Call the Midwife Wiki

Elaine Pilkington was a young teenage mother who appeared in Series Eight Episode Six.


Elaine is first shown getting strong contractions coming to the maternity home and is immediately assisted by Nurse Lucille Anderson. She is then shown being examined by Lucille and when she asks her if she has received any antenatal care, she replies that she hasn’t but knows that she is 9 months gone. When Lucille asks if she wants her to call her parents, she immediately seems tense and when Lucille asks her how old she is, it is revealed she is seventeen.

Later on we see her giving birth with Nurse Anderson present to deliver and after a few pushes, she delivers a healthy baby girl. When she holds her for the first time, she says that she will never let her go, startling Lucille gently.

Elaine Pilkington

Elaine holding her baby daughter

A while after she gives birth, Lucille comes in with some tea and toast for Elaine and it is mentioned that the baby’s name is Sarah. Elaine, being absolutely enamoured with her daughter and not wanting to let her go, says that she’ll put her down in a minute. Lucille, with her suspicions, questions Elaine if Sarah is her first baby, explaining that she noticed the stitches and the scar whilst delivering Sarah. Elaine reveals that she had a baby boy two years earlier, and that her parents tricked her into believing that they were taking him to the doctor when they really went to put him up for adoption. Lucille, aware that Elaine’s parents do not know of her whereabouts or pregnancy, asks if she may call to inform them. Elaine gives her permission to do so but that they should also know that she isn’t giving Sarah up.

Elaine’s parents are both utterly shocked and surprised, stating that she didn’t look any different than usual. They also say that they do not understand what went wrong since she was a well brought up lady, attending Church and Sunday School and that they taught her right from wrong. When they mention that they intend to give the baby up for adoption as well, Patrick Turner intervenes that Elaine wants to keep Sarah. Then, Mrs Pilkington coldly says: “...unless she has herself a husband tucked away somewhere, that just isn’t going to happen.”, to which Dr Turner is gobsmacked by.

In the next scene, Elaine talks to Shelagh Turner and tells her she won’t give Sarah up for adoption and is devastated that it comes from the people who are supposed to love her. Shelagh replies that she’s sure they do love her, but want the best for her in these circumstances. Elaine then tells Shelagh that Sarah wasn’t an accident and that she wanted her so badly to heal herself after they “...ripped out her heart when they took away [Elaine’s] little boy.” and every time she looks at her, she can feel her heart becoming stronger. Shelagh then asks Elaine if the baby’s father could help her. She responds that she doesn’t even know where he lives and that it was never about him and she doesn’t care about him, only that she wanted a baby. She also says that it wasn’t like this the first time and that she would have gone to the end of the earth for Benjamin [her son’s] dad, even though he didn’t want to know about the baby.

Later on, Elaine’s parents come to visit her at the maternity home and tell her that they are going to try to help her stop all this nonsense with men. Mrs Pilkington says that they are going to put it all behind them and that they have spoken to the adoption agency as of regards for Sarah. Elaine adamantly tells her parents that she’s not giving her daughter up. Her father tells her to stop being silly and her mother says that marriage is the place for babies. She also says that as for their business, with them having decent people as customers, they shouldn’t go waving this around in their faces. When Lucille brings Sarah in for her feed, Mr Pilkington steps away and his wife turns her face away. When Elaine tells her father that Sarah deserves to be looked at as his granddaughter, he tells her that she isn’t accepted as that; Elaine then says that she refuses to come home without her, the Pilkington's see this as nonsense and depart, leaving Elaine distraught without the support of her parents.

Lucille informs Elaine that she can’t support a baby with no family around and that it will be very hard. Elaine replies that there was a girl at the mother and baby home who kept her child and that she managed to get a place in a hostel along with National Assistance. Lucille then says that that is still very little money to get by. Elaine then responds that she’s got a good typing speed and that there is piecework that can be done at home. She then says to Lucille that she’s had 9 months to think about it and is aware that it will be hard but cannot be as hard as what she’s already done.

Lucille then discusses with the maternity homes receptionist Miss Higgins about the different paths of future for Elaine. Miss Higgins says that she has found a place for Elaine called the National Council for the Unmarried Mother but believes that because of Elaine’s present status, she’ll face getting more disapproval all her life. Lucille questions if they should be showing her encouragement but Miss Higgins simply replies that their encouragement is neither here nor there. She also mentions that Elaine has two paths to go down and she’s choosing the one “she can bear.”

Meanwhile, Mr Pilkington, upon hearing that his daughter is considering a career in typing, drops off a typing machine for her to use. Elaine, although upset without her parents, is happy that it at least has a new ribbon. She also mentions that she going to need to make some of those cards to put in the shop windows so that people who need typing done can contact her, once they know where she’s gonna be, she says sadly; Lucille, feeling pity for Elaine, tells her she’ll see what she can do. They then squeeze each other’s hands tightly for hope.

Lucille later returns with a list of sympathetic landladies from the Council of the Unmarried Mothers. She shows her which one she thinks would be the best and that she’s not too far away. Lucille then tells her that Miss Higgins had asked to inform her that: “ won’t be Buckingham Palace but will be much better than a hostel.” Elaine smiles and asks if the landlady is alright about Sarah to which Lucille responds that she is. Lucille then hands Elaine the application for National Assistance until Sarah is 5 years old which would cover the rent and main essentials. Elaine, grateful and speechless, thanks her extremely. Elaine then tells Lucille that she thought that she was going to send her to that mother and baby home. Lucille then tells her that the road won’t be easy to which Elaine replies that she knows, and Lucille hands her the blank pieces of card to start typing.

We later see Lucille put a card up on the information board at the maternity home.

The last we see of Elaine is her leaving the maternity home with Sarah in a pram, ready to conquer the tough but loving path with her daughter.