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Nora Seager-Wilkendorf

Award Received: 
Midwives Award
completing RCM-accredited Birth Trauma Resolution Practitioner Training
Year awarded: 

I applied for this award because I am passionate about my role as a birth reflection midwife and wanted to increase my skills and knowledge in birth trauma, so that I can improve the service that we are providing to our women, birthing people and their families.

I was delighted when I found out that I had been granted an Iolanthe award as it is a UK wide scheme, and I knew the award and funding would be highly competitive amongst many professionals across the country.

Without the financial support of the award, I would never have been able to participate in the Birth Trauma Resolution Therapy (BTR) course, the balance of which was completed at my own cost, and within my own time.

The funding has enabled me to successfully complete the course and I am now very proud to have qualified as a practitioner. Studying BTR has been different to any previous course I have previously completed. Learning about the different techniques involved in BTR therapy has been very interesting and provided me with a much wider understanding about birth trauma.

It has also provided me with techniques and tools I can use to support women, birthing people and their families. I feel that the techniques and tools that I learnt from the BTR therapy course go beyond the remit of psychological intervention and talking therapies. It is holistic and includes mindfulness and relaxation techniques that benefit not only the women but also their partners.

During the course I worked on three case studies and saw very encouraging results with all three women. It feels immensely satisfying to know I am helping those affected by trauma to heal and recover.

Working as a birth reflection midwife for a number of years I have heard many women and their families describe their traumatic birth experiences, but, despite being a kind and sympathetic listener, on some occasions I had felt that I should be able to provide more effective care for their unresolved experiences. This course has empowered and educated me and given me the confidence to support these individuals even more.

I feel so privileged to be in this position to support individuals through their trauma and to be part of helping them to move forward.

Nora wrote us the below article when she first heard she had received a 2022 Iolanthe Midwives Award

Since June 2019 I have been practising as a Birth Reflection Midwife. Within our Trust we are offering this service to our women and their partners so that they can reflect on their birthing experience. It is a service which is in high demand and receives very positive feedback.

Working as a Birth Reflection Midwife gives me the opportunity to use all my relevant skills and experience to provide reflectively informed discussion of events that women and their families like to review. This also gives me the chance to develop further understanding about how women, their partners and their families feel, and how we can make a difference to them and change our service for the better.

We are meeting women and partners who are dealing with open questions regarding their birth experience, sometimes after birth trauma which may lead to fear of childbirth in the next pregnancy or contribute to other mental health problems. As the BRF staff are not currently provided with specific training, and women only have one appointment, it can be challenging to respond to these disclosures, and it feels tailored care is needed for these woman and families so that individuals can receive the best advice. 

To improve my own skill, our service and the care we provide, I am soon going to start the Birth Trauma Resolution therapy (BTR) course.

This is a unique programme of learning, designed to offer birth professionals the necessary screening systems and effective tools and techniques to treat birth trauma and the associated symptoms quickly, safely, and effectively.

The BTR Therapy course is also accredited by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and was developed in response to the growing need for an effective, fast and safe treatment for birth trauma and PTSD. I am so excited to start on the 10.10.2022 and could have not done and enrolled in this course without the Iolanthe Award.

I am looking forward to updating you on my progress and the improvements it will have made to our work.