A MIDWIFE from Newbury whose brother was stillborn has revealed why she decided to pursue her career.

Melissa Newman was inspired to enter the profession when her brother was stillborn and she saw first-hand the poor care her mother received.

She decided she wanted to dedicate her career to making a difference.

Ignoring those who said she couldn’t make it, she began training at University of West London’s College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare – graduating with a First Class Honours degree in midwifery and going on to write articles and share her ideas on practice and care.

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Now carving out a career in clinical research, Melissa is researching paramedic’s experiences of providing pre-hospital maternity care and has even set up an Instagram account to educate and encourage others interested in the profession.

Melissa said: “My brother was stillborn and the care my mother received was very poor.

"By the age of 14 I had decided I wanted to become a midwife to ensure that no other women were treated that way.

“Teachers always told me I was too shy and that I needed to improve my skills as I struggled with maths but now I’m looking at a future in clinical research, with my ultimate goal to one day become a director of midwifery.

"I am proud I’ve come out of my shell.”

Melissa has now been named as the first winner of the Recent Graduate Award, given out by UWL’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations in recognition of all she’s achieved.

As well as focusing on studying for her PhD, she has volunteered with the ambulance service and is currently waiting to be deployed into the Covid vaccination programme.

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Speaking about the challenges she has faced - and of her award - she said: “This year has been very challenging not just for me but for everyone.

"You just have to cling on and remember why you started and where you’re going.

“I was stunned to hear I had won this award especially after I saw how many other amazing people had been nominated. I feel very grateful and honoured.”