SSAFA Cyprus Midwifery

All the information you need when having a baby in British Forces Cyprus.

The role of a Midwife
How you can access the service
How your Midwife works with your pregnancy team
CONI (Care of the Next Infant)
Additional services provided by the Midwives
Useful Resources


The role of a Midwife

The word ‘midwife’ means ‘with woman’, but what does a midwife do and what are their responsibilities?

Being a midwife is more than just delivering babies; in fact, in British Forces Cyprus the midwives don’t actually deliver your baby, the staff in the Hippocrateon will be with you for your birth. Midwives are specialists in normal pregnancy and birth and a midwife is usually the first and main contact for a woman during her pregnancy.

They work across the continuum from pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, labour and birth to postpartum, and the early weeks of a newborn infants’ life. They are responsible for providing care and supporting women to make informed choices about their care. Midwives optimise normal physiological processes, and support safe physical, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual situations, working to promote positive outcomes and to anticipate and prevent complications.

Some midwives have trained as nurses first, but it’s also possible to train as a midwife without qualifying as a nurse by specifically studying midwifery.

The role of the midwife is diverse. They:

  • Provide family planning and preconception care
  • Carry out regular clinical examinations and arrange tests
  • Provide health and parent education
  • Advise you about diet, exercise, medicines, and staying healthy
  • Monitor your physical and psychological health
  • Support women and their families throughout the childbearing process to help them adjust to their parental role giving emotional and practical support during pregnancy
  • Educate and counsel about pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn care
  • Work in partnership with other health and social care services to meet individual women's needs; for example, young adults, women who are socially excluded, disabled and from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
  • Help you make your birth plans
  • Make referrals to doctors when needed

The SSAFA midwives in British Forces Cyprus work as community midwives in teams, providing a degree of continuity of care. In pregnancy they see you either at home or in the Medical Centre. When you go into labour they are available for advice regarding when to go to hospital. Once your baby is born, they’ll visit you at home for at least the first ten days. Your midwife is part of the SSAFA Community Health Team based in your locality working alongside our colleagues in the Medical Centre.


How you can access the service

  • Contact a midwife directly for pre-conceptual or antenatal care
  • Make an appointment through the Medical Centre
  • Nurse or doctor at the Medical Centre can refer you if they are seeing you for something else


How your midwife works with your pregnancy team

Midwives work with the obstetric consultants in the Hippocrateon who provide consultation as needed. Your midwife will refer you to an obstetrician at the start of your pregnancy. This consultant will routinely see you at various stages of your pregnancy or if problems develop and is the person who will deliver your baby.

The midwives provide woman-centred integrated care based on the best available evidence. They keep up to date with current knowledge and skills, thereby helping to ensure that their care is responsive to emerging evidence and future developments. This requires them to work 7 days a week, working days and participating in an on-call rota out of hours working both within the Medical Centre and a woman’s home.


CONI (Care Of The Next Infant)

The CONI programme is designed for parents who are expecting or have given birth to a baby following the sudden unexpected death of a previous baby. It is normal for parents who have experienced a sudden and unexpected death of a baby to feel anxious when they have another baby.

The CONI programme is usually offered for 6 months after a baby has born but may be longer depending on the individual circumstances. Within the programme there are a range of tools which offer an individual and flexible programme of support to families during, what maybe a very stressful time.

Within each Military Overseas Command, where SSAFA provide Community Health Services, there will be a local CONI champion/coordinator, normally a midwife or a health visitor, but any member of the Community Health Team would be able to help you to access this service.

If you think you need the CONI programme, there is more information available here, but it would be useful to ask one of our Community Health Team members to get the local CONI Champion to contact you.


Additional services provided by the Midwives

Midwives are responsible for their own individual practice and have a statutory responsibility to keep up to date with current knowledge and frequently go on to develop their professional expertise and education to higher levels. In British Forces Cyprus we have:

  • An Infant Feeding Specialist
  • A Baby Massage Instructor
  • Aquanatal instructors


Useful Resources

Each of these documents contain links to many more sources of information relating to pregnancy & childbirth in general and services in BFC in particular.



The eRedbook is an incredibly useful digital record of a young child's health, and we strongly recommend all early years' and expectant parents to register their child.