Maternity support worker from Birmingham ‘one of the best in the country’ says RCM

on 22 May 2023 RCM Maternity Services Midwifery Midwives Government Pregnancy Midwifery Workforce Wales

A maternity support worker (MSW) from Birmingham has won the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) Maternity Support Worker of the Year award, for her work on infant feeding.

Michala Richardson, who works at Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospital, was commended by the judges for the ‘outstanding care’ she provides to families and their newborn babies. The top award is given to MSWs who significantly improve the care if people they help, making Michala one of the best in the country.

The work Michala has done has not only reduced admissions in the ward and unit she works in, but she has also vastly improved the outcomes for the mothers and babies she supports. Michala has done a huge amount of training with her team, enabling them to spot early on when intervention is needed to help mothers improve the way they feed their babies or if the baby isn’t at the weight it should be.

On being presented with the award Michala humbly said: “To me, there’s nothing better than walking into somebody who’s in floods of tears, absolutely at their wits’ end, and giving them that reassurance that they’re doing everything absolutely fine, that it’s just about perseverance. To walk away with them smiling, to me that’s the reward.”

She is particularly passionate about infant feeding and making sure families are supported. Michala is adept at introducing robust feeding plans and guides the families she works with on how these need to be implemented. The families that work with her often comment that she is always being one step ahead in their care and they feel that she just intuitively provides a high quality of care.

Commenting on her award, the RCM’s Chief Executive, Gill Walton said: “Huge congratulations to Michala. She is clearly a committed, kind and knowledgeable’ MSW, who provides outstanding care to the families she works with. She always goes the extra mile for them and is clearly passionate about infant feeding support which is such an important area of midwifery. This is an area that some mothers struggle with, so it’s great that Michala has taken the lead to teach colleagues to intervene early. Congratulations again, you deserve this award!”

The award was sponsored by WaterWipes who added: “MSW’s provide invaluable care and support, particularly in areas where resources can be limited. The work MSWs carry out can make all the difference to the experience mums have before, during and after childbirth. This year’s winner, Michala Richardson, has demonstrated exceptional commitment to her role as senior support worker and second birth attendant at homebirth. She is paving the way for further senior MSWs by providing support and advocacy for band 2 & 3 MSWs at Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospital. Sincere congratulations to Michala on a job well done with true care and compassion.”