Maureen Gannon

Maureen Gannon, author  

My love of babies was inspired by the births of my two younger sisters when I was aged 7 and 13 years.  I mothered them and watched in awe when they were tiny and were bathed and taken care of by our loving parents, who seemed to have a natural parental nurturing and we all felt very much loved and protected. At aged 13 I decided to be a midwife, after observing the midwife who visited following the birth of my baby sister. This ambition wasn’t realised until 30 years later after the births of my own three children and a long career as an intensive care sister. 

I was born in London spending my childhood in Dublin. I did my nursing training in Swansea and midwifery training in Cardiff, gaining work experience in Cardiff, Bristol and the Orkney Islands, both in hospital and in the community. After my nursing training I married, had three children and stayed at home as a full time mother for nine years before returning to my career.

My youngest son was 15 before I fulfilled my childhood ambition to become a midwife and my special interest has been the welfare of the woman throughout her pregnancy, the birth and the important early days and weeks with the new born. I have always been aware of the importance of the father’s role. In 1996  I went on a Children of China Study Tour, visiting maternity hospitals and other institutions where babies and children were cared for. As a postnatal independent midwife I travelled to France, Holland, South Africa, Jersey, The Philippines, Canada and Switzerland, progressing naturally to Maternity Nursing/Postnatal Midwifery, helping and teaching parents with the care and understanding of the needs of their new-born and coping with the overwhelming experience of new parenthood, including the involvement of siblings with the new baby. I have never retired and still run a course in Hypnobirthing, care of the new-born and breastfeeding counselling.

My own children are now parents themselves and I enjoy the special relationship that comes with having 7 grandchildren, (two of them great-grandchildren), with whom I am very much involved. I have an abundance of toys and books in my house, now being enjoyed by the third generation; a bit shabby now but well loved. My love of animals grew from our close proximity to the Dublin Zoo where I was a frequent visitor. My smallholding in Orkney combined the care of sheep, cows, pigs, geese, ducks, turkeys and chickens with my job of District Nurse/Midwife on a remote island. Two weeks of my annual leave were taken for the Spring lambing season Being in a farming community my patients understood the joke that I was on ‘maternity  leave’, The ewes thrived on the same tender loving care I gave to my patients!!

Helping parents with the care of the most precious thing in their life, their new-born baby is a privilege, joy and an honour.

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