Mary Cronk MBE

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Mary Cronk, MBE, is a midwifery legend, although retired now after over 5 DECADES in midwifery her name still inspires awe in many of us, especially those of us who have been priviledged to learn from her, either in practice, on study days or online.

Mary worked for the NHS for over 30 years before becoming independent in 1991. During her years with the NHS Mary mainly worked in community, facilitating homebirths, although was well reknown for her habit in hospital of ‘accidentally’ dropping all the sterile scissors when meant to do a routine episiotomy.

Mary has written guidelines on twin birth as well as articles on breech and ran study days to teach midwives these skills.

Ensuring women know their rights and how to stand up for those rights, as shown by her phases:-
“Thank you so much Midwife Sinister/ Mr Hi-an-my-tee, for your advice. We will consider this carefully and let you know our decision.” Sweet Smile! This one is most useful in the antenatal stage, though it can be used in labour. It can just take a minute to consider what you either want to know, or what you decide.
“Would you like to reconsider what you have just said!” Fierce glare. This is useful and, for example, applies to the misuse of the word “allow”.
“I do not believe you can have heard what I have just said. Shall I repeat myself? ”
“I am afraid I will have to regard any further discussion as harassment.” This is used if the person does not respect your decision or persists in pressing the subject.
“What is your NMC or GMC pin number?” This is used if 4 is ineffective. If the person asks why you want their pin number, inform them that this is something they might like to consider.
“STOP THIS AT ONCE”. This to be used in extremis. This phrase was once used AGAINST Mary by a woman to whom she had taught it. She was doing a difficult VE and was being too persistent. She stopped at once and learnt a lesson.