Thursday 20 September 2018

Meet the staff delivering 'miracles' on Christmas day

Midwife Kate O’Halloran who works in the Rotunda Hospital Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Midwife Kate O’Halloran who works in the Rotunda Hospital Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Ian Begley

Having a baby on Christmas day has always been seen as little miracle, but for Dublin mid-wife Kate O’Halloran it’s just business as usual.

Christmas at the Rotunda Hospital can be a joyous, but emotional time for expecting mothers.

While most pregnancies are straight forward, others are more complicated, requiring some women to spend weeks or even months in hospital.

Ms O’Halloran (34), who has been working at the Rotunda for 12 years, says extra care is needed to boost positivity during the festive season.

“Some of the women going through complicated pregnancies are with us for weeks on end," she said.

“I get to go home after my 12 hour shift and see my family and friends, but for these expecting mothers it can be very psychologically straining.

“Our staff really has to dig deep into their empathy and try to make Christmas a really positive occasion for them.

“We also have lots of decorations and festive music playing in the wards to keep spirits up.”

Ms O’Halloran added that more than 20 babies could be born in one day alone.

“This is my ninth Christmas I’ve worked, but it really does feel like any other day – you really don’t have much time to think about it.

“Last year was exceptionally busy and we even had a baby born before arrival.

“It was quite extraordinary. The couple had planned a hospital birth, but the baby just wasn’t waiting around and was delivered successfully by the dad.

“We of course provided the aftercare at the hospital, but for the couple do all the hard work at home without any training is really a Christmas miracle.”

Despite her days being long and exhausting, Ms O’Halloran says at the end of it all her career as a mid-wife is very rewarding.

"You really need dedication for this job,” she said.

“There are probably easier ways to make a living, but when you’re witnessing and safeguarding miracles every day it’s a really worthwhile profession."

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