The £1,000,000 question… Why did you want to become a midwife? This is a question I am asked more commonly than any other. It was a question that used to plague me in my application days out of fear that my answer was not good enough.
For those interested in Midwifery it is a question you will be asked time and again. However, the answer is never a simple one, rather a complex web of experiences and interests.
In my first blog I talked about sex education and how this was the starting point for me in my journey to Midwifery. I remember being shown a video of birth and studying pregnancy and the physiological changes and adaptations during this period and being fascinated that a human body can create, grow and birth another life! (When you really think about it, it is!). From that moment anything related to pregnancy and birth caught my attention, from books, to documentaries. However, at that stage I wasn’t aware that the role of a Midwife even existed, and it wasn’t until I was in my teenage years that I settled on Midwifery as a career choice (even though it would be a longer journey to this point than I expected).
What I never expected from my journey would be the passion for education that I have developed throughout my course. From the women and families in my care to the current and prospective student midwives that have succeeded me, providing guidance and support has given me more than I could have expected. I did not see myself as someone to be listened to, but throughout my journey I have realised the skills I need to guide others were there all along. With a little nurturing studying midwifery has made me who I am today, and given me the skills to advocate for myself and others.
Informed choice and control is an enormous part of our role as guided by the Nursing and Midwifery Council whom Nurses and Midwives are accountable to, and this is a role I take seriously. Levels of satisfaction amongst women and their families is massively increased when they feel they have been involved in the planning and implementing of their own care, and this is something that can only happen when they truly understand what you are telling them. The public health role of the midwife is ever increasing and with publications such as Midwifery2020 putting an emphasis on the Midwife as the coordinator of care, this role will continue to expand.
When I was on my community placement, I needed to undertake a Parent education Class (Antenatal Class) with a group of women and their partners as part of my assessments. Beforehand I was really nervous, I spent a long time preparing games and information on the topic of analgesia (pain relief) in order to make the session informative and fun. Luckily everyone responded well and we ended up having a real laugh along the way! It is nice to see that impact that the midwife can have, especially in the community setting where all the women and their families knew the community midwife and got to know each other and make friends along the way who could share in their experiences.
If someone asks me now “Why do you want to be a midwife?” I would have to say because it is simply the best job in the world, challenging, rewarding, exciting, but mainly diverse. Our role is one that reaches all aspects of people’s lives and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
‘Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.’ ~ Ella Fitzgerald