I love so many different aspects of being a One to One Midwife, but I particularly love the relationships I build with so many amazing women and families.
In 2002, I decided I needed a change from my career as a holistic therapist, and so began my path in midwifery and started my degree in midwifery practice. I had hopes to use my skills in holistic therapies to support women in labour. However, soon into my training, I discovered how medicalised midwifery actually was, and I was disheartened by the profession.
In 2006, I graduated from Chester University, and started working as a newly qualified midwife within a hospital maternity ward. I was never truly satisfied in my role as a hospital midwife. I would rarely see the same woman for more than the one shift, so I never experienced true continuity of care. I recall many times driving home from my busy shift feeling so sad, frustrated and annoyed that I was restricted from providing the midwifery care that I had hoped, and of course, the care that women deserved due to time restraints, staffing levels and caring for so many women at one given time.
In early 2011, I was at my lowest ebb in my career, so I decided I had to change my job as it was effecting my health. I discovered One to One Midwives. I applied for a post and started working as a case loading midwife in June that year. I was delighted with my new post, and I knew instantly that I had made the best decision in my midwifery career and eventually discovered the passion I had longed for in midwifery.
Reflecting on my first year at One to One, there was so much I needed to learn to adapt to my new role out within the community. I hadn't realised just how medicalised my approach to pregnancy and birth was when I first started. However, I soon adapted to the philosophy of One to One midwives- ‘promoting pregnancy and birth as a normal physiological process’, providing ‘women centred care’, and providing ‘individualised care’ to all women and their families.
I have been working at One to One Midwives for 20 months now, and I have cared for, and met so many special women and families. Having the time to provide quality care in the comfort of women's own home is undoubtedly a huge influence in building so many strong relationships with women.
The majority of the women in today’s life, tend to fear birth and these negative emotions towards labour and birth can effect on the whole birthing process. However, as a One to One Midwife, I can offer my time to sit down and provide them with the time that they need to be fully informed about labour, and encourage them to talk about any anxieties and fears so they can overcome them. I have found that this really helps prepare women and their birthing partners for labour, and becoming new parents which is a very rewarding way to practice.
One of my favourite ways of being as supportive community midwife, is attending the weekly Aqua Natal session at the Concourse in West Kirby and the coffee morning meet-up at Toast afterwards.
I took these lovely pictures at one of our meet-ups in February at Toast one Monday. These pictures have given me a lovely memory of a special morning catching up with so many lovely mums that I had met during their pregnancy and had cared for over the past 20 months. It was this meet up that inspired me to reflect on my role as a One to One midwife and realise just how amazing my job actually is. You see, midwifery to me is no longer a job…it’s a passion. It is a role that I cherish. I truly care for the woman I care for and I have made some wonderful friends.
The easiest and best part of my job is building the most amazing relationships with my women and their families. I could easily sit and name each and every woman and her baby that I have cared for since working at One to One. However, the hardest part of my job is when I have to hug them goodbye at their final appointment with me (usually 6 weeks). It is so much easier when I know that they will have more babies and assure me that I will be seeing them soon…that doesn’t seem like ‘goodbye’ but rather ‘see you soon’. I do much better with those.
I often think about each and every women I have cared for over the past 20 months, wondering how they are getting on, if they are happy, and how big their babies are now, and if when I cared for them- did I make a difference? Therefore, having the opportunity to meet-up at Toast is a lovely way of seeing some of the women I have previously cared for. I can see how they are embracing their new role as a mum, seeing how amazing they are doing with breastfeeding their babies a year old despite remembering the struggles they went through in the first few weeks, and getting the chance to cuddle with their babies once more and seeing how much they have grown!!
So as you can see….. It is impossible not to think about my job and my women every single day, even when I am on holiday. I have children of my own and I have honestly thought about whether I should change my job for something that I don’t take home with me. But this will never ever happen because… every time I see how my position impacts on the lives of my women I feel truly blessed, and every time one of my women looks at me with tears in her eyes and says, “Thank you!” I say to myself, “How can I not love this job….”