A woman’s advocate…

A woman’s advocate…

And we’re back at it again.

Last week before I went on annual leave (Currently soaking up all this free time I have), I ran a parent education class to prep mothers and fathers for parenthood. I really enjoyed doing this, because I got to answer their worries and concerns, boost their knowledge and get them excited for this new chapter they are about to embark on.

A few of the questions I received, required me to answer with the same responses: “It’s completely up to you” “It is YOUR choice” “Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do”…It seems like it should be obvious that the parents are in control of their own decisions, but sometimes this can get lost amongst health professionals’ advice, the mother-in-law’s instructions and the various parenting books parents-to-be can get their hands on. So in turn, parents feel like they must listen to everyone’s advice…

Imagine, if you created this brilliant idea (the baby is the idea in this example lol) and began to develop this idea into reality, then all of a sudden – people began to impart their ideas onto you – telling you you’re doing this wrong, it would be better this way, they would never do it like that….WOULD YOU NOT BE PISSED OFF? Yeah, me too.

As midwives, we are our women’s advocates. That is, we stand by and support them in their decisions, and be their voice when they may not be heard. Although we dish out months and months of advice, suggestions and recommendations – it is up to you to decide whether you follow them. One question I have heard surface many times is

Can I give my baby a bottle?

Now, I know there are some midwives who disagree with bottle feeding and despise formula milk. However, whenever I get asked that question, I do not bat an eyelid – I just say “of course”. Before you judge me, hear this: I have sat with women who have erupted in tears, because they were made to feel bad about giving their child a bottle – BY HEALTH PROFESSIONALS. How is that okay? We all understand the amazing benefits of breastfeeding (to be discussed in another post) and why we should always encourage it. However, there are circumstances where babies do need a little extra, possibly in the form of formula, to get them by. We need to educate mothers that it is okay, while of course, advocating breastfeeding.

We also need to educate mothers and fathers that it is perfectly okay to make their own decisions, challenge your midwife or obstetrician before agreeing to something because it is YOU that will be going through it – not us. Whether it is your birth plan, your options for induction or where you would like to give birth, use your voice. Be your own person!

And here endeth the motivational speech lol. 

Catch you all later,

Jords x 

Blood, Sweat & Tears….Literally

Blood, Sweat & Tears….Literally

My three years spent at Middlesex University as a student midwife can be broken down and illustrated by Theme park rollercoasters. Now first year was a bit like Tidal Wave. Pretty straight-forward, but three months in, we were being let loose in the hospitals and community which was terrifying – a bit like being at the peak of the ride then suddenly you’re falling, you can’t stop yourself and then BAM! the shock really hits you…You’re actually a student midwife. Shit.

Second year was a bit all over the place – similar to Nemesis Inferno. During the middle year, you have to work in different areas such as nursing, special care baby unit and gynaecology. So when the time came to return to midwifery, I felt a bit all over the place – but knew that I wanted to do nothing but midwifery (Big respect to all the nurses out there!).

Third year….lol…just lol. Third year was like Rita, Queen of Speed – that super quick rollercoaster at Alton Towers. The first three months of our final year were easy and simple – like waiting for the ride to take off. Exciting because you knew the end was nigh. Then once the new year arrived…BLOODY HELL. It just took off. Assignment after assignment. Practical after practical. I couldn’t keep up and seriously wondered how the heck I would be able to complete all my requirements on time. Thankfully I did. When students ask me about dissertations and practical exams, I shudder at my own memories but use them to encourage our future midwives to not make the same mistakes I made…

So, I’ve put just a few tips below to help those at University, or those about to start their Uni chapter (student midwife or not!):

