Margaret is one of Ireland’s best-known midwives and antenatal teachers. She has 36 years experience as a nurse and midwife, assisting at both hospital and home births, and is currently Assistant Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Ireland’s National Maternity Hospital.
In 1999 she set up and developed Ireland’s first community midwifery programme - the ‘DOMINO’ (‘domiciliary in and out”) and homebirth programme at the NMH in Dublin. This allows women to remain under the care of the same team of midwives for their entire pregnancy, labour, and birth in hospital or at home. If they give birth in hospital they are discharged home after 6 hours, where the team then visits mother and baby to provide postnatal care.
In 2003 she founded The Early Transfer Home Team at the hospital. This allowed mothers to return home after 6 hours to be visited by a team of midwives, regardless of the type of antenatal care they had received.
She has been a Nurse Prescribing since 2007.She continues to be a passionate advocate of increasing the role of the midwife in all pregnancies and labours, and giving women all the honest information available to allow them choose the birth they want. Midwives should be seen as the experts in normal birth and pregnancy, she says, but should also work with medical colleagues on even the more difficult and complicated cases to allow women have as normal a pregnancy and labour as possible.
While she has lived and worked in Ireland all her life, Margaret has a keen interest in midwifery practices around the world. And feels that cultural differences need to be embraced to encourage safe maternity care for all women.
Margaret has developed information booklets on topics including: Breech Babies, Elective C-Sections, and Antenatal education.
She has presented papers to a number of international conferences, and is currently working on a selection of papers for publication in medical journals.
She has two children and lives in County Dublin with her husband John.
LOUISE NÍ CHRÍODÁIN
Louise is an Irish writer and radio producer. After two pregnancies and births under the care of the Community Midwives at Ireland’s National Maternity Hospital, she was convinced that the tips and guidance she had received from the team deserved a much wider audience.
In the days following the birth of her second daughter she suggested to Margaret that they collaborate on a practical guidebook for pregnant women and their partners which would reflect the advice and experiences of new parents.
Following a long gestation “Bump to Birth to Baby" was finally delivered!
She lives in Dublin with husband Bryan O’Brien and their two daughters.