Emma Willis interview

We caught up with Emma to find out what it was like making a show about childbirth during a pandemic.

Emma Willis interview

What was your favourite thing about making this series?

I think my favourite thing about making this series was connecting with people during a time when you had no contact with anyone. It was really nice to have a window into what was happening on wards last year, but also being a part of someone's journey during a time of COVID and seeing how people navigated it. But, overall, it was nice to be able to go on that little adventure with them and reach people during such a special moment in their lives.

What has been the key take out from the series?

I think my key take out for this series is that life goes on and babies are still going to be born. There's lots of devastation and sadness for everyone to deal with right now, but there's still pockets of hope and joy happening all across the world and we have the chance to witness a small slice of that in our new series.

Thinking back to your first days of training as an Maternity Care Assistant, what advice would you give someone who is about to start their first day in a very different job?

Listen! Listen and watch and try not to worry too much. I worried so much about every single thing when I started my MCA training and I thought they expected me to know everything. The reality is that they never expected me to know anything, that was just all in my head. I didn't want to look stupid, but how are you meant to know anything if it's new and you're there to learn. Also, if you need help, ask for it and if you don't understand something, say it.

What would your advice be to new mums who are due to have a baby over the next few months?

You're about to experience one of the biggest life moments, so my advice would be - get ready! I suppose as hard as everything seems, what is about to happen to you is life changing and the most beautiful, beautiful thing. So, even though it seems like the world has fallen off its axis, your life is about to change forever.

The families in the series really have gone through a whirlwind of emotions. What has this series taught you about childbirth during a pandemic?

I thought the number one thing that everybody that I spoke to would say was 'I'm terrified about going into hospital'. And it was a concern, but it didn't seem to be on the top of everyone's list. That, I suppose, is testament to how our doctors and nurses are keeping our hospitals as safe as possible. The way that the staff welcome you into the ward and the way that they treat people immediately puts them at ease and that is testament to the people that work there. There's much more concern around the normal new mum things, but the Midwives and MCAs are there to really put people at ease and shift their focus from the pandemic for that period of time. It's really incredible to watch and we're so privileged to have been given access through the stories told by the families in the series.

What key things did you take from 2020?

Firstly, like everyone else, it really hit home how incredible the NHS are. I've always known that they are very special humans having grown up around the NHS, but it was so lovely seeing the wave of appreciation from the country throughout 2020. I really hope that one day when the pandemic is over that we keep that appreciation going because I think that's when they will need the support and love more than ever.

Secondly though, I am being less wasteful with food. I noticed that during the lockdowns last year when we couldn't get food, I literally didn't waste one thing. Not one vegetable went out of date and any leftovers in the fridge were absolutely consumed. I've just become much more mindful about the way that us as a family live. I am also appreciating my time at home with my kids and I always appreciate my parents, but having only seen them two or three times in a year is really tough. My appreciation for them is off the scale. Sometimes you're so busy and think about how you haven't seen them for a while, and then you really realise how much you need to spend time with them. I've also realised that I'm an overworrier, so I'm trying to stop over-worrying!