Wednesday, 4 May 2011

And so begins 2nd Year

We are no longer shiny and new. We've all had different experiences on placement, good and not so good. We've all already started to think about the kind of midwife we want to be - learning from those we've been working with. We've even already become a little cynical about the changes we thought we could make because we've seen how restrictive working for the NHS can be.

I've been back in Uni for two days and already I feel revitalised and hopeful about my future. During one of courses we will be looking at hypnobirthing and complementary therapies and I am so excited...this is exactly the kind of midwife I want to be. I want to embrace normality and encourage women to believe in their bodies to give them the best possible chance of a normal birth. Did you know that it is a well known phenomenon that women's labours halt or slow down when they enter a hospital? Did you know that it was only once the doctors got involved that babies began to be born in hospitals instead of at home?

Don't get me wrong, I 100% believe that hospitals have their place and women and babies lives have been saved as a result. However I do believe that for the majority of women, home would be a perfectly safe place to give birth. I may well be biased having had personal experience of a home birth and loved it but it is something I am passionate about. Sadly I also believe that we are a long way off turning things around again. Women have different expectations now - they expect pain relief, they expect doctors or midwives to tell them what will happen and when, and so on. It's not that women are wrong but perhaps we are wrong in how we guide women's expectations if that makes sense?

It's not often that I hear people say that they loved their antenatal least not once they've had the baby. The most common statement I hear is that the classes didn't prepare them in any way? So is this where we are going wrong? Is this where we can make a huge difference to how birth and labour is viewed? I do believe that no-one can be fully prepared for just how much parenthood changes your life but I also believe we could prepare women better for birth, and increase the chances of a normal delivery. I've been on the receiving end of wonderful, inspirational antenatal discussion that led me to my home birth. However I was also fully prepared for if things hadn't gone to plan, and I still had plans in place to maintain control of MY birth. Shouldn't all women be given that opportunity?

I would also like to make the disclaimer that I am not saying that anyone who hasn't had a normal delivery, had unrealistic expectations. There is many factors to consider and I am certainly not in a position to judge whether or not someone was given the opportunity to have a normal delivery. Do you think you were well prepared for the birth of your baby?


  1. Good post :-) I was definitely well prepared but that was because I had a fab supportive online 'gang' and thanks to excruciating SD had nothing better to do than scour books and read up on the wonders of natural birthing... not everyone has this much information to hand and I'm not sure how you can concisely convey the stats to someone who thinks home-birthing is for hippies...

  2. I wish there were more midwives like you out there - it might turn things around a lot quicker.

  3. What a fabby blog.
    wishing you all the luck in the world for the next year.
    I am just about to do a day course of hypnobirthing in prep for this bump - really looking forward to it. I didn't do it last time so really hoping it helps me get myself through the VBAC i want. I am also about to have reflexology from a lady who was a midwife for 30 odd years at QMC and has branched out into holistic midwifery, offering treatments and such have you. Hoping this will be a fabby eye opener.
    Can give you feedback if you like xx

  4. That would be fab thanks PC - perhaps you'd do a guest blog post on it for me?