Midwife retires after almost 40 years on maternity unit
An Ipswich midwife who is retiring after almost 40 years says the "magic of childbirth never wears off".
Bev Gordon originally trained as a nurse at Addenbrooke's Hospital and took a course in midwifery, later joining the team at Ipswich Hospital's maternity unit.
Over her 38 years in midwifery, Mrs Gordon has been at the birth of hundreds of babies.
"That is the part of the job I have really enjoyed - to see all those women become mothers," she said.
"They come in as a couple and leave as a family.
"There is something really magical about that. The magic of childbirth never wears off.
"I haven't lost that feeling and what a special feeling it is.
"It's a miracle."
Not only did Mrs Gordon have her two children at Ipswich Hospital, her nephews and nieces were also born there - one of whom is now a midwife on the unit herself.
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Over the past few years, Mrs Gordon had taken a role away from the delivery room, working behind the scenes as clinical governance lead for maternity services at the hospital.
Mrs Gordon said she has seen a lot of changes in midwifery over the years, especially how medical advances have allowed more women to become a mother.
"In the early days some women were advised in certain circumstances not to have children due to the potential health risks. "But the advances in medical science mean women who once could not have children now can.
"We have also seen a reduction in the number of babies that die in pregnancy."
She said that the staff on the maternity unit feel like a second family.
"I have probably been at several hundred births over the years," she said.
"I have been at a lot of deliveries but have mainly looked after women after they have given birth on the post-natal ward.
"The hospital is like an extended family. It is a big wrench to leave all these people but I will still keep in touch.
"It was the right time for me to retire and hand over the reigns."
Since her retirement last month, Mrs Gordon has returned to the hospital on a temporary part-time basis to help out on the maternity wards,
"It's not for me to sit still," she said.