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Ealing Hospital NHS Trust

A Day In The Life of: Maria Freebrey - Midwife

Maria demonstrates the ultrasound scanner, used to monitor the baby's development, and consults her files to check which patients she will visit during the day
Maria demonstrates the ultrasound scanner, used to monitor the baby's development, and consults her files to check which patients she will visit during the day


Case 1: Maria Freebrey - Midwife

Case 2: Victoria Quinn - Intensive Therapy Unit nurse, E Grade

Case 3: Kim Broadbent - Medical Secretary

Case 4: Pauline McCalla - Principal Pharmacist

Case 5: Raminder Birk - Head chef in diet bay 

Maria has worked for 20 years as a midwife at Ealing Hospital, working in the community and also in the labour ward. ' I enjoy my job very much,' says Maria. 'When I am out and about in the community I sometimes meet mums whose babies I have delivered and it is lovely to see how the babies have grown.'

Maria finds her role at this very special time in a family's life very rewarding. Visiting mothers in their homes before and after the baby's birth as well as being there to look after mother and baby, she can become a friend with a fount of knowledge. Midwives are also able to deal with general medical problems, such as prescribing antibiotics or deciding if the mother should see a GP or a consultant.

To continue in practice, midwives must register annually, presenting a portfolio showing they have maintained their knowledge and training. So in her additional role as a supervisor of midwives, Maria has an annual interview with each midwife under her 'wing' to ensure that they are registered and are keeping up to date.

Working hours in our maternity department are flexible with part-time options to fit in with the midwife's own child-care responsibilities as well as the normal full time posts. Working patterns can be 8.30 am - 4.30 pm; 2.00pm - 9.30 pm or 9.15 pm - 8.45 am (midwives only work four days a month on this night shift in the labour ward).


Maria leads a team of six midwives and her day begins with a team meeting which covers

  • the workload for the day and discuss how it should be distributed


  • the patients each midwife will be visiting


  • any problems, which could be teenage pregnancies, depression, breast feeding difficulties or family problems.

Paperwork is done before leaving the hospital, contact made with GPs or health visitors as needed and the route and order of visits worked out.

10.00 am

On a typical day Maria will visit seven homes before a quick lunch "on the hoof". In our multicultural community the midwives are happy to accommodate any religious beliefs or customs that the family observes, such as taking off her shoes.

Visiting a new mum the routine is


  • looking at the discharge notes from the hospital, which record details of the delivery and anything special that should be observed


  • Maria checks mum, her milk flow, soreness, if the body is returning back to normal and general well being


  • baby is stripped and checked for weight using fish scales with a little hammock to hold the baby.


  • colour of the soiled nappy and the cleanliness of the cord area are checked. If mum is finding it difficult to feed the baby then Maria will stop and assist with a feed to give any advice that she can to help.


After a short lunch break Maria drives to one of her afternoon antenatal surgeries, held in a GP's surgery. This particular surgery operates an appointment system where expectant mothers attend once a month - up to 28 weeks of pregnancy, increasing to twice a month up to 36 weeks into the pregnancy and then once a week until the birth.

During the ante-natal appointment Maria will


  • assess how far on in the pregnancy the woman is


  • check her blood pressure and urine


  • feel the abdomen and check baby's heart beat.


Any advice necessary will be given and a return-visit date confirmed.

Maria is 'on-call' eight times a month to cover times when the labour ward is extremely busy and extra hands are needed. As a very experienced midwife she may also be called out to deal with a case that has been reported to be "at risk" for some reason.


Maria Freebrey, Midwife
Maria Freebrey: midwife

If you are interested in joining the Ealing Hospital midwifery team contact the midwifery manager on 020 8967 5586.