May 23, 2016
Meet Our Members: Angela Horler
Angela has been an independent midwife for 9 years. She came straight into independent practice after qualifying in 2007, and has cared for over 100 women as an IM. She tried working in the NHS a few years ago and lasted around 4 months. She works with two practice partners at North Surrey Midwives.
Why did you become a Midwife?
I had always had a strong fascination with pregnancy, and when I was pregnant with my first baby I felt a real calling into midwifery. It wasn’t until my third baby however that it became a vocation I could no longer ignore. My third baby was born at home and it was a very empowering experience; I wanted other women to know what their bodies are capable of and to help them birth their baby in the way that was right for them!
Why did you choose independent Midwifery?
I knew I wanted to work in the community as a home birth midwife, and worked really hard in my training to gain lots of experience; I never set out intending to be an independent midwife, however I knew by my third year that I would probably not fit into the NHS system. I was lucky to have a mentor support me in coming straight out into independent practice.
” I’m not saying I wouldn’t try (working in the NHS) again – but it’s hard not to be an independent midwife once you’ve been one!”
Do you ever feel isolated in your work?
Honestly, yes. There have been many times that I felt alone, but there have been many more times where I felt supported and valued and part of this amazing group of midwives. It’s much better now with social media to keep in touch with other IM’s and now there are three of us in the practice (I worked alone for about 5 years) I no longer feel isolated at all.
Where is your ‘patch’?
I’m based in Shepperton which is in North Surrey; I will travel around 45 minutes so that takes me right down to the bottom of Surrey, into Hampshire and Berkshire. I recently supported a previous client deep in the Stroud countryside! I am very grateful for a comfortable, all-wheel drive that can get my where I need to be.
“It’s so incredible to be by the side of a woman as she births her baby when you have walked alongside her in the pregnancy.”
What are the best part(s) of being an independent midwife?
Without doubt the continuity; when my phone rings in the middle of the night with ‘the call’ I don’t have to worry about where I am going or who I will see. It’s so incredible to be by the side of a woman as she births her baby when you have walked alongside her in the pregnancy. All midwives should get the chance to experience it – it’s priceless.
What is your philosophy around pregnancy and birth?
Pregnancy and birth are normal life events; I strongly believe in women’s innate ability to birth her baby and that they should be supported with love and kindness regardless of the mode of birth.
How do you see your role during a baby’s birth?
My role is to facilitate and to ‘hold the space’, to support, help if needed and to step back whenever I can.
One thing you wish someone told you before you become an independent midwife?
To be better at placing boundaries around my time; I’ve learnt to do that but I could still be better!
“I strongly believe in women’s innate ability to birth her baby and that they should be supported with love and kindness.”
What has been the most challenging part of being a business owner?
Putting on a business head; it can be tricky to not feel embarrassed about charging for your services when they are ‘free’ in the NHS. But I learnt to value what I do and this has helped me get over that!
The most unusual situation you have found yourself in as an independent midwife?
Oh Gosh! I was my oldest and dearest friends midwife. It was a really tricky birth and this baby would just not come out despite trying everything we could think off. Having my fingers in my friend’s vagina was awkward as we tried to understand why he wasn’t coming! In the ambulance, she was helping me breath through the travel sickness. It was a roller-coaster day of emotions!
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I’m vegan. I love meat and cheese and milk and honey, but I can’t bear the trauma that animals suffer for me to enjoy that, and all the evidence supports plant based eating (we are herbivores). So I’ve left my meat and dairy days behind.
Do you have a message for birthing women?
Having a baby is one of the most life changing things you will ever do; your birth experience will stay with you for the rest of your life. Choose your birth supporters and where you give birth with care. Birth matters.
Angela has been an independent midwife for 9 years. She came straight into independent practice after qualifying in 2007, and has cared for over 100 women as an IM. She tried working in the NHS a few years ago and lasted around 4 months. She works with two practice partners at North Surrey Midwives. Why […]