A NORTHERN Irish midwife has been thrust into the spotlight after featuring on the front cover of a special new edition of Vogue magazine.
Rachel Millar, from Cookstown in County Tyrone, has followed in the footsteps of Ruth Negga and Saoirse Ronan in featuring on the front cover.
Ms. Millar’s appearance came as part of a special edition of the magazine celebrating the heroic efforts of the key workers bravely continuing on through the coronavirus pandemic.
The community midwife’s appearance comes as part of the July issue of the magazine shining a light of the incredible efforts of workers from across the UK.
The 24-year-old, who serves as Northern Ireland’s representative in the issue, talks about how she developed an interest in pregnancy and childbirth while watching her grandparents at working during lambing season on their farm.
For the July 2020 issue of British Vogue, three key workers star on the cover. Meet @NHSHomerton community midwife, Rachel Millar, and the other heroes on the new front line, photographed by Jamie Hawkesworth.
- - > https://t.co/rltWk8CRQV pic.twitter.com/EErLYSIhG3
— British Vogue (@BritishVogue) June 1, 2020
She told Vogue: "Every week is different. I could be doing night shifts in the birth centre, antenatal clinics seeing women throughout their pregnancies, or postnatal home visits – checking in on couples who have recently left the labour ward with their newborns.
"I also do on-calls for the home birth team which last 24 hours (from 8am to 8am the following day). I just love being with the women in this really special time in their lives.
"One of the hardest moments for me during the pandemic was when I had my bike stolen. If you’ve ever watched Call the Midwife, you’ll know the importance of two wheels to an east London midwife, especially when we’re desperately trying to avoid public transport.
"Having to carry on working for the rest of the week, maintain good morale, and be that reassuring voice to worried parents was made slightly more difficult.
"But, within a few hours, a friend who also works at Homerton Hospital had raised over £500 online to help get me back on the road. Another colleague tweeted the story and within an hour, a local company had donated a brand new electric bike.
"It’s just one example of the community support and kindness that I’ve seen over the past few months, and what initially drew me to work in Homerton Hospital and the surrounding area. To say that I’m proud of my work family, and my wider community’s response to this pandemic, is an understatement.
"This October, I’m hoping to run the London Marathon, [postponed in April due to the pandemic] and continue to fundraise for Sands (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity), to show my appreciation for its incredible work supporting bereaved families, especially in such an isolating and lonely time.
"After the 8pm clapping and free meals fade, I hope that the NHS won’t be forgotten. We will be busy rebuilding and restoring from a time of huge upheaval.
"To resume to “normal” would be a step in the wrong direction. Hopefully, this pandemic will bring about positive change and a new and improved normal, for NHS staff and service users alike."
— The RCM (@MidwivesRCM) June 2, 2020
The Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Cathal Mallaghan was among those to congratulate Ms. Millar on her appearance in the new issue of Vogue.
He said: "Congratulations to midwife, Rachel Millar who is featured on the Vogue cover for her hard work on the NHS frontline during these difficult times. I'd like to thank Rachel, who is originally from Coagh and attended Cookstown High School, for her dedication to looking after others, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic.
"What an accolade it is to feature on the cover of probably the most notable, notorious and prestigious magazine in the world, a testament to how worthy her service is regarded.
"I'd like to state how proud we are that Rachel comes from Mid Ulster and wish her all the best in her very fruitful career."