Wednesday, 19 January 2011


This blogging thing is all a little new to me. It dawned on me that there are going to be groups of people that I write about with ill-disguised disgust, and I should really add some clarification to things.

Midwives in general have a reputation as being a bit of an odd bunch. The archetypal midwife is hated by basically everybody - nurses, obstetricians, anaesthetists, paediatricians, ODPs, partners, occasionally even the patients - and hates everybody in return.

Of course, there are reasons for this. They are independent, licensed practitioners, with legal responsibility for their patients. They work in a high-risk field, and have probably seen more horror and heartbreak than many people can even dream of. They have to be their patients' advocate (note the plural positioning of the apostrophe; they have at least two patients to consider in any clinical scenario), whether that means aggressively cajoling an exhausted labouring mother into finding reserves of energy she didn't know she had, or aggressively cajoling the sleepy obstetric registrar to come and cut a baby out.

In truth, most midwives I work with are lovely, lovely people. It might be because I'm a boy, can actually talk to people and didn't get hit too hard with the ugly stick, but it's rare that I have a personal problem with them. Professional issues can arise, particularly in areas our professions tend to disagree on - they would argue that better antenatal care and nutrition have been the main forces driving the perinatal mortality rate down over the last half a century or so, whilst we would argue that it is our aggressive attitude to potential neonatal sepsis - but by and large I have never run into a general problem with them as a whole.

Sadly, if you collect a big enough group of people, some of the group are going to be annoy you. Personal issues don't bother me so much, as I've long since accepted that there are some people who just won't like me. That's fine, it's allowed. It is issues surrounding professionalism that bother me, and from my personal point of view, specifically lack of regard for the baby. Some midwives seem to believe that they only have one patient, and the mother cares for the baby. This attitude leads to sick babies getting sicker and for fairly obvious reasons infuriates me.

The friends I have who happen to be midwives have long since understood that my bouts of ranting after experiencing midwifery-induced rage are not an attack on their profession as a whole. I have no kids of my own, but I imagine I will one day and I will quite happily let a lovely, competent team of midwifes deliver them in as natural a way as possible. Some of them piss me off. That's all.

No comments:

Post a Comment