Maternal tells the stories of Maryam, a Paediatric Registrar, Catherine, a General and Trauma Surgeon, and Helen, a Registrar in Acute Medicine, as they each attempt to balance their increasingly demanding jobs in post-pandemic frontline medicine with their lives as new mothers.
Dr Maryam Afridi is returning to work after two years on maternity leave. As a parent of two kids under 2 (with husband Raz) life is chaotic, and Maryam’s return to City General Hospital sees her catapulted straight back into frontline duties. An incident in Maryam’s first week impacts her hard, and this combined with lack of sleep, the stress of juggling medicine and motherhood, and news of a potential addition to her family sees Maryam begin to question where her priorities and interests lie.
Miss Catherine MacDiarmid is a woman striving for success in the macho world of surgery. And her career wasn’t doing badly until a fling with a married colleague – Dr Lars Nördstrom – resulted in the birth of her daughter Elis and a period of maternity leave which has seriously set her back. Yet, Catherine is determined to prove that neither motherhood nor competition with her colleague and ex Jack will prevent her from advancing her career… even if it means resorting to drastic measures.
Dr Helen Cavendish is mum to three children with husband Guy who is a Consultant and also her boss in the same Acute Medical Unit. Their disintegrating work-life balance has put a strain on their marriage, exacerbated by Guy’s recent affair with a 24-year-old colleague. A mother to all, Helen has always put herself second to the needs of her family and friends. Over the series, she’ll come to face-to-face with the sacrifices she’s made, as well as those made by all who worked in the NHS through the pandemic.
MATERNAL is a love letter to women on the NHS frontline who are holding it together.
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