A midwife who spent yeard delivering babies in Glasgow has looked back on thousands of "special" births she assisted. 

June Cavin, 69, is set to retire at the end of this month after 50 years of midwifery, most of which was spent in Glasgow. 

While she said she cannot remember how many babies she delivered, she knows it is in the thousands. 

She said: “Looking back, it’s been such a privilege to look after so many women at such a special time in their lives. Women are remarkable and every birth has been special in its own way.

“I am lucky in that I have always enjoyed my job. It’s only now looking back, do I realise just how much childbirth has changed since I started in the early 70s.”

The 69-year-old woman from Northern Ireland initially trained as a nurse in 1969 before becoming a midwife five years later. 

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Glasgow Times:

She first worked in the former Belvedere Hospital but more recently she has devoted her time to the communities of Pollokshields and Govan. 

When she trained to become a nurse, things were much stricter. 

June said: “All the girls had to be in for 10pm – no later and the nursing officer would come round and do checks. No exceptions and definitely no boyfriends to visit; it was all very regimented. Nobody dared step out of line!

“One of the most striking things is the change in how long women stay in hospital after giving birth.

"Back in the 70s it was a week for a ‘normal’ delivery and 10 days for a C section. Some women are able to go home after less than a day now!

“I can also remember when consultants did their rounds in the morning and the midwives would go around and plump up the pillows so the women were sitting nice and upright in their beds to ‘receive’ the doctor. The consultant would also have tea with the lead nurse at the end of rounds – all very quaint.

“It was always lights out at 10pm too and we would take the babies away to the nursery."

Glasgow Times:

However, she believes some things have improved since - pointing out there have been huge advances in technology. 

She added: "Women do much better in childbirth when they are relaxed and I have been a real advocate of using aromatherapy and reflexology.

"I’ve also found that when used, there’s a much better chance of a normal birth.”

But childbirth has maintained a degree of unpredictability, she added: “Babies come when babies are ready and I’ve seen all sorts. Babies born in cars, in car parks, in lifts.

"The funny thing is that wherever you are born is recorded on your birth certificate – even if that does say a bus stop in Shieldhall Road!

Glasgow Times:

Senior Charge Midwife Sandra Taylor says June will be really missed: "June’s reputation precedes her with staff, students and patients alike.

“The battle cry from the patients is always ‘I thought I was getting June!’"

June added: “As I look back on my career I have been very lucky. Not everyone enjoys their job but I have loved mine – great colleagues and so many special memories.

"You know it’s time to go when the hospital you trained in was pulled down years ago. What will stay with me is just how amazing women are and just what they are capable of.”