OBE for former Whalley midwife turned author

Sheena Byrom OBE and her husband Paul Byrom. Photo: Garry Cook
Sheena Byrom OBE and her husband Paul Byrom. Photo: Garry Cook
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RETIRED consultant midwife and best selling author Sheena Byrom who was recently presented with an OBE by HRH Princess Anne attended HM The Queen’s garden party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

The mother-of-four who lives in Whalley and wrote the best-selling memoir “Catching Babies” received an OBE for services to midwifery earlier this month and received an invite to HM The Queen’s garden party because of her contributions to society.

Sheena, whose career in nursing spanned more than 35 years, told the Advertiser it was particularly apt for HRH Princess Anne to present her with the award because she is patron of the Royal College of Midwives.

“Everyone was really nervous but it was lovely,” said Sheena, “I felt in awe of it all – I never thought I would ever be in this position.”

Sheena was also pleased that three of her children, Anna (32), James (31) and Olivia (22), as well as her husband Paul could accompany her during the ceremony.

“You are normally only allowed three guests, but I wrote and asked if all three of my children could come with me,” explained Sheena, who added that her fourth child Tom (25) is currently away in Australia.

“The fact my family were all with me made it really special.”

Sheena was also looking forward to attending HM The Queen’s garden party on Tuesday and had sent a copy of her best selling book, which has so far sold 41,000 copies and was on the Sunday Times’ best sellers list for 10 weeks, to the palace.

A passionate advocate for women, Sheena has been at the forefront of evolving midwifery practices in East Lancashire throughout her working life and has witnessed a complete and radical change in maternity care and the philosophy behind it over the years.

Now retired from East Lancashire Hospitals, Sheena is busy on the lecturing and talks circuit, while her daughter Anna is a qualified midwife and lecturer in midwifery at the University of Central Lancashire.