Staff learning from the best

Speaker Shawn Walker
Speaker Shawn Walker
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CHILDBIRTH specialists have been learning from world renowned experts at an international conference organised by Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Nearly 100 delegates attended the day-long session to hear the most current research on delivering breech birth, which is when a baby is lying with their bottom downwards.

The conference, organised by the hospital’s Sister Julia Thompson and staff midwife, Lisa Walton, attracted five world-authority speakers who discussed the potential choices for mothers giving birth to a breech baby.

Nicola Parry, head of midwifery at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Traditionally breech babies at term have meant mum having little option other than a Caesarean section.

“But things are changing and we are delighted to host such a prestigious event focusing on the latest research”.

Speaker Shawn Walker, breech specialist midwife at James Paget University Hospitals, in Norwich, said: “It’s been overwhelming, the amount of collective interest in providing viable choice in vaginal births.

“Delivery has to be safe for professionals as well as mothers, and that is totally our aim.

“I have been surprised and pleased at the number of delegates here and it has been inspiring to hear from people from several different hospitals about how they are offering choices which result in safer outcomes for mother and baby.”

Student midwife at Blackpool, Chantelle McGovern, attended the conference and said it had been “excellent, a real eye-opener.”

She added: “As students we are taught a specific way to deal with breech babies and it has been interesting to hear about other thinking. It makes delivery less scary.

“The quality and range of speakers has been excellent.”

Other speakers at the event, which raised more than £2,000 from delegate fees for the Women and Children Unit, included German obstetrician Dr Anke Reitter, and Canadian researcher and midwife Betty-Anne Daviss.

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