Becoming a Midwife

Results day


This month’s blog post will be my last post as Charlotte the student midwife. I have had a crazy last week on labour ward; on Monday I caught baby number 40 out of the 40 births I needed to qualify, I broke someone’s waters for the first time, I successfully sited a cannula (plastic tube that goes into the vein to feed drugs through- a painful procedure and an art that requires lots of practice to master) and today I have officially been signed off as fit to join the nursing and midwifery register meaning in a matter of weeks I will receive my registration and become a proper midwife. The excitement of finishing my training is (at least for now) keeping my ever-growing nerves of practising alone at bay and I am looking forward to a nice month off over the summer in which I plan to sleep for days, drink my body weight in gin and tonic and try not to have a complete breakdown about my impending midwife post.

The powers that be have suggested that for this blog post I reflect back on my time going through a-levels and results day as I am informed that this is a day that is looming for many of you. It seems all too appropriate that as I am about to finish my degree, I am reflecting on how my story as a student midwife began.

For those of you that have been following my blog since it began (thanks a million if you’re still with me by the way, that is some serious commitment?!) you will remember that for my a-levels I attended a sixth form in Leeds which is in the north of England and I have very fond memories of this time of my life. When I was picking which a-levels to do I think it’s fair to say I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and this meant that when I had decided on midwifery, unfortunately my options as to which universities I could apply to had narrowed slightly as I had failed to pick biology, chemistry or physics. Luckily, I had a huge interest in mental health and had chosen to study psychology alongside geography, English language and history (all very relevant to midwifery as I’m sure you will agree-NOT) and there were a considerable amount of universities which accepted a social science for admission; that is, sociology, health and social students, psychology etc. It was in this small pool of available universities that alongside 4 well known northern universities, I discovered City, University of London. I loved the idea of living in the capital for a few years and I was hugely impressed with the clinical skills labs and equipment that City had available.

I was fascinated by pregnancy and birth and incredibly passionate about caring for people and by some miracle City university saw something in me that I didn’t even see in myself at that point and I have a lot to thank them for for this, I am in a job that I love with a career ahead of me full of exciting and fulfilling potentials. As my luck would have it even further, I was actually unsuccessful in obtaining the grades required for City university however because I had impressed so much at interview, this in essence saved my butt and secured me a place on a midwifery course and on with my journey. This is a lesson I try to instill in any potential student midwives I meet now, that interview is your one chance to show the university what your grades may fail to do so, leave that room with your name on the interviewer’s lips and your performance in their heads and you’re 90% of the way there.

Whatever happens for you guys on results day, one thing my university experience has taught me is that everything happens for a reason. If you are unsuccessful, that just means that something else is just around the corner, A-levels seem very important right now and rightly so as they affect your future in so many ways, however nothing is more important than your health and happiness. Every destination has thousands of paths to reach it and all the success and money in the world can’t guarantee your happiness. Best of luck to each and every one of you for results day, I’ll be routing for the next generation of midwives out there!

70 years of the NHS


For those of you that aren’t aware, the National Health Service is approaching its 70th birthday on the 5th of July 2018, and for this month’s blog post I have been asked to think back and reflect on my experiences of the NHS and what it means to me. As a student midwife/soon-to-be midwife, I have been working in a big London NHS hospital for the last 3 years and have seen first-hand both the amazing work that NHS staff do as well as the enormous strains growing every day on an already vulnerable structure.

The NHS is one of the largest employers in the world (alongside the Indian railways and the Wal-Mart supermarket chain). The NHS in England treats more than 1.4 million patients every 24 hours and is expected to spend £126 billion in 2019 helping to care for the 1.4 million people that need it, including 23 million admissions to accident and emergency departments- a 23% higher statistic than a decade earlier. We have come leaps and bounds in research in hundreds of areas of medicine, including reproduction and plastic surgery, and due to the excellent quality of care provided by the NHS, people live on average 12 years longer than they did 50 years ago.

In preparation for this blog, I started to reflect on the past (as you often do as a student midwife) and made a list of everything the NHS has done for me, over the last 21 years of my life. Hence, once you have read my list, why don’t you have a think about what would be on your list as well. Often politically, people have plenty to say about the state of the NHS and its many failures, but I encourage those sceptics to take a step back and think where they would be, and where their friends and family would be, without the free healthcare provided by the NHS.


