My Life as a Midwife
Hello! My name is Hollie and I’m a midwife! I qualified in September 2017 and am currently working at a hospital in Surrey. My job involves working in all different parts of maternity services so no two days are ever the same but in celebration of International Day of the Midwife I thought I would give you a little insight into a day in the life of a midwife!
07:00 – Today I am working on the labour ward and my shift begins in the handover room where the coordinating midwife from the night shift hands over about what’s happening on the ward. This is also everyone’s opportunity to grab coffee number one of 576 of the day!
07:15 – I have been assigned to work on the labour ward triage today. This is basically like A&E for pregnant women and those who have already have their babies. Women can call up if they have a concern or if they think they are in labour and we advise them over the phone whether they need to come in. The midwife from the night shift tells us what’s been happening overnight and whether we are waiting for anyone who called to come in.
09:00 – I see a lady on triage who has come in as she thinks her waters have broken and she is also starting to have some pains. After welcoming her into a private room I take her observations and do an overall assessment of her and her baby before starting continuous monitoring of her baby. This kind of monitoring is also known as cardiotocography monitoring or CTG.
10:00 – I ask a doctor to see this lady as I have couple of concerns. Midwives are specialists in normal pregnancy, whenever we have any concerns for the wellbeing of mothers or their babies it is really important we tell the obstetric doctors as they specialize in abnormal pregnancy. The doctor agrees with my concerns and decide the woman should be admitted to hospital for closer monitoring.
11:45 – The lady I was concerned about has now been admitted to the antenatal ward. There is a lot to be done when admitting someone into hospital! A lot of midwifery is preempting something going wrong and making sure you have put things into place to best manage this. This can include taking certain bloods, inserting a cannula into someone’s hand or giving certain medications.
12:00 – Whilst I was transferring the lady to the ward triage has really picked up and now there are a few women waiting to be seen! My colleague tells me a lady has come in who thinks she is in labour and needs assessing. I again invite her into a private room to do a full assessment of her and her baby. This also involves an internal vaginal examination in order to assess whether her cervix is starting to open.
12:30 – Good news! Her cervix is opening really well and she is ready to be admitted into the hospital. She is transferred down to our birth centre as she would like to have a waterbirth. I escort her down and give a handover to another midwife of the lady’s medical and pregnancy history. I wish the lady well and say I will try to come back later to see how she got on.
13:30 – Lunchtime! The midwife I’m working with and I take it in turns to take our lunchbreak so someone is covering triage at all times. My colleague took her break first today and during that time I see two women who have come in because they are having some abdominal pains and another lady who has come in as she has had some vaginal bleeding.
14:30 – I’m back from my lunch break and things have gotten really busy now…A lady has come in as her waters have broken and she is having some very strong pains. I remember speaking with this lady on the phone earlier this morning and she told me her baby is breech (the baby’s bum is coming first instead of the head) and she is booked to have a caesarean. Although she has gone into labour she would still like to have a caesarean so we contact the doctors to see her urgently.
15:00 – The lady is seen by the doctors and following a full assessment it appears she’s about halfway through her labour so the caesarean needs to be performed today. All other midwives on the labour ward are looking after women so it is decided I will go to theatre with the lady and her partner.
15:30 – We’re in theatre now and about the start the caesarean. There are lots of different staff needed to help with this procedure – the doctors will perform the procedure and are assisted by a nurse who specializes in theatre care, there is also an anesthetist who is responsible for ensuring the woman is comfortable and cannot feel anything. Shortly before the operation starts a paediatrician is also in the theatre in case the baby needs any help breathing after being delivered.
16:00 – The baby is born! I take the baby over to the paediatrician who checks the baby over and has no concerns. After a few checks baby is dressed and is ready to meet his parents! During a caesearean it is the midwife’s responsibility to be at the doctor’s side to take the baby after they are born. We have to wash our hands thoroughly and cover our scrubs with sterile clothing before taking the baby as its really important the area where the operation is being performed stays sterile.
18:30 – The couple and their lovely new baby have now been transferred to the postnatal ward where families go after their babies are born. There is A LOT of paperwork to be completed after the birth of a baby and once I have finished all of this I hand over to the midwife who will be looking after the couple now they are on the postnatal ward. On my way back to the labour ward I stop by the birth centre and find out the lady I escorted over at lunchtime has had her baby and both are doing very well!
19:00 – The staff for the night shift have now arrived and are taking handover from the coordinating midwife about what’s happened today. After handing over to the staff who will be working on the triage department my colleague and I change clothes before heading home ready to do it all again tomorrow!
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