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Midwife Diaries

Personal Statement School

If You've Had A Baby Die

I so wanted to include this video because I’ve worked with many applicants who have had a baby, or babies, die.

This module is a summary of the conversations I’ve had with those applicants and students, and the types of approach that have been successful in their personal statements.

Include Your Experience?

From a practical point of view, it’s important to work out whether your experience of grief is important in your future practice as a midwife.

Are there skills, qualities and insights that you developed during this time that you believe are important in what you can bring to the women?

Or were those elements of yourself already there beforehand?

Will those qualities shine through without mentioning your experience?

For instance, empathy, communication skills, compassion, active listening, understanding.

The Admissions Tutors’ Concerns

For some people, providing excellent care for women and families experiencing a similar death can be satisfying.

(For instance, I believe this is the case for Chantal Lockey, of the Foundation For Infant Loss Training).

For other people, it can be unimaginably difficult.

The admissions tutors will need to know they can offer you the support you need to practice as a midwife without things becoming too mentally difficult.

Writing About Your Baby’s Death

I suggest you keep to simple, short descriptions of what happened.

Then return quickly to the skills, qualities and insights that make you an amazing midwife to be.

This will communicate to the admissions tutors that you have your own coping strategies and are a good candidate to bring all your understanding, empathy, and compassion to women.

Medicalisation

Some parents who have had a baby die are proponents of greater medicalisation.

In some instances, this is exactly the right thing to do.

However in other instances it can cause iatrogenic harm, which is one reason why midwives are so committed to reducing unnecessary intervention.

I suggest if you mention being very passionate about improving outcomes for Mums and Babies, you could mention an evidence-based source. For instance the RCOG ‘Each Baby Counts’ Campaign, which aims to reduce unnecessary suffering and loss of life by 50% by 2020.

If You Want To Specialise In Bereavement Midwifery

This is an amazing ambition, but stick to one or two lines.

It’s important the admissions tutors know you are interested in caring for mothers experiencing many different childbearing events.

More information on cytomegalovirus (CMV). There is evidence to suggest we should be providing more information to Mums about transmission from young children, in particular their urine/saliva.

On screening for CMV and the difficulties.

**Please note I mispronounced cytomegalovirus here! Should be si-to-MEG-alo-virus.

On iatrogenic harm and neonatal resuscitation.

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