Hatfield midwife receives national honour

Laura Abbott receiving her fellowship. Picture: Carmen Valino

Laura Abbott receiving her fellowship. Picture: Carmen Valino - Credit: Carmen Valino

A senior midwifery lecturer at Hertfordshire University, Hatfield, has received a prestigious fellowship from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).

Laura Abbott, who qualified as a midwife in 2000, received the RCM Fellowship on June 12 at the RCM education conference in London.

The accolade is only given to a handful of midwives every year, and recognises people with exceptional leadership and who deliver excellence in practice, education or research.

The fellowship recognises Laura’s contributions in many areas, including her work and research on the experiences of pregnant women in prison.

She also has a keen interest in improving care for women with complex social problems.

The fellowship is just one of many high points in Laura’s career, including receiving the Midwives Award in 2017 from the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust, and the Jean Davies award in 2014, which recognises work that tackles inequality in maternal health.

Laura volunteers with the charity Birth Companions, which supports pregnant women in prison, and co-authored The Birth Charter for Pregnant Women in England and Wales, published by Birth Companions in May 2016.

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Laura is also working towards a doctorate in Health Research.

RCM president Kathryn Gutteridge said: “The Royal College of Midwives is delighted to award this fellowship to Laura.

“Her contributions to tackling inequality are considerable and her work to improve the maternity care of women in prison is a great achievement.

“She is a worthy recipient of this honour and I congratulate her heartily.”

Laura said she is “delighted” at the recognition, adding: “I hope that through this honour we can continue to work together to shine a light on the voices of pregnant women in prison and positively impact upon imprisoned women’s perinatal health and that of her unborn baby.”