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Midwifery - What you were afraid to ask

Midwifery - What you were afraid to ask
Photo: Midwifery - What you were afraid to ask
Midwifery can be a very rewarding career.  If you’re interested in becoming a midwife, you might have heard some stories about childbirth that you weren’t sure were true or not.  If you don’t know any midwives, then it can be hard to find real, first hand information on what is exactly involved in midwifery.

Giving birth can be a very traumatic and messy process.  Large amounts of blood, poo or vomit may be involved, as well as other bodily fluids.  Mothers can be physically sick during delivery.

It may also be very noisy in the delivery room, as the mother may be screaming in pain or distress.  This is another point you have to consider, as your working environment will be considerably noisy at times.
If the baby is delivered naturally, then it might be covered in blood when it comes out of the birth canal.  It may be the midwife’s job to clean up the baby before presenting him or her to the new mother.  There’s also the umbilical cord and afterbirth to deal with.

Then there’s all the mess to be cleaned up afterwards.  Sometimes it will be up to the midwife to deal with the mess as there may not be any nurses or hospital cleaners available when necessary.

Giving birth through a Caesarean (C-section) can be totally different to natural childbirth.  A C-section is usually performed when the baby is stuck in a breech position (feet first) and involves surgery in order to deliver the baby.  An incision is made in the stomach and uterus so that the baby can be delivered safely.

This procedure can seem very clinical after experiencing a natural delivery.  Some babies can be stuck so far down the pelvis that forceps are used in order to get them out.

Being a midwife can be very hard, physically and emotionally.  You will be on your feet a lot and although it can be very rewarding, it can be emotionally tough as well.  Newborns may die or be in considerable distress and you will have to deal with that as well as the new mother’s emotions.

Some births can give midwives feelings of great joy and that’s when the midwife knows she’s made the right career choice.

Other births can be distressing to both the midwife and the new mother and at times the midwife may wonder if this is the right career for her.

Midwifery students attend practical sessions, where they can watch mothers giving birth.  This can be a real eye-opener for some students, even if they’ve given birth themselves.  After attending a practical session, a student may realise that midwifery isn’t right for her and decide to change to a different area of nursing.

If you’ve got a strong stomach and you’re a very caring person, then midwifery may be the right career for you.  Being involved in the process of bringing children into the world, and sharing this magical event with parents can for some people mean that midwifery is the most rewarding and emotionally fulfilling career possible.

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