Catherine releases open letter to midwives & photos of her time on maternity unit

The Duchess of Cambridge has released an open letter to midwives, thanking them for their work. We additionally got to see images from when Catherine spent two days on a maternity ward earlier this month.

2020 is the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, and Kate describes nursing and midwifery as ‘humbling work’ that she wanted to recognise and celebrate, as they strive to ‘improve the lives of others’.

The Duchess of Cambridge meets a newborn and its parents during her time on the maternity ward in December. Kensington Palace

Kate, you might remember, is patron of Nursing Now, a global campaign that wants to see nurses credited as “crucial”. She has also taken an active interest in maternal mental health, and development of children in their early years.

“You are there for women at their most vulnerable; you witness strength, pain and unimaginable joy on a daily basis,” the Duchess writes.

“Your work often goes on behind the scenes, and away from the spotlight. Recently however, I was privileged enough to witness a small section of it first hand, spending several days at Kingston Hospital’s Maternity Unit. Although this was not my first encounter with the care and kindness provided by midwives across the country, it gave me a broader insight into the true impact you have on everybody you help.”

Over the last few years, I’ve dedicated a significant amount of my work to the Early Years – the pivotal period of development between pregnancy and the age of 5 where children build crucial .foundations for life. Your role in supporting this critical phase of development extends far beyond the complicated task of delivering a baby successfully.

Kate, The Duchess of Cambridge speaks to nurses and midwives. Kensington Palace

The Duchess chatting to staff. Kensington Palace

The Duchess of Cambridge writes that their work to support parents is ‘cruicial’ to help build their cofnience, which has ‘lifelong impact on the future happiness of their children’.

Referencing her time on the maternity ward, she says: “During my time at Kingston I accompanied community midwives on their daily rounds and was welcomed in to people’s homes. I was truly touched by the trust that people placed in me, sharing their experiences and voicing their fears openly. I also spent time in hospital clinics and on post-natal wards. No matter the setting, I was continually struck by the compassion that those of you I spent time with showed, and the incredible work ethic you demonstrated on behalf of your entire profession – not only performing your rounds but working tirelessly through the night to support people that were at their most vulnerable.”

Catherine showered more praise on the currently-strained profession, saying that she has seen ‘time and time again’ that nurses and midwives ‘don’t ask for praise or for recognition but instead unwaveringly continue your amazing work bringing new life into our world,’ whilst also showing ‘technical mastery and the advancement of modern medicine’. However, the Duchess notes the ‘human to human relationships and simple acts of kindness’ as being some of the most effective acts.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge has a photo with staff at Kingston maternity unit. Kensington Palace

“So as we look ahead to next year, I want to thank you for all that you do. It has been a real privilege learning from you so far, and I look forward to meeting and learning from even more of you in the coming years and decades,” the letter concludes.

Read the full letter here.

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