Grace Academy of Midwifery and Birth

Independent midwifery services and training for midwives, birthworkers and parents

Experience and Qualifications

I began my midwifery training with the University of Nottingham and Nottingham City Hospital in February 1997, graduating as a Registered Midwife in 2000. Initially I worked in a variety of NHS settings – firstly at Nottingham City Hospital as a midwife attending births on labour suite and working on the postnatal wards. Then in 2004 I became a community midwife which allowed me to gain valuable experience into antenatal and postnatal care.

While I enjoyed many aspects of work as an NHS midwife, and have very happy memories of that time (I love it when I am approached in the street from all those years ago and reminded of a birth I attended!) I came to realise that I could only offer true continuity of care – throughout pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period – if I went to work for myself and become an independent midwife. This was a big step as it meant leaving behind the security of a regular salary, pension, holiday and sick pay. But I could practise truly holistic midwifery, seeing a woman throughout the continuum of her birthing journey.

I still have many connections within the NHS and have been very involved with research and clinical projects within the NHS. This involvement with the NHS means that I can keep up-to-date with the latest evidence and, I hope, enhances my independent midwifery practice.

Being an independent midwife means I get to know every client really well so that we develop a relationship of trust over the course of the pregnancy. This relationship of trust, I believe, helps each woman to feel relaxed and confident in her own ability to give birth. I am very confident in the awesome power of a woman’s body which usually works beautifully to birth a baby if we don’t interfere too much.

I believe that birth is a very significant life event for women, their partners and the whole family. With a gentle and sensitive approach, I aim to ‘hold a space’ for the mother during pregnancy and especially during labour so she can access her deep intuition about the best way to birth her baby. When the mother feels safe and supported she is free to immerse herself in the subtle dance of hormones which generally allows the birth to flow smoothly. I rely on years of experience, skills and training to assist as gently and respectfully as possible in partnership with the woman.

I am always happy to talk through whether independent midwifery is the right path for you, so please do get in touch for an informal, no-obligation chat either by telephone or in person (see the Contact page). I work closely with several independent midwife colleagues who share a similar philosophy so please have a look at the ‘Services‘ page for more details of how it all works.

Qualifications

I gained my Diploma in Midwifery in 2000 when I became a Registered Midwife.

I have taken many opportunities to undertake further training which include:

Mentors and Mentorship (University of Nottingham accredited module)

Paramana Doula Training (With Michel Odent)

Active Birth (with Janet Balaskas)

Best Practice In Perineal Care (University of Nottingham accredited module)

2011 Research Methods (Master of Arts degree from the University of Nottingham)

Registration and Professional Memberships

I am registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and my registration details may be found on the NMC website by entering my name ‘Nicola Grace’.

I am a member of Independent Midwives UK, the Royal College of Midwives, and the Royal College of Nursing. I am a steering group member for the Association of Radical Midwives.

Experience

After qualification I worked as a midwife in both the hospital and community settings before setting up as an independent midwife in 2006. Since that time I have always carried an independent midwifery caseload, attending both home and hospital births. My caseload numbers tend to be fairly low as I prefer not to have more than 2 or 3 births a month but over the years this has amounted to a substantial amount of home birth experience.

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