TV Show ‘Real Call The Midwife’ Promises Something To Talk About And All The Insights On The Job

DJ dads, chaotic cats, and a birthing temple are just some of the anomalies that midwives have to deal with on a daily basis.

And as more couples continue to choose to give birth at home instead of going to their local hospital, the profession is expanding.

Be it a mischievous ghoul poking through the birthing tank or a wall of snakes slithering in the background, a group in Yorkshire is no doubt accustomed to seeing it all.

Midwife Laura Hughes, 34, laughed: “It can be like a circus. It was definitely an act of juggling for us as we had to take care of the mother but then also have to deal with everything else going on in the house, from the other kids, to family members and pet.

“During one birth, we went down after taking her upstairs and found the cat licking the placenta! You never really know what will happen.”

Laura is part of a team of six who care for nearly 200 home births each year in Bradford, west Mids.

Rebecca allowed the crew to film her birth scene


BBC / Candor Productions Ltd)

And their daily lives are captured on camera for the first time in a new BBC Two TV series, Yorkshire Midwives On Call.

The performance that kicks off Monday has been dubbed “The Call Is Actually Midwife” and promises a head start and all the insights into the work.

The team certainly has some stories to tell.

Rebecca and Tim share their birth experience on camera


BBC / Candor Productions Ltd)

Laura told us: “We had one birth and they moved into this house and arranged their spare room into a fertility temple, which was amazing. “I would pay to come and stay in it like a hotel room!

“She hung all the different fabrics and silks from the ceiling, she had fairy lights everywhere, scented candles.

Rebecca in labor


BBC / Candor Productions Ltd)

“She even had a little basket that said the midwives had filled it with Lucozade and chips for us, which was really sweet.”

Colleague Gemma Gordon, 38, a former flight attendant, has been a home midwife since 2019 and said the team must be ready to deal with anything.

“The last time I gave birth, a cat bit a hole in the birthing tank that they repaired with a puncture repair kit,” she laughs.

The stars of Yorkshire Midwives on the call


Tim Smith / Candor Productions / BBC)

“Thankfully, it was pretty well organised. There is so much water in the pools that you won’t want to spill all over your living room!

“Really, pets are just part of the daily routine. You’re used to cats and dogs jumping all over you.”

Laura added: “I went to a house and the mother gave birth in the hallway.

“I turned to look behind me and saw what I thought was a bookshelf and it wasn’t, it was a wall full of fish tanks with snakes and gaurs, all sorts of things in it.”

But it’s not just pets, partners can also create chaos during the day.

The documentary promises to give you some issues and insight into the midwifery industry


Tim Smith / Candor Productions / BBC)

Mother-of-two Stephanie Crefin, 38, said: ‘I gave birth there my dad was a DJ, so we set up the floor and some lights, it was like fun.

They also have fun playlists that range from Classics to AC/DC, while Adam Sandler’s and Will Smith’s romance are favorites for movie-going moms in Labour. Laura can also enjoy a few Friends marathons.

“Things that make you laugh or feel warm, fuzzy inside definitely help mom relax!” she explains.

Among the couples who shared their birth experiences on camera were junior doctors Rebecca and Tim, who had two-year-old Freddie together.

Rebecca, Tim, their toddler Freddie and baby Toby


Tim Smith / Candor Productions / BBC)

“One of the things that made us think how special it would be is thinking about how many children have been born in our house because it was built in 1860,” said Rebecca.

“It seems like it’s been a while since a baby was born there so we wanted to do that.”

The couple had been planning a water birth at home, with Tim taking care of the pool they had inflated in their front room.

And just seven hours after her water broke, Rebecca gave birth to Toby with an eye weight of 10 pounds.

Tim admits: “It was a lot faster than I thought, Rebecca did a great job.”

“We completely crossed the moon.”

Laura, who has been a midwife for more than seven years, hopes to prove home births aren’t just for the stereotypical “hippie mom”.

“You don’t need a big house. We’ve been in studio apartments, tiny beds, homes in absolute poverty, where they have no furniture and no carpeting,” she said. “We take care of a lot of lesbian couples and we have established a polyamorous relationship.”

In one of the more complicated cases is Keeleigh, 26, who lives with her boyfriend and their three children, sons AJ, one, and Harrison, seven, and their daughter Lily, 10.

“When I gave birth to Lily, it was really scary,” explains Keeleigh, who was 16 at the time.

Keeleigh had a complicated birth


Tim Smith / Candor Productions / BBC)

“I wanted to give birth at home, but I couldn’t give birth because the baby was born prematurely, so we had to go to the hospital urgently.

“It was a bad experience, so from then on I hated going to the hospital.”

Complications have kept her from giving birth at home with any of her own, before getting lucky with number four, Willow.

However, Keeleigh lost more blood than the midwives were pleased with, so they called an ambulance.

“I was admitted to the hospital, it was not part of my plan so it was amazing, it was scary,” explains Keeleigh. “But I got a home birth that I wanted. Laura is so good, I’ve never met a better midwife, and I’ve got four kids! ”

Their emergency training is like training a pilot. And it’s a familiar feeling for Gemma, who quit her job at British Airways to become a midwife.

“Your training takes effect quickly when things don’t go according to plan,” she says.

“There was a birth just before Christmas where we had to resuscitate the baby, because they were born with a cord wrapped around their neck three times. But we can cope with anything thrown at us.”

Laura added: “There’s really nothing like seeing a baby born in their own home.”

  • Yorkshire Midwives On Call, BBC Two, Monday at 8pm

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