A consultant midwife from Birmingham has become the next president of the Royal College of Midwives, following an election by its members.
Kathryn Gutteridge will replace Professor Lesley Page who has been in post as the RCM’s president since 2012.
“I cannot think of a more honourable position to take up than this”
Ms Gutteridge is currently a consultant midwife and clinical lead for low risk women at Sandwell and West Midlands Hospitals NHS trust.
She has a long history of clinical care in the NHS and has also worked in many diverse settings, including neonatal services and community midwifery care.
Described as passionate about women’s issues and particularly childbearing, she has a reputation for representing women’s psychological and mental wellbeing during this vulnerable stage of their lives.
She is also an experienced author and presenter nationally and internationally, specialising in emotional wellbeing during childbirth and women maintaining control over their pregnancy choices.
Women’s advocate elected president of midwives’ union
Ms Gutteridge was formally inaugurated at the RCM’s 19th Annual Zepherina Vietch Lecture, which took place on 6 June in Oxford.
Commenting on her appointment, Ms Gutteridge said: “I am so thrilled that I have been elected as the next president of the RCM, I cannot think of a more honourable position to take up than this.
“I see this opportunity as a prestigious gift to work closely with midwives and maternity support workers, as we face the future changes in maternity care,” she said.
“I believe that we have tremendous influence upon the lives of women and their families as they make that leap of faith in welcoming their new baby into their lives,” said Ms Gutteridge.
She added: “I feel strongly that women look to us for guidance and support during their childbearing experiences, and how we work with them at this time will influence the kind of parents they become.
“I am also so thankful for the wonderful leadership and presence of our dear Professor Lesley Page over the past five years, she has been a true ambassador for our profession,” she said.