I'm less nervous now delivering babies than when I was newly qualified in BBC Two's documentary series The Midwives.

I've found that my confidence has built really quickly with the job.

I feel honoured to be the only healthcare professional in the delivery room responsible for caring for the mother and her newborn child.

New midwife Jess attends her first Caesarean section

It's an empowering, intimate moment looking after women in their most vulnerable time.

Being filmed over six months gave me a real incentive to show the viewers a true insight into the pressures and emotions of being new in the role.

I felt the camera didn't get in the way of my ability to perform as a midwife - actually the experience of being filmed sharing that moment with new parents was fulfilling.

Similarly to Chloe, the first year student you'll see in episode two, I asked a lot of questions, especially during my first few weeks working on the antenatal ward.

This, with the support of the midwives helped me to grow in confidence.

I can relate closely to Chloe because for both of us knowledge of the job grows with you.

The questions you ask at the beginning are different to the questions you ask towards the end of your training and when you've just qualified.

You tend to just double check when newly qualified and even if it's something I already knew I was never too scared to ask.

Being a student has its ups and downs. You'll see in the series that Aurelie is struggling through her year of training, which I can personally relate to.

It's possible that part of the challenge for her was what we call the 'second year blues' although some student midwives can experience this at any time.

Aurelie Santu, Jess Shaw-Roberts and Chloe Badham

It is a period during your training where you hit a brick wall and where completing your training feels like an impossible task.

I had a high dropout rate in my group of student midwives. Forty of us started in September 2008 and only 26 graduated in December 2011.

The midwifery course is extremely tough: you practice for 37.5 hours a week, 45 weeks of the year for three years.

On top of the full-time lectures and placement you have what feels like a never-ending amount of academic essays, reflections and written skills to complete!

During my second year I experienced the blues when I was not enjoying one area of practice along with writing an essay that I was struggling with.

I nearly quit. It would have been the worst mistake of my life because looking back it was one glitch and I hit many smaller ones on the way.

Becoming a midwife was the best thing I have ever done.

I encourage anyone who is thinking about becoming a midwife to be entirely sure that you are ready to commit, and to be a student but not live like a student - and that you are up for the challenge.

It's a great challenge to beat and overcome! Anyone who is in their training: stick to it. It's worth it.

Jess Shaw-Roberts is a midwife on The Midwives.

The Midwives continues on Tuesday, 7 August at 9pm on BBC Two. For further programme times, please see the episode guide.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

Tagged with:

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments.

  • Comment number 17. Posted by Mintanon

    on 14 Sept 2012 17:55

    Hodonn

    I have had the debrief thank you. Everything was explained to me. Apparently, I had an unrealistic view of childbirth. I had expected to work with the midwives, to accept their help and experience - to work as a team to give birth to my baby. I was so naive. I arrived at hospital, really excited and looking forward to my son's birth. From the moment I stepped over the threshold, I was subjected to, what I can only describe as, torture by the two midwives who took "care" of me. I divorced my husband because he helped them hold me down whilst I was examined. He also helped them to keep me still whilst I had stitches after an episiotomy that I didn't want. I have had years of counselling. I think about the birth everyday.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 17: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 17: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 16. Posted by Hodonn

    on 11 Sept 2012 22:06

    Several people have commented on how shameful it is for women to being giving births in beds/on their backs, but what they have not taken into account, is that there are many women who know the evidence, who may have intentions to labour in a certain manner, but whom, when it comes down to it, CHOOSE to labour in a bed, on their backs.

    As much as midwives can support and encourage women, they cannot FORCE a woman to assume a position if they ultimately don't want to.

    As a side note - Minatnon, if you have concerns regarding the care you received by your midwives, you can arrange to be debriefed, and have someone go through your notes with you and explain everything.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 16: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 16: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 15. Posted by Zainulhaq

    on 9 Sept 2012 14:56

    Thanks for all your efforts that you have put in this. Very interesting information. keep it up.......

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 15: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 15: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 14. Posted by fiona

    on 5 Sept 2012 23:40

    I do not understand how this program can be critisied,i was so worried when i went into st marys and was actually filmed in which they do ask permission to be there and the midwives were so reassuring and were fantastic,I have 3 children and i could not complain with the care and that for my daughter which i recieved at the hospital and the program is to show that there are all differant stresses in labour and the job they are doing is amazing so i say thank you so much for bringing my little girl in to the world, Chloe who was the training midwive was as good as anyone.Thank you

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 14: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 14: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 13. Posted by stec1832

    on 25 Aug 2012 08:37

    This comment was removed because it broke the house rules. Explain

  • Comment number 12. Posted by vothanhcam

    on 22 Aug 2012 05:51

    This comment was removed because it broke the house rules. Explain

  • Comment number 11. Posted by Mintanon

    on 21 Aug 2012 21:17

    I have just watched the first episode.

    Why were there so many men in scrubs hanging around in the background when one of the ladies was having a forceps delivery?

    They appeared to just watch the birth and then gawp at the poor lady getting her stitches.

    Did they have her permission to be there?

    What happened to her dignity and modesty?

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 11: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 11: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 10. Posted by TianaArden

    on 21 Aug 2012 20:57

    25 years ago I opted for a managed Home Birth, despite warnings and advice about how dangerous it would be, and that I was risking both my own and my babies health and well-being. I didn't want drugs, needless interventions, to be cut, to be operated on, to lie down and be immobile, to have my babies cord cut before it stopped pulsating naturally, to have the placenta pulled out when it was not ready, to have drugs administered to get the placenta out, to have the protective white covering on the baby rubbed off or even have the baby bathed straight after birth, to have the baby removed and taken away from me at the moment of birth, to be man-handled when in moments of pain and so on and so on... What I got was a beautiful and loving experience with midwives who had worked in the jungle, without any modern medical aids, and who learnt life-saving midwifery skills not often used anymore. My perineum was protected, I ate food, I walked about, I had a bath/shower, and got into the birthing position that was right for me, just moments before birth was emminent - on all fours. It was fabulous, just fabulous. Pain of birth nowhere near as painful as my Crohns, which, along with kidney failure and liver problems, high BP, pre-eclampsia etc.. put me at high risk for my second birth 8 yers later. I fought hard to keep a second home birth...had to book in at 3 hospitals and sign disclaimers etc... but it was perfect...again. It distresses me that so little has changed in hospitals after 25 years! Read 'Active Birth' wonderful book, just a shame its message is still now out there in this, the 21st century. I cry as I watch the 4th episode of midwives, about how wrong things still are.

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 10: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 10: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 9. Posted by Emily

    on 17 Aug 2012 22:08

    Please could someone answer me why nearly all women are shown to lie FLAT ON THEIR BACKS when giving birth???

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 9: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 9: 0
    Loading…
  • Comment number 8. Posted by Unknown1981

    on 16 Aug 2012 10:13

    I hope a midwife will help me to answer this question. In the 3rd programme in the series a midwife was shown consenting a woman for home birth. She went through a tick list of complications which could occur during birth, including fetal hypoxia, placental abruption etc. Whilst talking through these the midwife did not explain the consequences of any of these complications; fetal hypoxia- your baby may have irreversible brain damage, or even die; placental abruption- your baby may have fetal hypoxia, you may bleed to death.
    Is it common practice to just mention these items in the tick list, or do midwives actually explain the complications? In short- do they actually take informed consent?
    I am sure that the women who want home births will never change their minds based on the consent process, but surely they deserve all the information?

    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of positive ratings for comment 8: 0
    • This entry is now closed for comments. Number of negative ratings for comment 8: 0
    Loading…
More comments

More Posts

Previous

Next