California dream becomes reality for Ruby

Student midwife graduates with ringing endorsement for first main assignment

Date posted

30 October 2017


Last updated

9 March 2020

A student midwife – who graduated from Edinburgh Napier University with distinction – has received a ringing endorsement for one of her first main assignments.

Ruby Scott collected her Degree in Midwifery in front of her proud family and friends at a ceremony in the city’s Usher Hall.

However, the 21-year-old has left the University with more than just her degree after she received glowing praise from a family she supported during her time in the USA earlier this year.

Ruby, from Hillsborough in Northern Ireland, spent four weeks with a unique birthing practice in the Woodland Hills area of Los Angeles in March, after travelling to California to complete her elective placement as part of the University’s midwifery programme.

It was during the trip that Ruby was involved with her first homebirth on what would be a memorable St Patrick’s Day – in more ways than one – for the Irish student.

Working with the Diaz family, she helped bring baby River into the world on 17 March this year – a day usually reserved for the annual celebration of the Patron Saint of Ireland across the world.

Ruby’s calming influence and trusting professionalism was praised by River’s mother Becky during what turned out to be a trip of a lifetime for the new graduate.

Ruby said: “I had the most amazing time in California and was so privileged to spend 4 weeks with my mentor there.

“Being present at Becky’s delivery gave me such a wonderful and empowering insight into natural midwifery. It was an incredibly positive learning experience and the entire Diaz family were so welcoming.

“Although during my placement I was shadowing my mentor, home birth is predominantly hands off and Becky birthed her baby with minimal assistance. I was simply able to watch the beauty of childbirth.”

Becky Diaz, mother of baby River, said: “I was thrilled to have Ruby present at my homebirth in March. She is such an intrepid young woman to seek out this experience in LA. She brought a very calm energy into the birth space and my family loved her. She was a master of holding space for the birth.

“Ruby strikes the fine balance of being medically attentive and yet so trusting of the process. I trusted her fully and she was the perfect addition to my birth team. She will make a phenomenal midwife.”

Ruby’s trip to Los Angeles was made possible after she was awarded funding from the prestigious Iolanthe Midwifery Trust.

The organisation helps midwives develop and broaden their skills and knowledge through bursaries and special awards, with Ruby one of only 11 students to receive funding this year.

The award enabled Ruby to complete her elective placement overseas and allowed her to experience a different approach to midwife practice and culture – an aspect that the placement programme at Edinburgh Napier actively encourages.

Ruby added: “I was both surprised and honoured to be selected for the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust prize. The award is UK-wide and I knew it would be highly competitive amongst midwifery students across Britain so I was delighted to receive it.

“I really would encourage all students who have the option to travel during their programme to seize the opportunity. It is important for students to be aware of the various trusts and grants that are available to them. These can facilitate and enable students to experience different cultures and approaches to their subject throughout the world – something that is invaluable to learning at such an early stage of your career.”

Celebrating success at Edinburgh Napier