Ormesby midwife retires after 40 years of caring for mums-to-be

Jenny Seeranj who has retired after being a midwife for 40 years, most of them working in the commun

Jenny Seeranj who has retired after being a midwife for 40 years, most of them working in the community.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

After 40 years of caring for mums-to-be and their babies a Norfolk midwife who started her NHS career at the age of just 16 is stepping into retirement.

Jenny Seeranj who has retired after being a midwife for 40 years, most of them working in the commun

Jenny Seeranj who has retired after being a midwife for 40 years, most of them working in the community.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Jenny Seeranj, of Ormesby St Margaret, has lost count of the number of women she has guided through their pregnancies but says every baby was special and unique and that it had been a privilege to be there with them.

The 62-year-old, who has been inundated with cards and good wishes, enjoyed a farewell drop-in at The Trinity Centre in Martham organised by her colleague and good friend Ellen Bennison.

She said she appreciated all the effort and was delighted to see so many people and babies she had brought into the world whose ages ranged from a few weeks to 23.

'It has been a real privilege and I feel very lucky to have worked in the same area for so long and been able to get to know the women so well.

Jenny Seeranj who has retired after being a midwife for 40 years, most of them working in the commun

Jenny Seeranj who has retired after being a midwife for 40 years, most of them working in the community.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016


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'When they come back to have more children I already know them and they are always really pleased to see me.

'I think that is what women these days are wanting, continuity of care - it makes all the difference. They say it is so nice to see the same person all the time.'

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Mrs Seeranj, who is married to retired senior staff nurse Jay, hails from Stibbard near Fakenham but has lived in Ormesby for almost 40 years.

She started as a nurse in Kings Lynn when she was just 16 opting to train as a midwife in order to gain a double qualification.

Disliking the work at first she said she would practice for a year while her husband completed his training in Nottingham.

However the small maternity unit there turned out to be a lovely place and the perfect training ground and she changed her mind completely.

Back in Norfolk she worked at the Northgate Hospital and then on the maternity wards and delivery suite at the James Paget Hospital when the unit closed and moved to the new building.

But it was working in the community where she truly found her vocation, helping women mainly in the northern parishes where she lived.

Over the years mothers have got older, fathers more involved, with everyone given more choice about how and where they have their babies.

At 25 when she had the first of her two sons, she was considered 'elderly' in obstetric terms - whereas these days many career focussed women are delaying starting a family.

And today classes are run in the borough for dads-only which are proving popular.

'I always wanted to be a nurse and being a midwife just grew on me. I have just loved all of it, especially being in the community.' she said. 'It was so different from being in the hospital. We were caring for women from the start right through their journey and that is what I loved. And because I have been working in the same area for so long I have seen the next generation which is really nice.'

Mrs Seeranj who has been working part time for the last six years, but with the same case load as when she was full time, said she was looking forward to being more active in retirement with walking and cycling holidays already planned in.

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