I didn’t know any midwives before starting my degree and nobody in my family works in healthcare so it was a bit of a stab in the dark choosing midwifery. However, from a very young age I have been obsessed with the fact that women grow babies inside themselves, and I’m completely fascinated by pregnancy and birth. I remember visiting my mum in hospital when she had my littlest brother, and though I was only 10 at the time, really loving the pace and ambience of the maternity unit. Here we are, 10 years later, and this time next year I will (hopefully) be a Registered Midwife!
I was really attracted to the location of UTS and had heard great things about the uni. I came to a ‘Discover’ session in my HSC year and was super excited by the labs and all the things to be learnt! I have loved every minute of my time at UTS so far; the lecturers and tutors are so dedicated to fostering your learning so you can be the best midwife you can be at the end of the course, and the small midwifery cohort are a lovely support system and friendship group.
I am passionate about women receiving thorough holistic care, feeling empowered to labour and give birth, and feeling advocated for throughout that whole process. And I am passionate about watching women becoming mothers and helping to bring babies into the world.
Being a midwifery student can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Some days I feel quite overwhelmed by all the things midwives have to do or how much I have left to learn about and skills to refine. However, you also have days where everything goes great and you feel like you are nailing it. The most rewarding moments are probably after a baby has been born and the new parents express such an intense gratitude to you for guiding them through that challenging process. It’s the most special thing to be a part of.
When I look back to first year I am proud of how far I have come. In my first ever birth I saw, I was right in the corner of the room, scared and staying out of everyone’s way! And now, my two hands have helped bring many sweet little lives safely into the world. I have also grown in my social confidence. As a midwife, you have to be able to communicate clearly with women to understand their story and build trust. These days, I pride myself on being able to make small talk (even if it’s in-between contractions!)
The future is really exciting for me because there is so much potential and different things to do as a midwife. I would love to come back to do research at university, and to lecture and educate the next generation of midwifery students, whether at university or a hospital. Because midwifery care in developing countries is still quite inadequate, I am excited to someday go on an overseas trip and make a difference somewhere that needs it.
My aim in the short-term though, is to survive and enjoy every second of university and placement in my final year, and then complete my new graduate program as a Registered Midwife next year. After that, who knows where midwifery will take me!
To future student midwives, believe in yourself, be kind to yourself and take every opportunity you are given. You will be amazed at the things you will learn and will be able to do throughout the course. Make sure you make time for a life outside of uni, despite all the things you will have going on. You need to fill yourself up with self-care, activities and hobbies, joy and fulfilling friendships if you are going to be able to dedicatedly care for women and babies.
Always say ‘yes’ while you’re out on placement. It’s better to try something out as a student than suddenly being a midwife having to do something without guidance. Ask all the questions that you think of; midwives have an incredible wealth of wisdom and knowledge and are quick and keen to help you. And lastly, try to check in with yourself, and on your worst days, remember why you are here, remember what a privilege this job is and how special and valuable you are, and the difference you are able to make.