  1. NHS services brought me safely into this world along with 3 healthy sisters, 4 (+1 pending) cousins, friends, work colleagues as well as the 40+ babies that the NHS has supported me as a student midwife to safely deliver into the world.
  2. Vaccinations free of charge at ages 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 1 year, 3 years, 12 years and 14 years to protect me from meningitis, hepatitis B, tetanus, polio, whooping cough, the flu, HPV and diphtheria.
  3. The NHS paid for a nurse in my school to look after me when I was sick, to bandage up my scabby knees and educate me on my physical and mental health- teaching me about safe sex and healthy relationships, as well as healthy eating and puberty.
  4. Aged just 3 years old my sister was diagnosed with encephalitis; a condition which causes areas of her brain to swell and without urgent NHS treatment, would have caused her to go permanently blind by the time she hit 4 years old. Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been spent in the background of her numerous operations and doctors’ appointments, medications and chemotherapy, without asking for a penny from my family to fund this.
  5. When I was 15, I had an operation on my toe to cure an ingrowing toenail and aged 16 I had oral surgery to uncover a tooth that had lodged in the roof of my mouth. Aged 17 I received free counselling to help me with the grief of my parents’ divorce, and the same counselling services has helped one sister come to terms with her medical condition and my other sister battle a mental health condition- which would no doubt have spiralled out of control without the NHS staff that stuck by her through her treatment.
  6. In September 2015, my grandma had a fall that could have changed her life forever. Doctors told her without an innovative surgery requiring a piece of equipment pricing in at an eye watering £20,000, she would never walk again. After the surgery, and weeks of inpatient care, physiotherapy support, pain management teams and home visit teams, she walks almost as well as she did before and is improving every day thanks to the selfless hours of hard work by NHS staff.
  7. Aged 18, I made the decision to train as a midwife and join the enormous team that forms the backbone for the NHS. In return for working for them for 3 years whilst training, the NHS has paid thousands of pounds to put me through university and allow me in 2 short months to qualify as a very skilful and passionate NHS midwife.
  8. During my training following a free routine breast check-up, I found myself requiring help from the NHS once again, and although a scary time for me, I felt well supported by the staff and well cared for by the team of medical professionals. I spent hours sat in the waiting area for appointments that were often 2-3 hours late, run by exhausted staff who were on the brink of collapse from a service drowning under its obligations to its patients, and from a severe lack of funding- but, as I too have often had to remind myself, all of these problems are managed so that people like me can get these services for free.
  9. Looking into the future, I plan to live a long happy life both working for and receiving care from the NHS. I, by no means, think that this is perfect, and I have no doubt that there are an awful lot of problems in the system that need addressing- but I am incredibly passionate that England’s population deserves free healthcare, and more importantly than that, believe we need free healthcare- or who knows what state our population will be left in. Even looking back at my list, my life would have been affected in so many ways if I had been required to pay for even one of the many services I have utilized in the past. And so, on the NHS’s 70th birthday, I have so much to be thankful for and I hope for a more positive future of the service.

OSCE exams part 2


For this month’s blog post, I will be picking up where I left off on my last one and finish telling you guys about the remaining 4 of the 8 stations used to test 3rd year student midwives in their OSCEs. So far I have explained the 4 practical or ‘obstetric emergencies’ stations and therefore what remains is the 4 informative stations AKA the ‘talking’ stations.

  1. Down’s syndrome screening

All women accessing maternity care in the UK will be offered an ultrasound scan at several key points in their pregnancy to check that the baby is well inside and growing as would be expected. At a woman’s first appointment with a midwife, screening for down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities (such as Edwards syndrome) is offered in addition to their first dating scan. Informed choice is hugely important in midwifery and all women must be able to access the information necessary to be able to make a decision about the kind of care they want for them and their baby. Screening tests are not diagnostic- this means that these tests will not tell a woman for definite that her baby will have downs syndrome but what it will do is highlight the women that are at a higher risk of having a baby with downs syndrome so that they are able to discuss further tests that will tell them for definite if their baby has a chromosomal abnormality or not. No women have to accept the downs syndrome screening and it is a midwife’s job to ensure that the test is adequately explained- a woman should be informed of the process of the tests, the benefits but also the implications from the test (for example a woman getting a ‘high risk’ result may be offered further more invasive diagnostic testing) and that way the woman is able to make the most informed decision about what she feels is best. The aim of this OSCE station is to demonstrate both that you as a student midwife are knowledgeable in the tests available and how these are performed but also that you appreciate the importance of informed consent and are able to implement this in your practice.

