Yorkshire Midwives On Call — air date, what happens, and all about the new midwifery series

The Yorkshire Midwives On Call team are in action on BBC2.
The Yorkshire Midwives On Call team are in action on BBC2. (Image credit: BBC)

Yorkshire Midwives On Call is an emotional new BBC2 series which follows six midwives from Bradford’s homebirth midwifery unit. So what we essentially have in this show is One Born Every Minute meets Call The Midwife as explained by one of the Yorkshire midwives Michaela: "It’s definitely like Call The Midwife, but without the bicycles! It’s just such a privilege to be present in someone’s home and witness a life-changing event."

So here's all you need to know about BBC2's five-part series Yorkshire Midwives On Call...

Midwives Gemma and Laura from Yorkshire Midwives On Call.

Midwives Gemma and Laura from Yorkshire Midwives On Call. (Image credit: BBC2)

Yorkshire Midwives On Call release date

Yorkshire Midwives On Call is a five-part series that starts on BBC2 on Monday April 18 at 8pm, with the next episode the following day Tuesday April 19 at 8pm. It has already been shown in Wales on Easter Sunday. Episodes will arrive on BBCiPlayer.

What happens in Yorkshire Midwives On Call?

There are plenty of highs and lows Yorkshire Midwives On Call, starting with midwife Claire who is called out to mum-of-three Keeleigh, pregnant with her fourth child, whose waters have broken.  

"Birthing a baby at home is completely different to birthing a baby on the maternity ward with doctors around," says Claire. "We’ve got a lot of responsibility, everything’s on our shoulders. The adrenaline doesn’t stop."

Worryingly, immediately after Keeleigh gives birth, she begins to lose a lot of blood, and Claire calls an ambulance to take her and her newborn daughter, Willow, to hospital. Meanwhile, midwife Michaela has a much easier time with Rebecca, who gives birth to her second son, Toby, in just over seven hours, one of Michaela’s quickest ever births. So quick, in fact, that Michaela even finds time to tidy Rebecca’s kitchen. "Some midwives have even put a wash on or gone round with the vac. We try to do as much as we can,’" says Michaela.

Fortunately, several days after being blue-lighted to hospital, Keeleigh is back home and recovering well, despite the scary start to baby Willow’s life. "It is tough when mums don’t necessarily get the home birth they want but we have to put their safety first," says Claire. "I absolutely love this job, though, there’s no feeling like it."

Meet lead Midwife Laura Hughes

Laura Hughes after a successful birth in Yorkshire Midwives On Call.

Laura Hughes after a successful birth in Yorkshire Midwives On Call. (Image credit: BBC2)

For Yorkshire Midwives On Call, lead midwife Laura Hughes, 34, told us about how  handle the most stressful parts of the job, other aspects of her work and the team's love for Call The Midwife...

Laura says: "I wouldn’t say that there’s ever a typical day, because things always come along to spin things on their head. But normally we start off with some antenatal appointments, then we’ll see some postnatal women and their newborn babies at home. There’s also lots of admin and a few births thrown in the mix as well! We normally deliver one or two births per shift, so it’s quite full on!

"The births are the best bit – it’s always a real privilege and the energy that you feel in that room is amazing, especially when you’ve supported the woman all the way through her pregnancy. I love the moments where you feel you’ve really made a difference. There’s definitely pressure on our shoulders, but we’re absolutely trained to deal with it. We have a ridiculous amount of skills and drills training, including one type of training that’s been taken from the aviation industry and is used to train pilots to deal with emergencies. It’s really rare for something to go wrong without any red flags beforehand, so our job is to pay really close attention to those warning signs and nip things in the bud. We minimise risks wherever we can, then if we are in the rare situation where we have an emergency, our training just takes over."

Laura had wanted to be a midwife from an early age: "Yes, probably from my mid-teens when I used to watch all the birth programmes on TV. I originally trained to be a riding instructor and then I got a job in sales, and it was only in 2001 after my children were born that I finally took the leap. I don’t have a clue how many babies I’ve delivered since then, but it’s well into the hundreds!"

Laura and her team do watch Call The Midwife when they can. "Yes, it’s the one programme that midwives universally love," Laura says. "If you were going to compare our job to anything, it’s like Call the Midwife! You see the relationships that the midwives have within the community they work in – they’ve looked after friends and relatives and sisters and different people all living in the same house – and that’s exactly what we do. There are a lot of similarities."

Is there a trailer for Yorkshire Midwives On Call?

Sadly the BBC didn't release a trailer for Yorkshire Midwives On Call so do tune in to see all the home births and midwifery magic.

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.