“The First Time that the Iron Entered My Soul” by Mary Cronk, MBE

Midwives Mary Cronk (l) and Joy Horner (r) 2014

Midwives Mary Cronk (l) and Joy Horner (r) 2014

I am an unabashed fan of U.K. midwife Mary Cronk.  She made this post to the ukmidwifery list today and I am posting it here with her permission.  Gloria Lemay

“I am sure I have told this story before but here it is again. ~Over forty years ago I had my first baby in Queen Charlottes Hospital (my first part midwifery training school) I had ruptured a lumbar disc at 24 weeks and spent the next 16 weeks in QCH on skeletal traction and had an elective forceps delivery at full dilatation. My baby was taken away very shortly after the birth to be “cot nursed” for 48 hours in the nursery as he was a forceps and all forceps deliveries were routinely cot nursed under supervision in the nursery . 40 odd years on I can still feel the emotions I had then. I ordered that my baby be brought to me immediately and informed them that I was my baby’s legal guardian and if he was not brought to me instantly, my husband would be instructing solicitors and bringing an action against them for kidnapping. I was so angry and hysterical, I suppose it was because I could not physically go to my baby that I was so upset. He was brought to me and I ordered that he be put alongside me. They obeyed me. but I was visited by Matron who reprimanded me as if I was a pupil midwife again. I repeated myself that I would observe my own baby and he was not removed from me again. I think that was the first time that the iron entered my soul and I realized that parents had rights.  In sisterhood Mary

Other posts which feature Mary’s wisdom:


9 thoughts on ““The First Time that the Iron Entered My Soul” by Mary Cronk, MBE

  1. Mary, I have read and quoted your wisdom for many years, and remember one particular quote about how we are all professional ‘servants’ … some may find those words harsh, but a true advocate is someone who facilitates and supports decision making and protects…. so yes.. we are servants, but in a good way
    Looking forward to your workshop on Friday x

  2. Yes! I had a home birth, so my baby was never taken away from me. That iron in the soul, though, is a very good way to describe the feeling I get at the thought of it happening. It’s a strength and determination I certainly never had before she was born.

  3. Lovely to read Mary’s powerful story: how becoming a mother changed her perspective and made a deep lasting impact on the importance of keeping mothers and babies together and kind respectful care from health care professionals. Mary felt the lioness stir inside her and she’s been fearless ever since: for women’s rights and supporting her fellow midwives when they needed it!

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