Interviews – Personal Philosophy of Midwifery (not as serious as it sounds!)

This sounds really cheesy, and I have seen some writing in this vein that made me cringe, there was this one poem – but I’m going off-topic…

The longer I spend around midwives, and caring for women, the more key experiences I have where I either say to myself ‘I will never treat a woman like that.’ Or  ‘If I can ever be half as good a midwife I will be happy. What she just did was amazing.’

You probably know more about what sort of midwife you want to be than you realise. When you watch midwife TV, e.g. One Born Every Minute USA, are you thinking ‘wow, look at all those beautiful wooden cabinets, that birth centre looks like a hotel, I’d love to work there. They have all the technology, and it’s so modern.’

Or are you thinking ‘Why are they giving her an epidural when she’s just walked in the door? She can’t be more than 2cm dilated.’ Have you read any of Ina May Gaskin’s books? Did you love ‘Call the Midwife?’ or did you prefer ‘One Born’? Do you shout at the TV every time someone in a soap gives birth in less than a minute lying on their back?

Every midwife is different, and it helps going into an interview knowing where you stand on some of the current headline issues in midwifery, like:

  • current changes to the NHS – good thing or bad thing?
  • Interventions in labour, necessary or unnecessary?
  • midwifery-led care, dangerous and inadvisable or a cheap way for low-risk women to give birth?

I have to say, there are no ‘wrong’ answers here, it’s all about your values, and how you are going to apply them once you are qualified. The very process of becoming qualified will probably change your views on some issues, as you learn more about the science, but your core values rarely change. I would encourage you to expose yourself to as many different views of midwifery as possible, and think about your emotional response to each of them. You already have a personal philosophy of midwifery, you just may not know what it is yet!

You will learn a lot about yourself in the process, and that’s half the battle, self-awareness being one of the key goals of the midwifery degree. You have to be able to understand your own values and your own reactions to people, in order to provide equal care to all the women you meet. Demonstrating a degree of self-awareness on your personal statement and in your interview will make the right impression.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sophie Avery
    Mar 20, 2012 @ 21:05:09

    This is so true. It is an important part of the job to come to terms with how you want to practice, and how you want to interact with the patients in your care. It is not about thinking that your ideas of midwifery are better than anyone else’s, or judging other people’s take on practice (even though I have to say I am guilty of these feelings), it’s about ensuring you’re aware of these feelings so that you can begin to control them. Be aware of the terminology you are using when being interviewed, and subsequently when interacting with women because this can give you away so quickly.


    • becomingastudentmidwife
      Mar 20, 2012 @ 21:39:14

      Hi Sophie!
      I think that it’s taken me a while to realise that I’m becoming the midwife I’m going to be, every day that I’m on placement, it’s a gradual process. I like what you said about terminology, Words have Power!


  2. Miss Obstetrix
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 10:21:26

    Brilliant!….and agreeing with Sophie too. It feels like it doesn’t stop by becoming the Midwife one wants to be, the journey has many obstacles that one has to climb and there is sometimes an urge to take the easy way which means one can easily deviate from being that Midwife because it is so very exhausting. That is when we have to get at those mental images we have that represents that Midwife we want to be – our role models and our successes!


    • becomingastudentmidwife
      Mar 21, 2012 @ 19:37:44

      It’s so crucial for us to keep our inspiration close, and not lose sight of it, sometimes working in the NHS you can get contaminated by the attitudes you meet! It can be hard to step away and remember the reason why you wanted to become a midwife in the first place.


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