Learning to be a Midwife

I’m procrastinating right now, I’m supposed to be doing Anatomy and Physiology. “I’ll do it ALL day, and totally smash it.” I said. Never mind, it’s still only 9am. In just a couple months I’ll have finished year one of my Bachelor of Midwifery, and I never would of thought I’d be able to do that in just 12mths. What has it been like learning to become a midwife?

Well I was terrified when I found out I got accepted, I was a mess, excited and desperate to do it, but scared that I’d let myself down.The truth is many times “The only place where your dreams become impossible is in your own thinking” (Robert H. Schuller). So I was more terrified of my mind than anything else.


The first semester I worked so hard, I had to prove to myself I could do it. Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) 1 was my biggest time consumer as is A&P 2 this semester. There is no skimping around it unfortunately. It was annoying having to learn about many things I would soon forget and barely remember or use as a midwife. Other things though I could see how they would help me understand the healing of a caesarean wound, what stimulates muscles to contract (think uterus), how the fetus receives blood in the opposite way to how blood normally travels (it receives oxygenated blood through a vein instead of an artery).

My favorite subjects are obviously my MID subjects, love them. The first one in semester one introduced us to the history of midwifery, where we had come from, where we were heading, woman centered practice and basic midwifery care. Many people still don’t realize you can do midwifery without nursing and it’s actually not a new idea, historically midwives were midwives, it’s only in the last 100-200 years that it was subordinated under medicine and nursing in many countries. I think the bachelor of midwifery is an important step towards the kind of midwifery care we want for the future. Having nursing as well is so helpful for women with conditions outside of the normal realms of midwifery and both direct entry and dual degree midwives can work together and provide amazing women centered and clinical care. I love midwifery because it fits so well under a social model of health (well it should), it’s not all about illness and medical interventions (although they are still present and necessary in cases). Midwifery takes a health promotional approach and guards the normal physiological process of pregnancy and birth, I love that I can be apart of protecting such a special passage and experience for women. I enjoy sharing knowledge, and can’t wait to learn more and be more confident in educating the women I care for. I know I sound like a naive, newby, student midwife, with grand ideas, and the reality in many places is that there is almost never enough time to spend with women. But I’m not throwing the towel in just because things are the way they are now.


I have been to two CTB’s (clinical training blocks), because I’m external and need to travel to get my hands on training. I’ve met so many lovely ladies who are doing this journey with me, we are all supportive of each other and I seriously love them! A lot of us are mums and it’s great to have people around that understand that our lives aren’t just about university, but family too.

I’ve managed to be full-time because I pretty much do nothing else. I do family and uni, that’s it, if I see a friend once every few weeks than that’s seriously impressive. Unfortunately I only know what my friends are up to because of facebook! It’s not forever though. So please friends, don’t abandon me! I’ll have holidays soon haha!

So am I catching babies, left, right and centre? No. Not yet anyway, the first year really takes awhile to kick off. I’ve been to one homebirth/waterbirth and one caesarean (both super cool). As part of my learning I have to recruit pregnant women to follow and be involved in their care through pregnancy and birth. I have quite a few on the go now and have at least one birth every month until next year, so the ball has started to roll. By the time I finish I have to have caught 30 babies by vaginal delivery, so I’m obviously working on this. Everything I do is under the supervision of a Midwife or Obstetrician and you only learning by doing!

So far the clinical skills I have learnt are vital signs (observations), abdominal palpation, aseptic non touch technique, wound care, catheter insertion and remove (well used in midwifery), removing of sutures, prep for theatre, and mechanisms of labour and birth (decent, flexion, internal rotation, crowning, external rotation and restitution). I have 5 weeks of placement ahead of me before the end of November, so I will be a busy bee for the next couple of months. I still get freaked out and overwhelmed regularly, this is such a change for me, so different to life last year and I’m still learning to cope with the demands. If I look to far ahead I want to freak out, next year there is 12wks of placement and then even more than that in my final year, how will it work out? I don’t know, and I can’t think about it just yet, I’ve got these 5wks of placement to figure out right now.

I keep asking Adrian “Will I be okay?” and he keeps saying “Of course you will” and asks how many times he will have to say that to me… “For the rest of your life” haha.

me in uniform



One Comment Add yours

  1. Gail Reardon says:

    Good blog Jessica – really enjoy the and you are doing a fantastic job juggling Uni and family. First year nearly there. Nana xx

    Liked by 1 person

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