  1. Delayed progress in labour

For this station, you are given a scenario whereby you are caring for a woman who has had a vaginal examination and been 4cm dilated and then 4 hours later she has a further vaginal examination and remains the same. This is not uncommon in mothers who are in labour with their first baby as although the cervix itself is not dilating, there may be other indications that labour is progressing. The idea behind this OSCE is that you must talk the woman through her options based on the NICE guidelines and the protocols of the trust you are practising under, and facilitate the woman to make a decision about the plan for her care going forward. A woman has the right to refuse any care that she doesn’t want, and this includes practices used very often in this particular scenario including breaking her waters (also known as an artificial rupture of membranes) however a woman being in labour for a long time but not progressing can be dangerous to both her and the baby so this station is all about helping to create a balance between what the woman wants and what is safe practice. In the end however, the decisions lie entirely with the mother and as her midwife you would support and advocate for her whatever decisions she chooses to make.

  1. CTG interpretation

A CTG is a device that is strapped to the woman’s abdomen and monitors her baby’s heartbeat and uterine activity (for example contractions). The fetal heart rate plots the fetal heart rate on a graph every 3 seconds and this creates a line overtime which if appropriately interpreted, can help to identify a baby in the womb that is in trouble before it is too late. Midwives and obstetricians are all taught about the correct interpretation of a CTG and work together alongside the woman to tailor their maternity care to what that particular woman and that particular baby needs. Any potential midwifery students out there, don’t worry! You will see plenty of CTGs over your training and subsequent career, however we are constantly learning and recognising new things in these CTG traces, so a midwife is responsible for maintaining the most up to date knowledge so that she can provide the best and most evidence based practice. In this OSCE, you are given a CTG and asked to interpret it using a specific guideline and following this you must make a plan as to what you would do if you had this CTG trace in front of you in real life.

  1. Breastfeeding

The recent ‘baby friendly initiative’ has highlighted the importance of midwives being adequately trained in infant feeding support to give mothers and babies the best start in life by facilitating them to establish breastfeeding earlier and promoting close relationships between the two. Not all mothers will want to or will be able to breastfeed and these women must be supported equally as much however a midwife’s stance is ‘the breast is best’ and therefore midwives must be well trained in helping women to successfully breastfeed and continue to do so ideally up to 6 months if not longer. This OSCE station uses a real actress to authenticate the scenario and the student midwife is required to support this woman through her breastfeeding difficulties to make sure the woman is able to continue to breastfeed as she wants. This may sound easy but babies can be stubborn and breastfeeding is an art that can take weeks to master therefore midwives must be heavily skilled in this area if they are to properly care and support women

May’s blog post – OSCE’s!


So whilst writing this blog post I must admit that I am on a bit of a high as I have finished all of my exams as a student midwife!! Yesterday was one of the most stressful experiences of my life- worse than my driving test, worse than my university interview and worse than all of my a-level exams put together. The dreaded moment of any student midwife’s career… third year OSCEs (duh duh duh). I have talked briefly about what an OSCE is before in my previous blog posts but for those of you who may have skipped that one, an OSCE is the most effective way to assess a student midwife’s ability to preform skills used frequently by midwives. These are conducted in City’s clinical skills labs and you have 15 minutes to talk through your given scenario and then 5 minutes to reflect on your performance. In total this year we had 8 stations to learn; 4 practical skills and 4 “talking” stations and we were tested on 2 of them on the day. I thought it might be useful for you guys if I briefly outlined each station so you can get an idea of the kind of things you’re capable of doing after 3 intensive years of training.

Station 1- Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia is an obstetric emergency that occurs with 0.1-0.3% of all births and it occurs when “the anterior shoulder of the baby comes in to contact with the symphysis pubis and requires additional obstetric manoeuvres to deliver the baby”- basically the baby’s head comes out fine but the one of the shoulders gets stuck in the pelvis and the longer baby is stuck like this, the higher the risk of baby suffering life changing injures becomes. There are some risk factors that have been identified that increased a woman’s chances of suffering a shoulder dystocia in labour such as maternal obesity or macrosomia (essentially a big baby) however these risk factors are only predictive of about 16% of recorded shoulder dystocia’s therefore it remains a very unpredictable event so all midwives have to be trained in dealing with this emergency should it present in practice.

