Kate Middleton praises midwives in open letter: ‘You are there for women at their most vulnerable’

‘Your work often goes on behind the scenes,’ writes Duchess of Cambridge

Olivia Petter
Friday 27 December 2019 13:29 GMT

The Duchess of Cambridge has written an open letter to UK midwives praising the work they do “behind the scenes” for women.

In honour of International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, which takes place in 2020, Kate Middleton has written at length about ”the humbling work” of midwives, recalling a recent trip she made to Kingston Hospital’s Maternity Unit in November.

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

Alongside the letter, Kensington Palace has released four new photographs of the Duchess during her time Kingston Hospital, where she spent time in post-natal wards and accompanied community midwives on their daily rounds both in hospital clinics and in people’s homes.

Kate pictured at Kingston Hospital in November 2019 (PA)

While Kate added that this was not her first encounter with midwives, it gave her a broader understanding of their lifelong impact on both the future happiness of a child and on building parental confidence.

Kate pictured at Kingston Hospital in November 2019 (PA)

“Even before we are born, our mother’s emotional and physical health directly influences our development and by the age of five a child’s brain has developed to 90 per cent of its adult size,” Kate continued.

“Your role at the very start of this period is therefore of fundamental importance.”

Kate concluded her letter by quoting Florence Nightingale, given that the 200th anniversary of her birth will be celebrated next year.

“'I attribute my success to this: I never have or took an excuse',” Kate wrote before explaining why the quote reminds her of the midwives she has met.

“You don’t ask for praise or for recognition but instead unwaveringly continue your amazing work bringing new life into our world.

Kate pictured at Kingston Hospital in November 2019 (PA)

“You continue to demonstrate that despite your technical mastery and the advancement of modern medicine, it is the human to human relationships and simple acts of kindness that sometimes mean the most.

"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."

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