I’m so excited to introduce a new series of posts featuring awesome local mummies – their businesses, their lives & their knowledge all based around helping or providing beautiful things for new babies, children & parents in Cheshire, Flintshire and a little further afield.
Today we ‘Ask the Midwife’ Hudson’s mamma brought him for his newborn photographs & he’s my little superhero! We’ll find out what a day in her role looks like and some of the little details everyone wants to know!
Tell us about you: My name is Jenni & I am a 31 year old midwife living in Buckley, with my husband Winston & gorgeous little boy Hudson – originally from Scotland but I have lived in North Wales for almost 20 years now. I work at Glan Clwyd Hospital qualifying in Midwifery at Bangor in 2009.
What does an average day look like?
As a hospital midwife we work shifts 7.45 to 8.15pm or opposite through the night – all year around, we work rotational roles meaning that we swap every few months between delivery suite & the post natal or ante natal wards. Each area brings different experiences, at Glan Clwyd we have the labour ward, ante natal & post natal wards, Maternity outpatient assessment unit & the Midwifery led birthing unit – we are all qualified to work in all of these areas. Each shift starts with the handover of patients present & you are allocated your ladies, on delivery suite and the birthing unit you look after one lady & her family, on the ward you can be caring for 8+ women & their babies. We provide emotional & physical support while ensuring mother & baby are well, in delivery we are analysing the unborn baby’s heart rate, body position & progress in labour with a variety of techniques – we can also take bloods, administer IV medications & a host of other skills. It’s a very expansive role and a privilege to be present at the most amazing time in a womans life & a very emotional thing to witness & be a part of!
Working on the wards is a world apart – pre natal we are ensuring health of mother & baby with observations & analysis making sure baby is well enough to stay put as long as possible in some cases! Post natal midwives are busy helping with feeding & making sure mum is well & confident with her baby – we are caring for women with a variety of birthing experiences from water births to emergency C-Sections & ensuring we send them home at the appropriate time. Its exciting & enjoyable with major time management skills required too!
How did you get into your role & would you be anything else?
After A Levels I started my degree in Dundee – you work full time on practical skills whilst completing all of your theory & essay based work, its a very full on degree. I achieved a 1st at Bangor 3 years later.
I would perhaps move into lecturing or Health visitor work – both of which require me going back to education to top up my skills in specific areas for new roles – possibly something i’ll look at when my children are older.
What are the best and worst bits of your role?
The best thing about being a midwife is being a part of a families most amazing times in their lives, its lovely getting to know women & their partners – seeing them coming in as a couple and leaving as a family. Labour can be scary & stressful – its an honour to be trusted to support women through this time. Its a massive responsibility to make it as calm & as happy an experience as possible. There are sadly a lot of tough issues related to the role of a midwife, we have to deal with a lot of social issues which can be distressing for everyone. We are the primary care givers for those families that sadly lose their baby in pregnancy & labour. There are no words to describe those days.
Whats the five things you get asked the most?
Does it put you off having your own children? I now have my own child but no it never put me off, its a tricky one – ignorance is bliss but knowledge is power! Personally i found my experience as a midwife made my pregnancy & labour more of an enjoyable experience.
Do all women poo in labour? The answer to that is no – about 50% of ladies may open their bowels in labour as baby is born but I can hand on heart say it is nothing to worry about! Its such a worry for ladies but midwives are used to it and not bothered by it.
Does a hot curry/sex/pineapple/raspberry leaf tea et help you go into labour? Hot curry pineapple castor oil etc are all purely advised because they stimulate the bowel which is close to the womb & diarrhoea will irritate it which on occasion will set off labour. Sex can work though – its not the action its the sperm! The prostoglandins in sperm can induce labour.
Do you enjoy your job? Yes i really do. We all have bad days and some are worse than others but i feel very lucky to be a midwife. Its the best feeling in the world knowing you have helped make the birth of a baby a special experience.
Do you really have to put your hand in there?! Ha yes we do! Vaginal examinations are a regular part of a midwives role it helps us asses progress in labour & perform inductions of labour. Although its a normal part of our job we know its not a normal experience as a mum and we strive to maintain dignity & respect at all times.
What are your favourite old wives tales & are there any truth in them?
As above – can sex make you go into labour? Its worth a go I say 😀
Does the heartbeat indicate the sex of the baby? There is some evidence to suggest that the rate and sound of the heartbeat can tell you the sex of the baby but in my experience it is definitely not 100% accurate
Heartburn means a hairy baby – there is evidence that the hormone which produces hair causes more heartburn but i had horrendous heart burn and a not very hairy baby so again not one to place your bets on!
Thank you so much Jenni! You have a fascinating career 🙂 – if you’d love to share a little about your day & what you do for mum’s & their baba’s in our area or advice your role qualifies you with you can get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org – in the next couple of posts in this series we will be learning what to ask your beautician whilst you are pregnant & learning about Placenta Pills which are all the rage with the Yummy mummy celebs – what’s it all about & what do they do?!