Station 2- Breech delivery

A breech delivery according to the textbooks is “a birth where the presenting part is the buttocks or feet”- in essence, most babies come out head first, but 3-4% of babies will be the other way up and this can complicate things slightly in labour. Although it is physiologically possible for babies to be born naturally this way, there are risks to the baby and we make sure all women with breech babies are informed of these so that they can make a chance to make a decision about whether to go for a natural birth or have a caesarean section (deliver the baby through an incision in the abdomen). There is a special way that these babies have to be delivered safely and that’s what we get tested on at this station.

Station 3- Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH)

Managing a PPH well is an incredibly important skill in a midwife’s repertoire as bleeding excessively after giving birth is the leading cause of women dying during childbirth worldwide. All women who give birth will bleed and this is completely normal however women who loose over 500mls of blood are at risk of their bodies not being able to continue with normal function after loosing this volume of blood. A major obstetric haemorrhage is when women loose over 1L of blood and as you can imagine this can have a huge impact on a woman’s health. Therefore midwives use a range of physical skills and different drugs to stop the bleeding before it has a lasting impact on the woman’s life.

Station 4- Neonatal resuscitation

A midwife’s job doesn’t end once the baby is delivered and some baby’s will be born requiring extra help to breath on their own. For some of these babies we can predict that they are at risk antenatally (in the pregnancy)- babies may have existing conditions identified through scans, they may be born early (before 37 weeks) or they may be SGA (small for gestational age- basically their scans have shown they aren’t growing as much as you would expect for their age) and some babies may be totally fine in pregnancy but then are unable to tolerate labour and when they are born they need an extra hand from a neonatologist (baby doctor) or if they are not available, a midwife. Therefore we are taught the initial skills needed to keep a new born baby alive until further help arrives. At this station we must commence the resuscitation and are given regular updates as to the condition of the baby which we must use to adapt our technique to suit that particular baby.


This may seem overwhelming to read however let me assure you that we get taught through all of the skills and are given plenty of time to practice before the exam date. My best advice for these types of exams is to purchase the PROMPT books- they are written by experienced obstetric staff and are updated regularly using the most up to date evidence available. I bought mine from amazon for £30 and it was the best investment in my degree so far as I am sure it will continue to be as I start my career as a midwife.

Tune in to next months blog to find out all about the 4 talking stations of third year OSCE’s. and wherever you are reading this from, I hope you are enjoying the sun!

April Blog Post – Applying for Jobs as a qualified Midwife!


Applying for Jobs as a qualified Midwife!


I started blogging for City at the beginning of my 2nd year as a student midwife and I can’t believe that my blog post this month is about applying for jobs as a qualified midwife- where has the time gone?!

As I have mentioned in my earlier posts I am from Leeds originally and have made the incredibly difficult but exciting decision to move back to the north in September and start my career as a midwife up there! And as if that wasn’t challenging enough, I have also convinced my South London born-and-bred girlfriend to make the move with me- am I a proper adult now or what?!

Leading up to this decision I had conversations with lots of midwives and fellow student midwives as well as friends and family about whether this is the right decision. After all, I picked City originally because of its location and my need to gain exposure in busy central London maternity units which demonstrate the forward thinking and up to date research, whilst looking after extremely complex women in complex health and social situations. After 3 years living and working here, part of me felt that I should stay in London as I begin my preceptorship (this is something all nearly qualified midwives have to complete to prove that they are competent in skills that they may not have had a chance to practice as a student e.g. Suturing the perineum. This is fairly flexible and varies between hospitals; some make all preceptorship programmes 1 year and some finish once all the competencies have been completed.)

There are many positives to getting your first job as a midwife in the hospital you trained in. You know all the staff that work there; including the ones to go to for help. You know where everything is, from rooms to equipment and you know the codes for all the doors and which delivery rooms to avoid, for whatever reason. With all the things you have to learn almost all at the same time as a newly qualified midwife, many people feel that to save themselves slightly they feel more comfortable to stay where they are familiar. Plus it’s worth mentioning that the hospitals that City sends student midwives to are all extremely beneficial units to work at and all offer great preceptorship programmes, so if you can stay then why wouldn’t you?

