Being asked what career pathway you want to follow when you are only 16 seems like a massive request, but for me I always knew that someday I wanted to become a midwife. I could see myself caring for women throughout their pregnancy, labour and postnatal period and having great honour in sharing these times with women. I have always been a people person (or so my mum says!) and love chatting to a variety of different individuals. Here I am following my dream! Half way through my second year of midwifery training and loving every single moment, each day I learn something new and life couldn’t be better! So I thought I would give you an insight on what it’s like to be a student midwife in 2015, with the three best and worst things about being a student midwife. Three not so great things:
1. As an undergraduate student midwife, you are required to attend for 45 weeks of each year for three years. Meaning that we aren’t your typical party animal university students (or so I think?) … placements, lectures and essays take up the majority of your time and balancing a social life can be difficult!
2. So each placement is 6 weeks, and in each placement you get allocated a mentor who is a fully qualified midwife. Each midwife practices slightly differently and by the time you’ve got used to how one midwife practices it’s time to move on! Just when you start to feel like you are getting into the swing of things.
3. After 6 weeks out on placement going back to university must be one of the hardest tasks (well for me anyway!) … It feels strange being sat in a lecture theatre for hours at a time when on placement you were normally non-stop for the majority of the shift. Saying that I do love catching up with the rest of my cohort’s midwifery journeys!
Three fabulous things:
1. When they say that midwifery is the best job in the world … they sure didn’t underestimate that one! As a student we are supernumerary which is great because it means that we get to spend more time with you, and that’s where we learn so much as believe it or not no two women are the same! It’s great knowing that just chatting to you can put you at ease and make such a difference to your experience.
2. As a student, we are made to feel a part of the team … before you ask that does mean partaking in drinking cups of tea and eating cake, which, of course, is a very important part of the job! Your mentor becomes your personal guru of midwifery knowledge and wisdom, and by the end of your 6 weeks you feel slightly sad about moving on.
3. ‘Catching’ or delivering a baby must be the greatest feeling in the world! It is such a magical and honourable experience to welcome a new life into the world, the pride and love that a mother and her partner have at that moment is something that can never be replicated. I am extremely thankful that as a student midwife I am able to share such an amazing moment with mothers from all walks of life.
There you have it, three of the best and worst things about being a student midwife. I wouldn’t change this career choice for the world and I am so thankful for all of the marvellous experiences that I have shared with women so far which have helped shape my midwifery pathway!