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.