At the beginning of January 2018, I thought about all the inspirational birth world people I’m in contact with.
I wanted to have a pool of encouraging, motivational interviews on Midwife Diaries which also had 'nuts and bolts' strategies for the midwifery community to draw on.
I developed some questions to send out to those women and men who I know have stories to tell and ideas to add to midwifery's cultural bloodstream.
The response has been amazing. I have some brilliant advice sitting in my inbox and I'm enjoying the meeting of minds that happens when I get to post these interviews.
Today I'm sharing an interview with student midwife Jasmine. She's a first year at Oxford Brookes University and has always wanted to be a midwife. The one thing holding her back was hyper-mobility, as she can dislocate her joints at inconvenient times! But her University has been very understanding and supportive about time off needed when this occurs.
What’s the best money you’ve ever spent as a student midwife?
My planner for midwifery students from the Happy Planner company. I couldn't survive without it! Really helps with organising uni and placement.
How do you cope with the stress of being a student midwife?
I find taking time out for yourself really important, it's something i didn't do very well with my A levels and have found has helped a lot this year. It's the little things like taking time to watch a film, or go out for (a student budget) meal with friends. My family have also been great support and going home to see them is the absolute best 🙂
What is one realisation about midwifery that has improved your practice?
Midwifery is about supporting a woman no matter what her views. They may conflict with what is advised by local guidelines, trust policies or even your own beliefs. However, something I have definitely learnt since being in placement, is that a vital skill applicable here is to be able to provide a woman with the evidence to make her own informed choice. We are advocates for women and should provide support so that their decisions and actions are made with confidence, and if women do have questions or need extra support, they feel they can trust and turn to their midwife.
What advice would you give to a passionate, intelligent student midwife just starting their training?
Throw yourself into any extra experience you can get, it all helps to make you a well rounded students midwife, and will help you develop advice you feel confident about giving to women.
Caffeine or not caffeine for shiftwork?
TEA ALL THE WAY. Couldn't live without it.
What do you do when you have lost your midwifery mojo, feel unfocused or stressed by it all?
I have a really good friend who is also studying midwifery. We bounce off each other and support one another when we need it. Sticking together is vital because I genuinely believe I couldn't complete my course without my 'midwifery family'.
The other students on my course boost my confidence when I need it. As a student who suffers with some physical disabilities, this support and love has really kept me going on days where it has all got a bit much.
Jasmine is right about having good support around - to access this on the weeks that are really hard, sometimes you actually need to cancel things! I can remember not revising one evening, even though I'd planned to, because I was feeling 'cabin fevery' and I went out for a pizza...a little thing but it helped no end.
Could you leave Jasmine and I a comment letting us know your most important realisation from her answers?
And also, do you know of an inspirational student or midwife who you think I should interview? We all know and love some of the big names in midwifery but I’m very aware that many brilliant midwifery leaders do their work under the radar – yet these are people we could learn a huge amount from. See the quiz here.
Take care, Ellie.