A midwife who cared for a mother during a harrowing stillbirth has won a prestigious national award.
Caroline Burton, from Lancing, was also on hand 14 months later to help Louise Whitmore as she gave birth to a healthy son.
Ms Burton, 39, was named overall Midwife of the Year in the Royal College of Midwives annual awards after being nominated by Mrs Whitmore.
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Mrs Whitmore, 43, said the midwife had shown “extraordinary” care in the days preceding and during the delivery of Mrs Whitmore’s daughter at Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.
The midwife stayed beyond her shift to help Mrs Whitmore and her husband Marc.
More than a year later Ms Burton was at the birth of Mrs Whitmore’s healthy son Zachary.
Mrs Whitmore said: “For my son’s birth Caroline volunteered to be with us from the beginning of my induction despite not being on shift.
“She dealt with practical issues which caused me great anxiety and cared for my husband, too, and really took time to understand me and my family.
“Caroline helped us rejoice in our son whilst remem-bering our daughter and for that I am forever grateful.”
Ms Burton said: “It is a wonderful surprise. The Whitmore family are very special to me. I am proud to have been their midwife for both of their children. I feel extremely honoured that Louise nominated me.”
The award, sponsored by Johnson's, is the only one which allows mums to nominate midwives who they feel provided exceptional support before, during and after the birth of their child.