Emma Willis : Delivering Babies Series 3 | Interview with Emma Willis

It’s great to have Delivering Babies back for a third series. How did you feel when you first stepped back into The Princess Alexandra Hospital?

It felt incredible to step back onto the ward but it was also really overwhelming and emotional because it really hit me just what the team have been through over the last couple of years. Overall though, I felt a mix of excitement and nervousness, because I didn’t really know what I was getting into.

What can viewers expect this time around?

They can expect loads more gorgeous babies! I also do a whole load of learning. This time we brushed up on the MCA (Maternity Care Assistant) qualification that I’ve got, so I could go back on the ward and work, but we’ve also been working towards a level 3 which is adding a brand-new skillset. I’m taking on an extra workload this time which is really exciting.

What were you most nervous about doing after such a long time away from the hospital?

I was most nervous about doing the job! It had been three years and I thought that I would have forgotten absolutely everything. In the first week or so when I went back, I literally couldn’t even get a thermometer under a tongue, I was all fingers and thumbs. Imposter syndrome kicked in a little but within a couple of weeks, after a lot of handholding and people pushing me to do things that I could quite clearly do but didn’t believe I could, I was back into my stride and felt comfortable again.

What’s different this time?

Well, there are different people this time as quite a few of the people I worked with before have now left – including Val and Naghmeh – so there are many new faces that you’ll meet throughout the series and they’re all really lovely! There’s also a whole new bunch of skills that I learn this time which is another big difference.

What are those skills?

A big one that I learnt was how to do baby obs. It sounds quite straightforward but then they explain to you that you’re actually looking for signs that the baby isn’t right, and you need to know what to do in that situation. You’re checking things like the baby’s temperature and heart rate, and you need to know the categories that they should be falling into to make sure they’re fit and healthy. I also learnt how to do discharge chats, which again seems quite easy, but there is so much information that you need to pass on to a woman who has just gone through a life changing experience. They may not be ready to get a barrage of important information that they need to remember when they leave. Throughout my time I also learnt how to do a baby heel prick test and I got to go out into the community and do day 5 post-natal checks.

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You mentioned that there are some new faces in this series. Can you tell us about your new colleagues?

I can tell you a lot about Molly. Molly is a maternity support worker, and she does a lot of my upskilling and new training. She will no doubt one day be a midwife because she is absolutely brilliant. She loves her job, she’s very funny with a great sense of humour, she loves a dance and she’s fantastic!

Do you feel that your confidence in your role as an MCA has increased since series one?

It’s definitely increased since series one but it’s been a very gradual increase and when I went back this year, I felt like I was starting all over again. But, by the end of it and from a personal point of view, I really feel like this time I did a lot of self-reflection. I’ve learnt quite a bit about how I think and view myself. I’ve come away with a different mindset and wanting to make changes which I didn’t expect. I was ready to just go, learn and leave, but instead I went, learnt a lot about myself and left with a lot of work to do!

What sort of things did you learn about yourself?

A lot of it was around how negative I am with myself and that’s something that I really need to stop.

What did you enjoy most about your time in the hospital this time around?

What I enjoy most, every time I go back, is the people that work there. Those individuals are the ones that make the unit and they’re the best bunch of people you could ever wish to work alongside and learn from. It’s always a joy to spend a day in their company.

There’s a moment in the first episode when you and Tilly discuss the impact of covid on the hospital. How did that make you feel?

I didn’t really know what I was walking into and, I suppose, you build a picture up in your head of what it was like in hospitals from what you’ve seen on TV over the past couple of years.

But really, none of us apart from the people that work there truly know what it felt like and the impact it has on them is huge. You never want to think about the people you care about going through such a traumatic and terrifying time in their lives. I didn’t realise how ill Tilly had been, that was a real shocker and really brought it home to me. When it’s happening or has happened directly to somebody that you know and really care about, it hits you like a ton of bricks.

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What advice would you give to anyone about to give birth?

It’s great to have a plan but I think the best plan to have is just to be adaptable. Always expect the unexpected!

Were there any funny moments that you could tell us about?

On my last week, I don’t know why but Debbie, who is the nursery nurse there, one of the midwives and Molly decided that they needed to send me off with a bit of a giggle. It was on a quiet day, which is very rare, and I was told that a new mum had just come into the post-natal ward, and I needed to go in and see her. When I walked in, I saw Debbie dressed in a gown, with two knitted breasts attached to her, two babies and a mop on her head as her hair. One baby was called Moet and the other was called Chandon and she said she needed help with breastfeeding. I was like, what! It felt like I was in the twilight zone or something.

Can you sum up this series in three words?

Reunited at last!

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Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.