Alix, Community Midwife and Midwife Researcher, NHS Lothian
Alix is a community midwife and midwife researcher. Despite having an interest in midwifery from a young age, it wasn’t until she read some posters about it at university that she felt it could be for her.
Where did your midwifery journey start?
My career started in Stirling University, when I was finishing my first year in film and media studies. I didn't know what I wanted to do when I left school. I suddenly had a sense of belonging when I read the posters in the midwifery corridor on campus.
Why did you decide to become a midwife?
A family friend had lost a baby when I was growing up and I always had an interest in midwifery since then, but I never thought to pursue it.
Can you tell us what a typical day is like for you?
My typical day starts when I arrive at the community office and check voice messages and blood results. We check who has been discharged from the hospital and divide up the home visits for the day.
Twice a week I have an antenatal clinic and on the other days I visit new families at home to provide postnatal care. Occasionally we have online parent education classes which I would host with another midwife. In some cases, I will offer one to one parent education sessions for mothers who need extra support.
What’s the best part of your day?
The best part of my day is when you know you have met the needs of a family.
What would you say are the most important skills for a midwife?
Listening. I can't stress enough how much of a midwife’s job is to listen. You need to listen to women and their concerns, listen to their instincts and, very importantly, your own instincts!
What’s your biggest career achievement?
I have been working towards my PhD which I will be submitting on 5 May - The International Day of the Midwife!
It has been a long process and a huge learning curve but bringing together my clinical and academic skills has broadened my understanding of midwifery and the importance of evidence-based practice.
What advice would you give to others thinking about becoming a midwife?
I would recommend giving it a try. Becoming a midwife is hard work but it teaches you as much about yourself as it does about the anatomy and physiology of childbirth. It is a truly rewarding profession. The more you put in, the more you get out.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Seeing a new mum building her confidence as a new parent.
What empowers you to be a midwife?
My colleagues with whom I work closely to support mothers and new parents. But mainly I feel empowered by working with women and the regular appreciation I receive from the lovely parents.
Midwifes are here for life because…
Babies will keep coming!