Drama delivers popularity boost for Midwifery

Published: 15 January 2013 at 12:09

BBC’s Call the Midwife credited for surge in demand to study at Anglia Ruskin

The success of BBC TV programme Call the Midwife has led to a sharp increase in applications to study midwifery at Anglia Ruskin University this year.

Anglia Ruskin has seen the number of prospective students wishing to enrol for the BSc (Hons) in Midwifery, which is run on its Chelmsford and Fulbourn campuses, increase by 11.6% compared to the same point in 2012. 

Frances Galloway, Senior Lecturer in Midwifery at Anglia Ruskin, is certain that the success of the series, which features the work of midwives in 1950s inner-city London, is one of the reasons for the rising popularity of the course.

“We have seen a year-on-year increase in applications to study midwifery and that is partly thanks to the higher profile the profession now has amongst the public.  People now see it as a career in its own right rather than simply a branch of nursing,”

said Ms Galloway.

“Of course many things have changed since the 1950s, not least the fact there are far fewer bicycles involved nowadays, but Call the Midwife perfectly captures the emotions of childbirth.  
 “However, it’s crucial that prospective students have an understanding of the midwifery profession in 2013 and we expect applicants to have already undertaken some form of relevant work experience, such as meeting with a practising midwife, voluntary work in the caring sector or being a breast feeding support worker.”

Elizabeth Blamire, a second year BSc (Hons) Midwifery student, said:

“Call the Midwife can only be good for the profession of midwifery.  It shows the profession in a positive and realistic light.
“It shows that midwives have a broad role encompassing care of women and newborns, as well as promoting and protecting the public health of women, families and the wider community.”

Elizabeth, who is also President of the Mindful Midwifery Society at Anglia Ruskin, added:

“Birth continues to be life changing for families and a privilege to be part of for midwives, just as much now as in the 1950s.  The way in which many of the babies are born on Call the Midwife is the way that many babies are born today, using the same midwifery skills.”

The first series of Call the Midwife, which stars Miranda Hart, attracted an average audience of 8.7 million viewers and a new series begins on BBC1 on Sunday, 20 January.