The island’s first two Maternity Support Workers (MSWs) have joined Noble’s Hospital’s maternity unit.

The MSWs will undertake a range of delegated clinical duties and complement the care given by the unit’s midwives.

A Manx Care spokesperson said: ‘MSWs are an integral part of the maternity workforce and play an important role in supporting midwives and the wider maternity teams, mothers and their babies through pregnancy, labour and during the postnatal period.

‘They work under the direct supervision of a registered midwife and within established guidelines and protocols when providing care to women and their families.

‘The MSW role bridges the gap between the midwife and Maternity Care Assistant (MCA), and undertake some of the more basic care roles. This enables the midwives to concentrate on the tasks that can only be undertaken by themselves.’

One of the new MSWs Laura Riding said: ‘I have worked on the Jane Crookall Maternity Unit for the last 18 months and on every shift I have seen the care and attention that our midwives give to mums-to-be and new mums.

‘This has inspired me to want to provide a more hands on, patient-focused approach than I was able to provide as a MCA.

‘Being a mum of two myself, I know how important it is to feel cared for and listened to at such a vulnerable time.

‘I feel that as a MSW, I will be able to support the midwives in giving the best possible care to women, whether it is taking their blood pressure, making them a cup of tea, holding their hand through a contraction, showing them how to change the first nappy or simply listening to their concerns.

‘To be a part of a woman’s journey in this way is an honour and I am proud to be one of the first MSWs on the Isle of Man.

Her fellow MSW Jade Hardinge added: ‘I love meeting the families, supporting them and being part of their journey, whether it’s their first baby or their fifth – each pregnancy, labour and birth is as individual and special as the women and families I care for.

‘My role allows me to feel valued and part of a team, to learn and develop clinical skills and be part of life-changing experiences every day.’