On the other hand, some student midwives do choose to move hospitals post-qualification. For many this can be as simple as geographically one hospital may be closer to where they live or where their kids go to school etc. People may have a preference for a specific hospital so they move to get the chance to work here. Similarly, some students may not want to work at the hospital they trained at because they’ve had maybe a bad experience there or it doesn’t offer career progressions that they envisage wanting to do in the future, or it may be miles away from their home. When you enrol at City you are given the trust you will be working at and you stay at this hospital for 3 years so it is understandable that for some people this can be a major factor in deciding. Some students also think that the transition from student midwife to qualified midwife can be stunted by staying where you trained. The argument is that staff you’ve worked with may find it difficult to then suddenly see you as a member of staff and some ex-students I have seen around report that they’ve found it difficult to ask questions for fear of getting the “you trained here you should know this “ response.

It is clear that both sides offer significant arguments and the bottom line is that everyone is different and you can never know what will truly suit you until you’re there working and experiencing it for real.

For me the decision to move back to the north has not been an easy one by any accounts – for all the reasons I’ve just been through! but I decided that if 3 years ago I was brave enough to move to the other end of the country on my own, then I can definitely be brave enough to move back- and this time not on my own. I cannot wait.

March Blog Post


Hey guys, I’m writing to you from a very cold and rainy Wednesday afternoon in City University library having given up on trying to write my dissertation and in desperate need of a break to take my mind off it. In the mist of all the exam and coursework stresses 3rd year midwifery students are currently under, I thought that it is important to reflect on the things I enjoy doing in my spare time- I don’t want to give you guys the impression that the life of a student midwife is all doom and gloom!

One of my favourite things to do since I moved to London in 2015 is to go for walks. I was so surprised by how close everything is to each other around here and last weekend I discovered that I can walk to Trafalgar Square in central London (the tourist hub area) in just under an hour and a half! People around here are so quick to jump on the tube or a bus because they’re readily available but actually especially in zones 1, 2 and 3 things are much closer than you would think! I love to walk into central around Trafalgar Square and then past Buckingham Palace then over the bridge past Big Ben and on to south bank; the home of the London eye, London dungeons, the sea life centre and lots of great market food stalls and street performers stretching for a few miles along the river Thames- a sunny afternoon well spent and totally FREE- a luxury often lost in the capital.

When I’m not studying hard in the library or walking aimlessly around London, I am usually working at the university. Getting to live in London comes with its costs and so whenever I can, I try to pick up work around uni as a student ambassador. Often I work for the uni’s marketing department and some of you reading this may remember me from numerous open days and applicant days as well as the selection and assessment days for the school of health sciences- HINT; I’m the one in red with the booming Yorkshire accent who was probably chatting away to you for much longer than I’m sure you wanted. As well as being a great way to make money, there’s something really rewarding about getting to be on the other side of the process. I remember my numeracy and literacy exams and interviews being so stressful, the university felt so big and London felt even bigger. It’s great to get the opportunity to try and make the process even slightly less daunting for someone else.

I also work as an ambassador for the Widening Participation department in uni- for those of you who haven’t heard of this before let me explain: in order for universities to charge the full tuition fee, they have to demonstrate that they are contributing to encouraging people from all backgrounds to consider, and the WP team at City target primary and high schools where statistically the kids are much less likely to go to university in the future. We bring them in and give them a taster for what going to university is like- this includes lots of trips and over the past three years I’ve been to London dungeons, Thorpe Park, an escape room, Pizza Express, Nandos and many more places as part of taster days/weeks that are available. This work has become more than just a job to me- it has provided me with the opportunity to work with kids and young people – which I love, it has allowed to develop my confidence and leadership skills and it has provided me with valuable work experience which I hope will help me to secure a midwifery job once I graduate in August.

I say this to every prospective university student I meet that whatever uni you decide to pick, find out about their Student Ambassador scheme- they will have one and it can be a real positive for your university experience!


Blog post February

Finally after what feels like the longest January of my life, we can welcome February and with it hopefully a more productive stress free month than I’ve been having. 3rd year midwifery students are well into studying for both our OSCEs and our dissertation. For the majority of degrees in City’s School of Health Sciences, the 3rd year dissertation is actually a literature review on a topic of your choice related to your chosen degree. For this, you have to conduct a detailed service using an appropriate search platform to identify 6-10 research papers that are detailed around your chosen topic. After much deliberation and countless ideas and areas of interest, I have chosen to look at how a history of childhood sexual abuse affects the way women go on to experience maternity care in the future. Although an incredibly interesting and potentially practice-changing topic, the nature of the topic means that the research is pretty heavy going. Hearing about the experiences of people who have gone through these terrible life events although at times difficult, is vital to the profession as the better educated our medical workforce is in a traumatic area, the better they are able to support and communicate with victims as well as to understand how maternity care and other areas of medicine can be improved for this vulnerable group to reduce the likelihood of re-traumatisation whilst accessing medical care.

