Clare Kennedy, advanced midwife practitioner, HSE
Midwifery is known as an extremely busy but very rewarding vocation, and Claire Kennedy has a passion for her work that is evident immediately from speaking to her.
She is one of 12 Registered Advanced Midwife Practitioners in the country, and the only one at St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny.
Her work sees her involved with mothers-to-be ahead of delivery, and it continues for seven days after the baby is delivered, involving a home visit.
Her working day typically starts around 7.30am, but each day can be different. It may involve antenatal clinics, postnatal home visits or work in the hospital’s labour ward. There is a clinic in Carlow on Wednesdays.
Clare recently had a baby of her own and since returning to work has noticed the impact of Covid on both her colleagues.
“It was very challenging — I can see how hard the staff are working and it is extremely demanding,” she says.
Likewise for expectant mothers:
“Becoming a mother is a wonderful thing, but it can be a very daunting thing, that instinct is there to protect and cocoon a baby. Now (with Covid) there’s the extra anxiety that is there in the women coming in.
“Pregnancy isn’t an illness, women are healthy and sometimes it is the first time a woman has attended a hospital.”
In 2019, Clare was named Midwife of the Year by the INMO: “I love my job and I love the continuity of it. You really get to know people. There were about six women coming back last week that I knew from a previous baby, and that anxiety just disappears when they know you and see a friendly face.”
The name of her team is the Integrated Community Midwifery Service. If people wish to enquire or find out more information about it, they can get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.