Hospital, and Rhiannon was her midwife! The episode aired on MTV earlier this month.

Rhiannon, who only qualified last year, tells us all about what it was like appearing on camera, and dealing with the family drama which the crew were keen to catch on film.

Age: 28

Lives: In Rainham with husband Bradley, 32, a plumber, and daughter Cerys, nine.

And: Rhiannon decided to become a midwife after she had her daughter, Cerys – thanks to the great care she received at our hospital!

Hi Rhiannon – tell us about appearing on Young and Pregnant, was it your first time on TV?

It was. I had to fill in a disclaimer – I’ve never done anything like that before! I was on the day shift and I was allocated Alisha’s room. A colleague said it was the ‘filming room’ and I wasn’t sure what that meant at first.

I wasn’t worried about being on camera at the time and carried on as normal, although I was worried about it before it aired!

The main thing was dealing with all the additional filming equipment in quite a small room.

There was a bit of drama with Alisha’s mum. Alisha wanted her to come and see the baby but her husband wasn’t keen as the families don’t get on. She also already had two birthing partners and they aren’t meant to swap.

The mum had an argument with our ward clerk and we even had to call security. Alisha was the priority for me so I got everyone out of the room so I could ask her what she wanted. In the end, we agreed on her mum coming in for five minutes and everything was okay.

I bonded with her because I was a young mum too, she was 19 and I also had my daughter Cerys when I was 19.

Alisha wanted to make sure she had her make up done for the birth! I talked to her about my experience, as there’s a lot of pressure when you’re young. I reassured her that if I could do it, she could. I wanted to do everything I could to support her.

Tell us more about how Cerys’ birth inspired your career

I had her at Queen’s in 2010 and it was such a good experience that it made up my mind to be a midwife.

At the time I was working as a dental assistant in Newham. I knew I wanted to work in healthcare, I’d wanted to be a nurse when I was little, and I had experience of helping my mum care for my nan for five years when she had dementia.

So once Cerys got a little bit older, I did an access course with South Essex College, and then went to Southbank University for my midwifery degree. It was challenging with a child but I have a good support network and as soon as I started I knew 100 per cent it was the career for me.

I did three years of training here and qualified in October 2018. Luckily there was a job here, I applied for it and got it. My first day was so scary – however, there was lots of support to help me through.

I love my job. I’ve worked in our antenatal clinic, labour ward and I’m currently based on our postnatal ward. It’s lovely as I now get to see mums who I booked in having their babies.

My favourite part of my role is empowering the women I care for. I love being part of bringing their babies into the world – it’s a privilege.

I also love that you get to meet a range of people from all different backgrounds in our Trust, both staff and patients.

What other roles have you had?

I went into work straight after school and started off in offices. That’s how I got into my dental assistant role. I started on reception and then did training on the job. It was a mobile unit for children which visited nursery schools – we called it a ‘fun bus!’ I worked with children between three and five and it was a lot of fun.

Have any patients in particular stuck in your mind?

There was a lady I first saw when I was a student. She’d had several miscarriages which was really upsetting. Then she got pregnant again and had her rainbow baby (a baby born after a loss). I looked after her through her pregnancy and delivered the baby which was lovely. She needed a lot of extra comfort and support and it was great to be able to provide her with that continuity.

What do you like to get up to outside work?

My husband and I love to go to the theatre, we saw 9-5 recently. We’re also saving to take Cerys to Disney World in Florida for the first time, which we’re really excited about. I’m doing lots of bank shifts to help us save more.

Cerys also likes to go to the park. And we’re close to my mum, she lives just down the road and helps out with Cerys a lot.

And our favourite question of In Conversation With….do you have any pets?

We’ve got four tortoises - Ted, Ernie, Lucy and Tim! Some were passed down the family and some are rehomed, we rescued Ted last year after he was bitten by a dog.


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