Midwife’s career boosted by national award

Published: 12 October 2017 at 12:00

Eleanor Cramer

Grant will enable recent graduate to specialise in improving mental health

An Anglia Ruskin University graduand has won a prestigious national award, enabling her to focus her midwifery career towards helping pregnant women deal with mental health issues.

Eleanor Cramer, 27, was one of a select number of student midwives to receive awards from the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust, an organisation that aims to promote and improve the care of mothers, babies and families through awarding grants and fellowships in support of midwifery education, practice and research.

Eleanor, who is from Cambridge, became only the second Anglia Ruskin University student to win an award since they began in 2002, and the first since 2008. She graduates in a ceremony at Cambridge Corn Exchange on Friday, 20 October.

The grant enabled her to undergo training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with a view to teaching Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting as a specialist mental health midwife.

Eleanor, who starts work at the Rosie Hospital in Cambridge this month, said:

“I’m so grateful to the Iolanthe Trust for giving me the opportunity to delve into this area.  As a newly qualified midwife, my focus right now is on the more mainstream clinical skills, but this insight into mental health can only benefit my career in the future.

“There’s good evidence that formal mindfulness courses are great at preventing depression in people who’ve been depressed before, and there’s some early evidence that it’s beneficial in other areas of mental health too.

“Pregnancy and the postnatal period are times when many women experience mental health problems. It’s also a time when women are often interested in proactively improving their health, but at the moment they don’t always get the support they need.  

“People are starting to look at whether mindfulness classes during pregnancy might help. Then there’s the idea that mindfulness might be useful in the workplace as well, to promote emotional self-awareness and help cope with stress – something that might be beneficial in any caring profession like midwifery.”

Frances Galloway, Lead Midwife for Education at Anglia Ruskin University, said:

“The Iolanthe Midwifery Trust is a prestigious award for midwives and student midwives that motivates and inspires midwives to be creative and committed to the best care for women and babies.

“Eleanor certainly reflects this aspiration. She has been an exemplary student midwife at Anglia Ruskin committed to providing outstanding care to women at her placement site at the Rosie Hospital. The midwifery team are very proud of her achievements.”