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Norwich midwife lands prestigious award

PUBLISHED: 10:19 11 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:21 02 July 2010

Dan Grimmer

A Norfolk midwife who helped a woman overcome a serious illness to give birth to a healthy baby has landed a prestigious award.

Dan Grimmer

A Norfolk midwife who helped a woman overcome a serious illness to give birth to a healthy baby has landed a prestigious award.

Lorraine Skipper, 47, works at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and was nominated for the Prima baby and pregnancy magazine awards by 29-year-old Jo Meale, who described her midwife as “absolutely brilliant”.

The mother-of-two from Attleborough was named midwife of the year for the eastern region.

Mrs Neale first met Mrs Skipper when she was pregnant in 2008 with her daughter Lauren who is now one. She was extremely apprehensive because after the birth of her son James, now three, she suffered from puerperal psychosis - a rare but extremely serious post-natal condition in which the sufferer can have delusions, hallucinations and severe confusion.

While only one in 1,000 women suffer from the condition, once someone has had it there is a 50pc chance of it returning during a second pregnancy.

Mrs Neale, who lives in Quidenham, said she was scared when she found out she was pregnant again and she was still on anti-psychotic drugs for her illness.

Mrs Skipper became her community midwife during the latter stages of the pregnancy.

“She was so supportive right from the beginning,” Mrs Neale said. “She never judged me and she didn't let me feel sorry for myself. She helped me get on with it and face the possibility of becoming ill again.

“Lorraine was there when Lauren was born, even though she was not working that day and was the first to hold her. And it turned out, I didn't develop the illness which was such a fantastic relief to us all.

“I wanted to nominate Lorraine for the awards because I could not have gone through it all without her. She was amazing and we will always stay in touch.”

Mrs Skipper has been a midwife for 25 years at the N&N and said the job is about looking after the mums and not just the deliveries.

She said: “I was very touched to be nominated for the awards. There were 12 of us finalists and it was a real honour to be there. I love my job and am pleased to say I have helped deliver so many babies.”

Do you have a health story for the Evening News? Call Sarah Hall on 01603 772426 or email sarah.hall2@archant.co.uk

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