                                                       mortar

  • Surround yourself  with supportive people – I swear, I don’t know what I would’ve done with my girls at uni. Many a breakdown would’ve been had. 
  • Get your assignments done on time – It sounds so cliche, but time management is so so crucial on any program. Take it from me, you’ll be less stressed if you complete it in a timely manner! 
  • Prepare yourself for the blood, sweat and tears – Literally. This point is for my student midwives/nurses out there. It’s gritty. It’s real. It’s raw. You have to have, or develop motivation and resilience to complete the course. It is in no way easy, but it is so damn worth it! 
  • Save your pennies! – Now I can’t really talk much about this topic because I’ve only just started saving money (2 years after finishing uni smh). Where you can, cut back on spending and save your bursary or loan money. Yes, Dominos and Chinese take out DOES sound appealing, but doesn’t a hefty bank account sound so much better?
  • Remember who you are! – It’s so easy to become overwhelmed with university work, especially on courses such as midwifery. Dealing with shift work, exams and essays can really weigh you down, but TRY and maintain a balance between studies and your social life. When possible, go out, have fun and make memories because you won’t get those days back. Work hard, play harder! 

Andddd we’re done! With my droopy eyelids and today’s make-up still intact, I shall end this here and prepare myself for bed…

One love, 

Jords x 

What to expect when you’re expecting?

What to expect when you’re expecting?

Pregnancy can come with a lot of uncertainties and if you are pregnant for the first time, you may hear a lot of myths and rumours about what can happen in pregnancy but FEAR NOT! Today’s post is going to be focusing on a few realities about pregnancy – in a later post, I will focus more on the different stages of pregnancy and birth.

Quick disclaimer – I haven’t yet had my own little cherubs, so this is written from a MIDWIFE’S PERSPECTIVE, okay? Great, let’s get to it! 

9ada2fbfaec23a81204ef67a11216d96

1) 1st Trimester is not always plain sailing?! 

Now may I add, not all of these realities will affect every pregnant woman; but they CAN happen. Your first trimester begins from the first week of pregnancy until your twelfth week of pregnancy. For all the lucky mothers and mums to be, who skated through the first trimester, looking and feeling great – kudos to you all! However, some mums can experience early pregnancy symptoms which can wreak havoc. Anything from insomnia, to morning (or all day) sickness to lack of appetite. Although these conditions do not seem major, they can become serious and make women feel very weak, demotivated and unwell. A side to pregnancy that not a lot of people acknowledge! Fear not though; there are some ways to try and combat first trimester problems – Keep well hydrated, eat little and often, rest when possible and seek medical advice when needed! Good luck beauties!

2) High risk pregnancy does not always mean high risk delivery! 

At the beginning of a pregnancy, most women attend their first booking appointment with a health professional to organise their plan of care throughout pregnancy, and determine whether they are suitable for low risk or high risk care. Some women may be classed as high risk due to existing conditions they have outside of pregnancy, and those they develop within such as chronic high blood pressure or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure. Although these women may have to been seen by obstetric doctors and consultants, this does not stop them from having a straight-forward normal delivery unless otherwise stated! Speak to your midwife and find out how!

3) Waiting times still do apply, sorry!

It is always annoying when your appointment is booked for a certain time, yet twenty minutes later, you’re still sat in the waiting area flicking through some magazine you’re not actually interested in….I feel ya! However, when it comes to your antenatal appointments, pleaseeee spare a thought for the midwife running the appointments! We try our utmost hardest to stick to the 15 minute slot, whilst doing the antenatal check, asking how you’ve been since we last saw you and answering your questions. It’s not easy but sometimes women do need that little bit extra…One day that may be you!

4) No question is a silly question!

First time mothers, and even fourth-time mothers all have questions for their midwives, doctors and/or GPs. Please don’t ever feel that a question is too silly or trivial to ask. We would rather answer your list of questions than have you sat at your laptop, picking out answers from Google or maternity forums and sending yourself into a panic. I am a sucker for googling my ailments and then freaking out lol, so again I feel ya! But on a serious note, bring your questions and queries to your appointments and let us give you the best advice!

5) Pregnancy is actually TEN months???

Yes, if you did not already realise – pregnancy is indeed ten months.. so why do we always say nine months?  At thirty-seven weeks of pregnancy, or nine months, you are classed as “term”, meaning it is safe for your baby to deliver as the unborn fetus is expected to be fully matured. However, pregnancy CAN safely continue to 42 weeks which is ten and a half months! Ask your health professional about what happens if you go past your due date!

6) It will all be worth it!

