Flora Wood is a midwife at St George’s with a specialist interest in bereavement.
Flora features in episode one of Baby Surgeons: Delivering Miracles when delivering Ann-Marie’s babies.
Her caring nature and calm presence is felt in a difficult time for Ann-Marie and her partner Paul.
Here, we catch up with Flora to find out more about her role and why it’s important.
How long have you worked at St George’s for?
I joined St George’s straight after qualifying three and a half years ago. I did my midwifery training at St George’s and Croydon too so I feel like I’ve been here for longer!
What made you want to get into midwifery and specifically bereavement?
I originally planned to study English Literature at university but had a change of heart midway through my A levels and wanted to do something more practical. I have a lot medical family members so that probably contributed, and I looked at both nursing and midwifery before deciding midwifery was for me!
With bereavement, I’ve always tended to look after these women and families on delivery suite. When I was a student I delivered a term stillbirth and even though it was an awful situation, my mentor was so kind and the birth itself was really peaceful. This showed me how important compassion and listening to families really is. I feel very lucky to have joined the newly expanded bereavement team.
What has been your favourite part of being involved with the series?
How important for Ann-Marie and Paul it is to tell their story. It’s always a privilege to be at any birth but I was so aware of the grief but also joy they were feeling. And how to balance that and respect their space and grieving process without being intrusive, whilst still making sure they were all safe.
Why did you want to be a part of this series? / Why is it important to raise awareness of the topics seen throughout the series?
I think people are starting to talk more about bereavement and baby loss. It’s so important to talk about it as people often feel really lonely and isolated, especially with Covid-19 this last year too. I think this series will hopefully help open up some more of those conversations.
I also want people to know that even if your baby is not alive, they’re still your baby. If they’re born at 14 weeks, you can still hold them and take photos and name them and your midwife can help you to do that, if that’s what’s right for you.
What would you say to someone who is interested in progressing into a similar career?
Talk to everybody. Talk to other midwives or bereavement midwives and find out what it’s like. Always ask for help if you’re not sure and just generally be kind to those giving birth. Kindness is the most important thing.