SINCE qualifying as a midwife in 2004, Vicki Marston has worked on the labour ward, the postnatal ward, as a bereavement midwife and in the community.

Studying at Bournemouth University and training at Salisbury District Hospital between 2001 and 2004, she helps to look after a wide variety of mothers and babies and is also a senior midwife coordinating the labour ward.

“I think if you’re quite a people person, sociable and very practical, it’s a great job for you,” she says.

“I never wanted to do an office job. I’m a practical person and wanted to do something varied and sociable.

“I had thought about going into a caring career but nursing wasn’t quite for me, it didn’t have that appeal.

“Having a baby is a turning point in people’s lives, particularly the first baby and to be involved in their pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period is a privilege."

“Most women will only go through this experience on average two or three times in their lifetime - to be a part of that is really special.”

Ms Marston started training in 2001 when her first daughter was 18-months-old. Now a mother of three, she says the shifts work well around having a family.

“You might be working weekends but then you’re around during the week,” she said. “And there are a lot of opportunities - it leads into so many different options like a community midwifery, labour ward midwife or bereavement midwife to name a few.

“We look after a wide variety of people - sometimes they are families embedded for years in a local community and have a good network of support, others have just moved here and don’t have much of a support.

"The role of a midwife can play a really important part in providing a support network for families and helping them to access support at what can be a daunting period of their life.

“We generally work 12-and-a-half hour shifts in the hospital which is especially good when you’re looking after a family in labour as there’s not a lot of changes of staff and you can build up a relationship with women, and their families.

“It’s a really friendly unit and a lovely place to work - a lot of midwives will come here and don’t want to leave again meaning they end up with long careers at Salisbury.”

As part of her role, Ms Marston became involved with the Benson bereavement suite, a special unit which opened in 2013 and enables parents to grieve in private away from the main maternity unit.

“It’s a different part of the job and not one people think about when going into midwifery,” she says, “but it’s really rewarding and a privilege caring for these families.”