I am in the early stages of this process at the moment due to a delay in selecting my topic and am still reading through papers to find the most appropriate and useful pieces of research. Once I have these, I will explore the topic further with lots of background reading so that I am informed enough to analyse and evaluate these papers in order to get the most out of the research. Although only a piece of work for university, the implications for midwifery students conducting this research can be enormous – the way we practice as midwives is under constant scrutiny and is crucial in order for us to provide the best and safest care, and the dissertations we are working on at the moment armour us with the newest and most up to date research to take with us into our careers and spread around the workforce potentially changing the way we practice all together.

I have friends looking at the stigma surrounding HIV in pregnancy, ways to improve experiences for people with tokophobia (a fear of childbirth) and interventions to improve the outcomes for women accessing mental health services in pregnancies – all topics that I’m sure you agree will provide great research to encourage change to happen. One midwife on her own can arguably only make limited difference in her role but a cohort of nearly-qualified midwives all armed with the freshest and most successful research in a variety of areas can certainly make a significant start to make changes and challenge the way we work. The ultimate aim of any midwife is to provide the most supportive and safest care to a woman and her baby and if we can ensure that we qualify with the best knowledge and experience to help us achieve this then this will feed through and benefit the NHS, towns and cities, hospitals and most importantly the women.

I will stop myself there before I explode from over-excited enthusiasm but watch this space – I see great things for the future of midwifery.

Happy new year


New year blog post

Hey guys and a very happy new year from a very stressed but determined student midwife! Having just finished a gruelling 3 month period on placement as a 3rd and final year student midwife, I am very happy to be settling in to a few months in university studying for our final exams and preparing the dreaded dissertation due to be submitted in April. It has been a crazy couple of months for me as I have begun to embark on my final year as a student before I qualify as a midwife and the next chapter of my story begins.

In the build up to the Christmas holidays I was working with the public health midwife for the community zone that I work in. A public health midwife specialises in women who have complex social factors happening parallel to the pregnancy, whether this be an involvement of social services, younger or more vulnerable women or sometimes just those who need the extra help and support. A vital part of the job role for a public health midwife is engaging with other services in the community to ensure that the woman is able to gain access to as much information and support as she needs to aid the progression of the pregnancy and prepare her as she continues into motherhood. Commonly a public health midwife will work with the multi-disciplinary team; a team which can include many different services such as social services, immigration and legal teams, shelter and other housing charities, alcohol and substance abuse support services, domestic violence support and advice charities, and psychological support services. Although the NHS receives funding for many services needed in pregnancy, a lot of the extra support comes from charitable organisations and it is the public health midwife’s job to be aware of these and be able to appropriately refer women who require their help. These specialist midwives can completely transform the pregnancies of women who are suffering under their circumstances. Routine maternity appointments with these midwives are longer then normal allowing the midwives to really craft the relationship required to gain the trust needed from the women to allow them to receive the help they need. Often these relationships can last for years with the midwives continuing to support women into the first few months of motherhood and even to further pregnancies in the future, allowing a great bond to form between the two parties – a bond that can make the difference between life and death for some families.

Although the time I spent with this midwife was at times very emotionally difficult seeing the way that some women suffer at the hands of their circumstances, it was a great opportunity to get in touch with the services and charities available for women in vulnerable conditions and make note of these to take with me into my practice as a qualified midwife. The work these midwives do really changes the lives for their women, some of which have potentially never had anyone who has looked out for them in their lives before. The experience has opened my eyes for the suffering of people and how this affects their entire lives and in time potentially a pregnancy- a time in someone’s life which should be one of the happiest is darkened by something that is often out of their control. I have learnt so much about both myself and my practice, I have had the opportunity to challenge my own perceptions and naiveties and have met some inspirational people who do some great work for our communities. Overall I am certain that I will make a better future midwife because of my work with the public health midwives.

My third and final year as a student midwife!


