Dear Midwives...we need to talk
So, where do I start?
Firstly, hi, how are you? I’m sure you’re not asked that so much…I hope you’re doing ok? There’s a good chance if you’re reading this you’re tired, actually probably exhausted after a shift, maybe deflated, maybe damn right fed up and at the end of your tether?
I see you…I see how hard you work, how hard the system is, how much you have to give and you may not feel the reward anywhere near enough.
I know the system is letting you down. Midwife means ‘with woman’ and I see how this has been taken away from you, how you have been stripped of the very reason you would have got into midwifery in the first place, to be with women.
I see you writing all those notes, logging every detail of the birth, fuelling fears and maybe resentment. I see you taking on this huge weight of responsibility because you care about women and about birth.
I’ve seen you be undermined by doctors, be spoken to badly, been bone tired, thirsty, hungry, taking pride in your work, needing a pee, doing your checks, beautifully supporting women, worrying, handing over, whispering, taking charge, being assertive, being respectful, calming a woman, explaining medical procedures and writing those notes.
You’re not feeling valued...but I am here to tell you, YOU ARE. Maybe not by the system or even your team but when you’re in that room with that Mum you make or break that birth.
Maybe with a doula in the room you think you’re not needed, oh my word are you needed! I am not medical, I could never do what you do, take on the enormous responsibility of mother and baby, I feel relieved when you walk in to do those bits, I absolutely salute you.
Being at a birth is a selfless act. We have to leave it all at the door and be present with that woman because this is it. For that Mum, that family, these are the moments that she’ll cherish forever or keep reliving. Your name is part of her story forever.
You are so important and so needed and maybe you’re not feeling acknowledged but you will always be a big part of her birth experience. The story she’ll tell and retell forever.
We are a team.
Let’s keep being there, doing what’s right and empowering one woman at a time.