Words are powerful and often turn into actions.
I’m getting a little bit writerly here and I’m reminded of that Terry Pratchett quote where he says the pen is mightier than the sword but only if the sword is very small and the pen is very sharp but…
Have a read of the following from Kate Pinney, experienced midwife and health visitor, from the Tommy’s pregnancy charity:
When I was asked to write a blog about kindness in midwifery, I wasn’t entirely sure where to start, but I began to reflect on how much the simple notion of being kind is not always valued and recognised as it should be. This led me to think about the type of calls we receive on our pregnancy line here at Tommy’s and the type of support we often provide.
As a team we absolutely treasure the position we are in, that we are not time pressured, and can spend as long as needed supporting parents. All of the Tommy’s midwives also work within the NHS so are more than aware that time is often a luxury that is not always available. We regularly receive positive feedback about how much this is valued and we are proud to be able to offer such a service alongside the NHS.
Often, many parents do not necessarily need answers or advice but just a listening ear or affirmation of what they are already thinking. As professionals we often want to provide the answers and solve a problem but do not give ourselves enough credit in terms of how valued simply providing a listening ear or a reassuring comment is.
Working on the pregnancy line means that you are exposed to many peoples’ experiences and become aware of how they have been treated by professionals as well as friends and family. Due to this I have come to learn that you can never second guess how someone is feeling and what they are going through. Pregnancy is a time that can throw up so many challenges and new experiences, however one thing that we can be certain of is that being kind, listening without judgement and empowering parents to be is crucial and core to the role of a midwife.
If you’ve got a way of being kind that’s outside the NHS, it’s really needed. We need to help ourselves because the government can’t help midwifery right now.
And if you can get even a word or two of kindness into an over stretched, over packed day, you’re fighting for your profession to change.
Don't underestimate the importance of turning up every day and doing a bit more. This is the way progress is made.
To kindness in midwifery,
P.S. Info on the conference can be found here: The Kindness Conference.