Call the Midwife to feature a ventous birth for the first time on the next series

Call the Midwife will include the changes of the time credit:Bang Showbiz
Call the Midwife will include the changes of the time credit:Bang Showbiz

‘Call the Midwife’ will feature a ventouse birth for the first time next series.

The long-running BBC One period drama - based on the book ‘Call The Midwife: A True Story of The East End in the 1950s’ by Jennifer Worth - will keep with the times by including historically accurate services and birthing technologies, such as at-home visitors and “vacuum extraction” via forceps.

Of the new series - which is set in 1968 and was confirmed to be filming back in April - Heidi Thomas said: “We do have a new nun joining us, Sister Veronica, who arrives in the first episode.

She added: "Sister Veronica is going to be our very first health visitor, she’ll be helping us steer through the policies that were new at the time - she’s very involved in what we call preventative health, for example nutrition and supporting families.”

Heidi added that “vacuum extraction” might pose a challenge for Dr Turner - played by Stephen McGann - and his team after they shown the new developments in maternity care.

She said: “Whether Doctor Turner can afford to buy a ventouse machine is another matter. It might be like the incubator and need fundraising.”

In addition, the show - which also stars Helen George, Jenny Agutter, Laura Main and Leonie Elliott - will also dive into the divisive politics of the era, such as Enoch Powell’s controversial ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, which production “felt [they] couldn’t ignore”.

Helen said: “The first episode of the new series coincides with Enoch Powell’s famous speech about rivers of blood, which did change the way people of different cultures and ethnicities act with one another, and we felt we couldn’t ignore that.”

They will also cover the impact of the thalidomide - a drug introduced in the 1960 to aid morning sickness but turned out to have adverse side effects - as they follow Rhoda Mullock and her daughter Susan “coming to terms with artificial limbs”.

She said: “We meet Susan again at the age of six coming to terms with artificial limbs. We see the impact that has on her parents.

Heidi revealed that the new episodes will “echo something” similar to between the gulfs between rich and poor that we are seeing in the current day.

She said: “There’s no way you can deny our series will echo something we’re seeing today and that’s quite harrowing, to think 50 years down the line, some people are still having the same problems as their parents and grandparents had.”

The twelfth series of 'Call the Midwife' is set to air on BBC One in 2023.