We all know that motherhood can be a real challenge, with its ups and downs, its tears and laughs. There are times when you’d wish their bedtime would come earlier, others when time seems just too short. When you become a mum a thousand questions fill your mind, and if you are far from home and family is no close around then you end up finding answers where you less expect it.
That is how we came across with Begoña, a Spanish midwife living in the UK, and her Facebook community called ‘Mamas Suite‘. Since we started following her on Social Media, her posts really got our attention, so much actually, that we decided to get in touch with her and find out a bit more about it.
So here it is, our interview with Mamas Suite:
What is your name? How long have you lived in the UK for?
Hi, my name is Begoña Ramos Tascón. I’ve lived in the UK for 5 years, where I studied to become a midwife. In the beginning, I used to work as a nurse while I prepared for university (open days, interviews, English exams, etc.). You know when you leave, but you never know when you’ll be back, so we are still around.
Why did you pick the name “Mamas Suite”?
Because it reflects our philosophy, defenders of a natural attachment parenting, bonding from birth, having your baby close to you.
What took you to create that community (Mamas Suite)?
As a midwife and mother myself, I have seen how difficult it is to grow a family in a country that’s not yours, away from your loved ones. I wanted to create Mamas Suite so that all parents could feel supported and not so lonely in this beautiful stage of life that is building a family. Furthermore, there are much information on experiences from other mothers but I felt a channel where a professional could give some advice was missing.
Which are the most common doubts that pregnant mums usually ask you?
One of the biggest fears is usually giving birth, they’re especially worried about pain, stitches, and making sure everything goes well. During the post-birth period, breastfeeding is the main concern.
That’s why I think it’s so important to be informed. Information is power and parents who are well informed will have the capacity to choose and be aware of everything that happens at all times.
What differences can you see between pregnancy in the UK and pregnancy in Spain?
There are quite a few. In Spain care is much more medicalized and the number of medical interventions is higher. In the UK, pregnancies who are classified as ‘low risk’ will be carried out by the midwife and they can deliver in what it’s called ‘Birth Centres’ or ‘Midwifery Led Units’, as long as there are no complications. On the other hand, in Spain there is more training and support on breastfeeding, which translates into a higher rate of women that breastfeed than in the United Kingdom.
Could you share a significant experience you had in the past either as Mamas Suite and/or as a midwife?
Well, I have plenty of stories, from assisting a birth at the hospital entrance to literally holding a baby in the air, or even having a woman with very strong contractions and her not feeling absolutely anything. One of the experiences I loved the most was a delivery I assisted where the baby was born in the amniotic sac intact, without breaking. It was beautiful because you could see the baby inside the amniotic fluid, super calm, opening and closing their eyes, looking everywhere around them, alienated to the outside world and life outside the womb.
What advice would you give to that first-time mummy full of fears?
To trust in herself. She has the ability to do it right and to enjoy every stage of pregnancy. If she’s got any questions she can always talk to her midwife or get in touch with Mamas Suite.
What are the first steps a pregnant Spanish mum would need to take if living in the UK?
She should start taking vitamins if she hadn’t done it yet. (Vitamin D and Folic Acid) Ideally, you should start taking them before getting pregnant. After that they will need to get in touch with their midwife or GP for a ´First Point Contact´, where they will collect some information and arrange a ´Booking appointment´, in which a medical observation will take place and your pregnancy file will be created. That is when your pregnancy will be classified in “Midwifery Led Care”, “Shared Care” or “Obstetric Care”.
What type of information can we find on your Facebook community page Mamas Suite?
Information about maternity, paternity,pregnancy, giving birth, breastfeeding and post-birth. Everything we’d like to know to create a family. Moreover, information for those who live in UK, like ourselves, so they understand how the health system works here. Building a family can be tough, especially if you are away from home and your loved ones, that is why we want to offer our support from Mamas Suite.
How would you describe your experience as a midwife in the UK in just one sentence?
“The greatest joy is to become a mother, the second greatest is to be a midwife”
(Norwegian proverb) and that is what the United Kingdom has given me, so what else could I ask for.
I don’t think we could have finished this interview with a better sentence! We hope you enjoyed getting to know a bit more about Begoña and ‘Mamas Suite’. Don’t forget you can visit her Facebook Page and contact her for any questions you may have about pregnancy and maternity. Moreover, she also collaborates with an infant psychologist and physiotherapist to carry out various workshops. 🙂