Hey guys and welcome to my 3rd and final year as a student midwife!! This is also my second year as a blogger for City University and I have no doubt this is gonna be a very emotional year as I start the countdown to becoming a fully fledged qualified midwife! I am a ball of mixed emotions about being a 3rd year at the moment; we’ve been thrown straight in at the deep end going straight back into placement at the hospital after our short lived break in August and its been both a blessing and a curse. Being a senior student comes with an enormous jump in responsibilities and this has become evident on placement almost immediately with midwives taking a much more back seat approach in regards to my supervision. On one hand this is brilliant as I finally feel like I can see myself doing this job in the future on my own… I think?? But on the other hand, the idea of being all on my own in less than a year is crazy daunting! The support I’ve received from both City staff and my mentors in the hospital has been a lifeline this last few years and the thought of having to face being a midwife without them around supporting me feels more like a living nightmare than my dream job.

I think I’m already getting a feel for how this blog is going to go for me this year- endless streams of me having breakdowns leading up to the dreaded date in August. I will try to keep this under control but if I’m rambling then please stop me! I know some of you have been at City for a least a year now and I’m sure you guys will agree that years at uni fly by in a second; I feel like I blinked and this experience is nearly over. So for those of you either working on your A-levels as a build up to university or just beginning your adventure at City or any university please please PLEASE make the most of it! Get involved with societies, use the facilities available, make and break friendships but just make sure you make some memories because once your university experience is over I promise life will never be as life affirming and excitingly new as your years as a student.

So stick with me as I grind my gears through my final years as a student midwife before I enter into the world of work forever (dun dun duuuunnnn!!!)

My out-of-midwifery experience!


Out of area placements

The last few weeks, my life as a student midwife has taken me way out of my comfort zone. When you study midwifery at City, you are given the opportunity to explore some out-of-area clinical settings with the idea that we are able to appreciate how we work in a multidisciplinary team and to further broaden our knowledge of the human body and how it all functions. For this weeks blog I am going to tell you all about my experiences of one of these out-of-area placement and what I learnt whilst I was there.


Before I decided I wanted to deliver babies for the rest of my life, I had considered being a surgeon and so my time spent in operating theatres has really allowed me to indulge in that fantasy. The hospital I work in has 5 main fields of operating services; gynaecology (so elective or “planned” C-sections, emergency C-sections, hysterectomy’s – removal of the uterus, myomectomy’s, diagnostic laparoscopy’s and lots of other big words I don’t really understand), trauma (so removal of appendix’, repairing wrist and hip fractures), urology  (cystoscopy’s where the surgeon looks inside the lower urinary tract), bariatric surgery (gastric bands and other weight loss surgery’s) and orthopaedics (basically anything bone). Although my legs and back were weak from standing up for what felt like 2 weeks straight I absolutely loved my time there! The surgeons were fantastic at explaining everything they were doing and why as well as showing me just how the body looks inside! I had the pleasure of working with some fantastic anesthetists whose job it is to make sure the patients feel no pain during the operation. This may include putting them to sleep or inserting an epidural which is a tube in the spine of which a drug is inserted in order to make the patient numb in the necessary area so they may stay awake during the procedure. Throughout my time there I learnt a lot about consent of the patient seeing doctors revalidating consent with the patient themselves at least 3 times before the operation begun. I worked in an area called recovery which is where patients are taken once their operation is finished and the nurses there took me through all the different medications they used and how they monitored the patients before sending them to the ward. To see the insides of someone else surprisingly had little effect on me- possibly because of all the babies I’ve seen born but I did have to step out of the theatres for one operation as it was a tooth one and after years of orthodontic treatment in my childhood it felt a bit close to home! In those two weeks I learnt 3 main lessons about myself;

Lesson 1; our bowels are massive- like enormous! I saw a bowel obstruction being repaired and in order to do the operation they had to excavate his entire bowel out of his body- when the surgeon told me it was his bowel I couldn’t believe it- it could have easily been his entire intestinal system for all I knew!

Lesson 2; I am not grossed out by blood. Like not even a little bit. Amazing really since 3 years ago id skip the operating scenes in causality.

Lesson 3; I would never have made it as doctor. The amount of knowledge these surgeons and anaesthetists have is intimidating and yet incredibly admirable at the same time. I loved living life in theatres for the time I was there but I think I’ll stick to my midwifery for now.

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.

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