About Yorkshire Storks

Newborn BabyYorkshire Storks started as “Your Way Midwifery Practice”, in Kent, in 1990. The impetus was the birth of Chris’s daughter Jess, born at home, and Chris’s wish to combine supportive midwifery with hands on mothering. A move to Yorkshire in 1993 and help from other midwives, Deborah Hughes, Linda Mc Clean and Nic Sowerby-Greenhall, to name a few, and Yorkshire Storks Midwifery Practice evolved.

All Yorkshire Storks believe that giving birth is part of a continuum, a life event and that supportive, enabling midwifery helps keep everything normal. We believe that care and birth at home is usually best for everyone but back up help and intervention in hospital is sometimes necessary and at times most sensible.

More than 550 women have birthed their babies with Yorkshire Storks’ midwives in attendance, and more than 1000 have benefitted from consultation with YS midwives. Since Yorkshire Stork’s first planned water birth in 1992, pools have become a common feature with about half the women birthing their babies in the water. Sometimes gravity is needed and women want to be grounded and sometimes the baby comes before the pool is full.

Self hypnosis and hypnobirthing is an increasingly popular way to prepare for birth. Women often use these techniques to overcome fears and for relaxation.

Sustainable care

We are aware that pollution and climate change have direct effects on the health and safety of mothers and babies, not to mention the rest of us, and that protecting resources and aiming for equal access to them is vital for the future of all the world’s babies, so we’re doing our bit for sustainable healthcare. So far this means:

- we use recycle our ink cartridges and use recycled paper to print on
- we opt for minimal packaging wherever we can and reuse it
- we donate out-of-date kit to students so they can get a feel for it
- we no longer open a complete sterile birth pack at every birth as most of it doesn’t get used, instead we have one on hand but order the separate sterile items we actually use, e.g. cord scissors
- we print documents on the back of old (non-confidential) printouts when it doesn’t matter
- we have a library of books to lend round our clients
- we car-share when we can, and 99% of the time use 2 cars between 3 midwives
- we plan our visits so that clients in one geographical area get seen on the same trip if possible
- we use public transport instead when we can
- we opt to use independent shops and cafes instead of chain ones
- a portion of our income is being donated to peace/human rights work

We love oxytocin

All birth professionals are aware how of vital the hormone oxytocin is in safe, positive birth, and this knowledge is fundamental to Yorkshire Storks’ approach to care. Oxytocin helps create effective contractions, boosts endorphins to support mother and baby through labour by naturally easing discomfort and blurring the sense of time, promotes bonding between mother and baby, makes for an effective placenta delivery without drugs, and assists with early breastfeeding.

A quiet, calm, dim, safe atmosphere with familiar faces and room to move naturally promotes the production of oxytocin. Tellingly, oxytocin diminishes in proportion to the rising of adrenaline – triggered, for example, by anxiety or uncertainty. Oxytocin is also the orgasm hormone – it’s not an accident that the ideal atmosphere for conception is pretty similar to the ideal atmosphere for birth! If we could bottle oxytocin it would sell like hotcakes – but your body can make it for free.