A MIDWIFE has called it a day after almost four decades of delivering babies in South Tyneside.
Angela Loverage has retired after 39 years at South Tyneside District Hospital in South Shields.
After four years as a general nurse, she began her midwifery training in 1974, qualifying 12 months later.
Since then, she’s delivered countless tots to mums across the borough.
“I wouldn’t even like to take a guess how many babies I’ve delivered, but it’s certainly been a lot,” she said.
“I’ve been doing it so long that, in recent years, I’ve found myself assisting mums for the third time.
“That’s been very enjoyable, to have been a part of their lives so often.”
Initially Mrs Loverage, who is from Biddick Hall, South Shields, but now lives in Washington, worked in the Harton Lane hospital’s delivery suite.
In 1995, she became a community midwife, visiting new mothers at their homes.
The 61-year-old said: “There have been so many changes in my career. In the olden days we’d see women when they were 11 or 12 weeks’ pregnant, but now we often see them at five or six weeks. It’s a lot earlier.
“Back then, mums would be in for three or four days after giving birth. Now, most are discharged the following day.
“The scans these days are also marvellous. I think they really help the parents engage with their babies before they actually arrive.”
Mrs Loverage, who is married to South Tyneside College engineering lecturer Michael, 61, says all her work colleagues are glued to the hit BBC1 series Call The Midwife, set in the 1950s.
However, despite her years of experience, the mum-of-three says even her earliest days on the job weren’t quite so basic.
She said: “I can remember an on-call midwife coming out to deliver my sister for my mam, when I was a child, but things had progressed a little by the time I started work.
“All my colleagues love it. People often ask if the job’s been glorified for television, but midwifery is really like that – there’s things happening all the time.”
Mrs Loverage is now planning to spend her retirement with her family, and enjoy trips to the Lake District.