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Ellie Durant
Hi, I'm Ellie and my goal is to help you become a fantastic midwife. I qualified as a midwife in the UK and have worked in both the UK and New Zealand. Now I'm a midwifery writer and support giver.

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Cycling to Work as a Midwife

Cycling to Work as a Midwife

Someone asked about cycling to work as a midwife. This is like, my secret pet subject. I've had commutes of 8 or 9 miles to work, I've had insane hills to tackle on the way in New Zealand and I've done quick 15 minute versions.

They've all been great.

I've always done everything on a bike, including on calls. I like that it's good for the environment. I'm a long time cyclist, don't have a car and though I'll need one at some point, I adore my commutes as time to think and wind down (I also do cycle tours, so it's a hobby for me too).

Here are all my tips.

I cycle in jeans and a top. I get changed at the hospital, I use baby wipes to freshen up and Mitcham deodorant. Most workplaces have a shower but this would be too much of a faff for me.

I use an osprey backpack I've had for about ten years and it's still going. It's waterproof.

I have a good waterproof jacket, arcteryx are probably the best but rab are good and many off brands are totally fine too. You will get a bit wet sometimes but it happens much less than you'd think in the UK. Honestly, you can be in a car thinking 'I'd hate to be out in this' but it's all splattered on a massive piece of glass so looks much worse than it actually is.

I have one pouch in my rucksack with a mini hairbrush and some of those sample pots from the body shop with a little bit of makeup so I can do a touch up (I wear makeup if I have bad skin).

Have a pair of running tights or something in your bag in case you need something else to cycle home in, putting wet trousers on is horrible. Mudguards are important or you'll get a wet bum.

I love keeping my bike in my kitchen so I can just roll it out of the front door when it's time to go (it's a light cheap roadbike).

If you want panniers, I recommend Ortlieb roll top, they're expensive but will literally last a lifetime and are very easy to fit even for a muppet like me. They are 100% waterproof, like, immersable.

Get good lights, these days I leave them on my bike (they're cable tied to stop opportunistic theft) as I can't be bothered to slot them on and off every day. I have a knogg blinder back light and a Lazyne front light.

I charge both lights still on my bike in my kitchen, they're micro usb and I have long leads and a usb charger.

I ride with a helmet.

Um...panniers can be a good idea but I prefer a backpack as you don't have to open the panniers and take things out when you're at the hospital (the commute is easy, bending over the bike to get things out is hard).

I try and make the whole thing as slick and easy as possible as it makes me happy.

Also: if you have a longish commute (20 mins +each way) remember compensatory calories.

Hope you enjoy it!

October 27, 2020 0

A letter to my friend David

A letter to my friend David

'Hi David.

I just finished your 'Grace in Action' podcast, I binged listened to them, actually. My favourite researcher Brené Brown talks about living a brave life and it means a huge amount of fear and pain quite often as you can't pretend things don't matter. But it's a bit like fairy lights, where everything is dark and hard for a bit as you walk along the string and then suddenly you find the light again.

Listening to your podcast with Siobhan felt like one of the floodlit moments. So much clarity and beauty in the way you both love Grace. It was a masterclass in love.

Good to remember this as I go back into midwifery. I'm not sure how to say it but I think of Grace and you and Siobhan often as I'm sure many of us do. Do you remember that chat we had about BLM and you talked about turning situations that you can't control and break your heart into some kind of art?

I really hope it was helpful to you both but you know it was helpful to me, and that has to mean lots of others, right?

You gave plenty of evidence and useful information which is brilliant but we need the art so much. To help the women and the families and the midwives find their way through.

Anyway, I'll post the podcast on my blog and hope people find it.


Much Love x

Listen to David and Siobhan's podcast here.


October 21, 2020 0

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