A Fife midwife who delivered thousands of babies during a 53-year career has retired.
Joan Taylor introduced an innovative maternity care therapy service in 2007 to ease some of the pressures of pregnancy, helping countless mums-to-be in the process.
She was rewarded with an MBE four years ago.
Mrs Taylor, 70, spent 12 years as a community midwife before starting her specialist service with six years of funding from the Jennifer Brown Fund, set up in memory of Gordon and Sarah Brown’s baby daughter who sadly died shortly after birth.
She offered reflextherapy, a form of reflexology specially designed for maternity care, aromatherapy and massage.
Mrs Taylor said the treatments could relieve morning sickness, breast feeding problems and stress.
She began with just eight patients during a five-hour clinic but within a year she was treating more than 100 women every week.
The clinics were so popular NHS Fife continued to support them when the Jennifer Brown funding finished.
Mrs Taylor began her long career in Bridge of Earn in 1964 and came to Fife in 1973 after a four year break to have her own children, Jean and Robbie.
She was based in Forth Park Maternity Hospital in Kirkcaldy until services were switched to nearby Victoria Hospital in 2012.
She said she had seen a lot of changes in the way maternity services were delivered but added: “My heart is still in the same place. That doesn’t change.”
Achieving funding to launch midwifery care therapies was definitely the highlight of her career.
“Then I got my MBE in the middle of it all,” she said.
“I don’t think any other hospital did what I did.
“I always wanted people in Fife to have that for nothing.
“The benefits of it are that women have support with the changes in their pregnancy, not just pain management but emotional support as well.”
Dads were also included, and Mr Taylor’s services included recording the heartbeat of unborn children for those working away in the armed forces or on oil rigs.
“I had the time to do it,” she said.
“I never wore a watch and I didn’t take breaks. I just carried on working until the end of the day.”
Although she has retired from the NHS, Mrs Taylor is not putting her feet up as she has a job providing therapies for staff at Abbotsford nursing homes.