Meet One Born Every Minute midwife Sozan, the former refugee who now helps women in the UK

Sozan and her Kurdish family experienced the tragedy of war but finally escaped Iraq and came to the UK, where "we saw hope for the first time"

One Born Every Minute midwife Sozan Nadir

Sozan Nadir is one of the dedicated team of midwives at Birmingham Women’s Hospital, the focus of the current series of Channel 4’s One Born Every Minute.

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Sozan supports pregnant women during one of the most emotionally and physically demanding events of their lives, but as a child and a young woman she experienced struggles of her own.

At the age of eight she was forced to flee her home in Iraq with her Kurdish family, having lost relatives to the conflict, and later had to leave the country altogether as war loomed.

Now a British citizen, Sozan recalls those early years of adversity, shares her passion for midwifery and explains what it means to her to be able to call the UK her home…


“When we arrived in the UK we saw hope for the first time”

I was born in Iraq and experienced the struggle of war as a child. As a Kurdish nation, we experienced distress and were displaced a number of times throughout our lives because of our heritage. Growing up as children we experienced bombings, the loss of our homes and losing family members. Life was not simple for me and my family.

We fled our home when I was eight years old, in 1991, and then had to leave Iraq before the 2003 war. My father had to sell our home to pay for us to travel to Europe.

When we arrived in the UK we saw hope for the first time, we were accepted to the UK as political refugees. We began a new life but also a frightening one as we didn’t know what the future was holding for us. We had to learn to adapt to a new country, its lifestyle and laws, learn a new language and find our way to live life. After a number of years leaving in the UK we became proud British citizens and realised that UK was our home forever. We are very fortunate to be living in the UK and to call it home.


“Midwifery became my passion after helping pregnant women with language barriers”

My difficult childhood life has made me a stronger and more positive person, and has also made me more appreciative of what I have in life that other people might not have.

When I arrived in the UK I promised myself to continue studying and find a job to make my parents proud. Since growing up I have always wanted to work with women, and especially help vulnerable women who are newly arrive in the country and who have suffered violence and trauma. After a few years of going to college to improve and learn the English language, I began working as an interpreter in the Kurdish and Farsi languages. Through this career I became more aware of the medical sector and different specialities within the NHS. Midwifery became a passion after helping hundreds of women during pregnancy and child birth with language barriers.

I feel lucky to have been able to pursue a career in midwifery. My job is very satisfying and I’m very proud to work at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital, to work alongside a wonderful team of healthcare professionals, and be able to deliver care to women and babies with normal to complex medical conditions.


“She thought she had her sister by her side”

I remember looking after a woman who was newly arrived in the country with a very sad story and I was fortunate to look after her in labour. The woman did not speak any English and did not have anyone with her. It was very challenging due to the language barrier but I ensured that I stayed by her side and provided the care she deserved. By the end of my shift the woman did not want me to leave her and I had to handover to another midwife.

I then visited her on the ward after she had the baby and through an interpreter the woman informed me that she thought she had her sister by her side and she was grateful of the care I provided to her. As midwives, we often bond with women and feel sad to leave them at the end of the shift.

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One Born Every Minute continues on Wednesdays at 9pm on Channel 4