Mother's Day is special for all mums, but it might just be extra special tomorrow for Jill Dale and Eleanor McQueen.

The pair are a mum-and-daughter midwife duo and have helped many mums bring their babies into the world at North Shore Hospital in Auckland.

But this Mother's Day McQueen is also 33 weeks' pregnant with her first child, who will soon be delivered with both her husband and her mum at her side.

Dale won't be helping with the birth of her third grandchild, but she'll be part of the team supporting McQueen as she delivers the baby she's been told is a boy.


"I'll keep quiet, I'm there as a support person, not as a midwife . . . it's going to be quite special being there."

Of course, it's always special being there.

McQueen, a midwife for seven years, and Dale, a midwife for 35 years, have collectively helped deliver hundreds of babies. They both currently work at North Shore Hospital.

Dale, who switched from nursing to midwifery early in her healthcare career, loved the profession because it was about looking after "healthy, well women who are happy to be there".

"In the majority of cases they're very happy and have a great outcome, and yet they're at a time of their life that you can provide such good support . . . you can help them start off as a mum in the best possible emotional state."

The emotions from parents when a baby arrived ranged from relief to excitement to joy, the 61-year-old said.

Mother and daughter midwives Jill Dale, 61, and pregnant Eleanor McQueen, 30, at North Shore Hospital. Photo / Doug Sherring
Mother and daughter midwives Jill Dale, 61, and pregnant Eleanor McQueen, 30, at North Shore Hospital. Photo / Doug Sherring

"Their emotions are just every which way, and to see their faces is quite incredible."

Mother and daughter sometimes worked together to help with a delivery, which she enjoyed, and she also tended to ask McQueen questions related to the 30-year-old's more recent training.

For McQueen, working in the same profession as her mum was, initially, something she never thought would happen.

"I always said I wasn't going to be a midwife. I was the kid who would fall over and not have my hands on the ground because I don't like mess. But maybe some things you are drawn to, whether it's nature or nurture."

She enjoyed helping mums get a good start in a relationship "that's going to last forever", and, equally, seeing her own mother — through their sometimes shared work — from a different perspective.

"Seeing how loved she is, how respected and how much knowledge my colleagues acknowledge that she has . . . it's really nice as a daughter to see your mother in a different light."

Mother's Day in their family was less about "big presents" and more about "making sure mum knows how important she is, and how loved she is".

"I think it's really nice to have a dedicated day, as long as mums feel valued and loved the rest of the year as well. It's not just a one-off day."

Except at North Shore's maternity ward that is.

"Here, every day is Mother's Day."