Call the Midwife’s Laura Main: ‘There was so much build-up to Shelagh’s labour, it was like something was happening for real!'

Laura Main
(Image credit: BBC/Neal Street Productions)

Laura Main gives the lowdown on Shelagh’s Call the Midwife baby joy

Tom and Barbara’s wedding is not the only cause for celebration in this week’s Call the Midwife finale as, after months of worrying that she might lose her much-longed-for baby, Shelagh, played by Laura Main, finally gives birth. Here’s Laura tells TV Times what’s in store…

Will Shelagh get a happy ending with a healthy baby?! “Well I heard that people were threatening to boycott the show if something happened to Shelagh’s baby but all I can say is that now they don’t need to!”

Laura Main

(Image credit: BBC/Neal Street Productions/Soph)

Hurrah! So where do we find Shelagh in the finale? “At the start of the episode, she’s still working in the clinic but she’s ready to pop and is feeling very emotional and hormonal so she is kindly advised to go home. Then it’s all about preparing her birth plan and deciding where to have the baby and who will deliver it and Sister Julienne [Jenny Agutter] is really the only choice because they are so close. But she is unsure about whether to have Dr Turner [Stephen McGann] there...”

Do you think Shelagh has put off making decisions because of all the worry she had that she would lose the baby? “I think so. After being told three years ago that she was unable to have a family, when she found out she was pregnant she struggled even to speak the words aloud herself or to tell her own husband. Then there was the terrible scare with the threatened miscarriage and having to go to hospital and she is an experienced midwife so she knows what can go wrong so she has been putting off the preparations until the last minute.’

Laura Main

(Image credit: BBC/Neal Street Productions/Soph)

What was it like to film the labour scenes? “There was so much build-up to it on set, it was like something was about to happen for real! I was excited but apprehensive about doing it in front of people I’ve been working with for six years and those scenes take a long time to film and get right. I talked with our adviser through all the different phases of birth because you see more of it with Shelagh than with other births we do and everybody on set was so supportive and shared their own stories.  Jenny told me to be careful not to get light-headed and pass out with all the breathing I was doing! But after all that trepidation, I just went for it and enjoyed letting go. Shelagh even sings at one point to focus herself but we won’t be releasing that as a single!”

Will you miss your prosthetic bump? “When we were filming in the height of summer I was naughty and called it my fat suit but I will miss it. I found myself doing all the things that real pregnant ladies do like touching my belly. But now it will be exciting and fun to work with a small baby!”

Are you looking forward to filming the next series? “Yes it comes around quite quickly but I always look forward to it because I just love working on this so much and the response to it is growing all the time, it is unbelievable and wonderful. It is just really lovely to still be so excited about it. I have been there since the beginning and to see the way it has grown and to have been a little part of that is very special.”

Call the Midwife ends on Sunday on BBC1 at 9pm




Caren Clark

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.