A Wexham Park Hospital midwife who helped a mother with a fear of pregnancy and birth has been honoured for her work with a prestigious award.

Nominated by local mum Lynn Morrall, Karin Rigden has been recognised as the ‘Emma’s Diary Mum’s Midwife of the Year 2019’. The award recognises midwifes who perform well beyond their expected duty.

At her first appointment, Lynn met Karin for the first time and spoke of her condition. Mrs Morrall suffers from a condition caused Tokophobia and experiences anxiety in medical situations.

Throughout her pregnancy, Karin took sole responsibility for Lynn’s midwifery care in order to help her bond with her unborn baby. On the few occasions she needed to see other staff members, Karin took time to ensure they were all briefed of Lynn’s condition and fears.

She also took the time to regularly visit her home, and when she was taken into hospital for her C-section, Karin stayed by Lynn and her husband’s side for eight hours.

Lynn Morrall said: “I was so fearful of the birth and being pregnant felt so alien to me. It was so reassuring when Karin knew about the condition and could refer me to the right people.

“Throughout my pregnancy and during the birth of my daughter, Neve, I was astounded by the care, understanding, knowledge and support given to me by Karin - all of which vastly exceeded her duty as a community midwife.”

“Without her personal support, her knowledge of mental health issues and knowledge of the NHS for referrals to other support networks, I would not have the new family I have today. She enabled me to cope mentally and is continuing now through the referrals she put in place as I come to terms with being a mother.”

On winning the award Karin Rigden added: “I was surprised and overwhelmed but honoured to be nominated for the Emma’s Diary Mums’ Midwife of the Year Award. Lynn’s situation was quite unusual and when I think of this possibly being her only chance at motherhood, I was glad I made a difference and helped it be an experience that would not haunt her.

“Tokophobia is still a very misunderstood condition and I have learnt so much as a midwife by looking after Lynn, however I don't feel I did anything out of the ordinary. I feel I was upholding the meaning of a midwife by "being with woman".

“I wouldn't have been able to attend the birth without the help and support of my team in Maidenhead. Hopefully with this award it might help others in the same position. I’m so happy for her and Jon to have the family they deserve with little Neve.”