Now this may seem obvious, but throughout your pregnancy, there may be slight hiccups or moments where it seems like the weeks of pregnancy are never ending, BUT always remind yourself of what is waiting for you at the end of it all – a beautiful, bundle of love, hope and joy!!

Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for the next post;

Love Jay x 

“You’re a midwife? But you look so young….”

“You’re a midwife? But you look so young….”

Ah yes, if I had a pound for every time a client or their relatives said that to me, I probably wouldn’t need to do many bank shifts. I could get rich off that statement! If you don’t already know, I am indeed young – twenty three years young to be exact – and I qualified and became a registered midwife at 21, then started my current Midwife role two days after my 22nd birthday – Lit right?

Whilst we were in our final year of studies, I used to have minor anxieties about whether I could handle the responsibility of being midwife at 21/22 – like I remember saying in a class one day “Guys, I don’t think I can do this – I’M TOO YOUNG”. However, I soon caught myself, verbally slapped myself out of those thoughts and reminded myself that I didn’t just bust my ass for three years, to be like “Nah son!”. I was going to complete this!

Fast forward to June 2017, and I’m a year deep into this role – which I adore – but which also drives me crazy at the same time. Being a midwife in this current (N)ational (H)ealth (S)ituation is so overwhelming; the poor staffing levels, the level of demand, the on calls (Oh God, the on-calls *cries in sleep deprivation*) – the list is endless. However, I’m proud to say I’m a year older, the grind still continues and I really do enjoy my job. I’ve been working in the community for the last seven months, and the amount of amazing women and families I have met – It makes me so happy that I can accompany them along their journeys and witness a beautiful ending.

Here, I’ve got to throw a big shout out to my girlies at work: Sarah L & the entire CSB *smiles to self* #InsideJoke – Thank you for your endless banter, the floods of tears we share through laughter and sheer madness, for the after-work activities and just simply keeping me sane. ❤

To anyone thinking of joining the world of Midwifery (without writing too many tips because I’m going to save that for another post), I would say just make sure you are mentally ready to be put through your paces, and remember you were a person before you became a midwife – do not let the responsibility and stress overwhelm you. Oh, and no matter how young or old you are, you can do anything your mind too – regardless of the field or career you want to pursue – Nothing is impossible.

Whoooo I feel like I just had an Oprah-Iyanla moment LOL! Anyway guys, I cannot thank you enough for reading – Please bare with me, as I add more and more to this blog, I’m constantly trying to get it right!

Happy weekend,

Jords x 

 

 

Celebrating a milestone!

Celebrating a milestone!

FINALLLLY! WE’VE GONE LIVE!  I would just like to say thank you so much for taking time out to visit my site and supporting this project! I will be using this platform to educate new and experienced parents with evidence-based information, provide advice and answers and discuss thought-provoking topics, with a few miscellaneous posts too!

Milestones are important moments in life, that deserve to be celebrated. This moment right here is a milestone in itself as I’ve been wanting to do this for the longest, but I just hadn’t gotten round to it, so I’m really excited! Also I’ve been working as a midwife for a year (and two months to be exact) so that’s probably an even bigger achievement for me so YAAAAY! *Party poppers and confetti explode*

So to introduce you all to the blog, I thought I’d just slip in a short Q&A about being a midwife and give you a snippet of our world:

When did you decide you wanted to become a midwife?

I decided that I wanted to be a midwife from the age of twelve (like, for real, no joke lol). I came across a book that belonged to my mum when she was pregnant with me; I had a read of it and from then on, cliche to say, but I just knew!

What do you enjoy about your job?

I love the fact that I can be apart of something so beautiful and special to a family; it is a day they never forget so it really is a blessing to be apart of that. I also appreciate the relationships and rapport you can build with the women and families in my care. 

Is becoming a midwife hard?

The training to become a midwife is definitely hard, and requires a lot of focus, resilience and dedication. As long as it is a career you have a passion for, you can do it!  A small piece of motivation for everyone! 

I guess it’s time to wrap this introduction up, but I hope you all return to see my future posts on Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond. Please like, comment and let me know what you think – I will aim to post every Thursday and Sunday, provided I’m not too slumped after my shifts lol.

One Love, 

Jords x