Jadesola is a practising diabetic specialist midwife & antenatal teacher from the UK, who has kindly joined in with my marvellous midwives series!
Tell me about you, where you are from and how long you have been a midwife
Hi, my name is Jadesola, I’m 26 years old and I’ve been a Midwife for over 4 years. I am also a Diabetic Specialist Midwife.
Why did you decide you wanted to become a midwife?
I was 9 years old when my mother was pregnant with my little sister (her fourth child). One bright Sunday morning my mother delivered her on our living room couch with her community midwife and two ambulance crew men. From that experience I was always hands on and was intrigued about pregnancy, labour and birth. I went on to study Science for my GCSE’S and A-Levels and was encouraged by my family to pursue a career in Midwifery.
How did you find the training?
I started my Midwifery degree at just 18 years of age, so it was quite overwhelming and at times challenging. Many of my friends and peers in other universities were studying less, had more free time and encountered different experiences than myself. I was also the only black girl in my cohort, who had moved out of home to study in Kent and at times during my clinical placements, I often dealt with an inferiority complex and sometimes loneliness. I thoroughly enjoyed my community experience during my training, there was less time constraints and more time to communicate and share information to patients and their families. I had amazing mentors who pushed me to be the Midwife I am today. Overall, the training helped me develop my confidence and boldness in approaching situations and overcoming issues.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
The highlight of my career has been specialising in Diabetes in pregnancy. The prevalence of Diabetes is higher in Black and Asian communities and it is something close to my heart. Knowing I can mix passion and knowledge is beautiful.
What have you not liked so much?
Maternity services face many challenges such as financial constraints and increasing demands. With these you would expect more staffing, more resources and more support but sometimes that isn’t the case. At times I have worked beyond capacity and often felt burned out. For example, whilst working within the community setting I often felt I didn’t have enough time to sit down and talk with women about the issues or concerns they had, appointments often felt rushed. This is a common occurrence and has caused many to leave the profession.
Tell me 3 qualities that make an excellent midwife
This is the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate in all situations. As a Midwife, the first thing that should greet a woman and her family is a bright smile, which goes a long way. Being kind doesn’t cost and is always appreciated.
As autonomous practitioners we are often the only individual’s women see throughout their childbirth continuum. It is imperative to be observant and notice when things become abnormal or when things need to be adjusted.
Midwifery can sometimes be tough and challenging so you need to possess the ability to adjust, reflect and provide necessary changes for your personal growth.
My Favourite quote – A Midwife must possess the hands of a lady, the eyes of a hawk and the heart of a lion.
There has been a lot of awareness raised in recent months and years about the plight of black and brown women having babies. What do you think we can do as midwives to help reduce the “5 x more” and “ 2 x more” stats?
The statistics are shocking and its even ghastly to see them in this day and age. It is essential that we are part of the research, innovation and the positive changes in each maternity unit. We understand that not all pregnancies are the same, there is a huge disparity between research for Black and Asian women compared to Caucasian women. Research brings forth answers and bridges the gap in knowledge and changes the way we care for Black and brown women in healthcare.
Relevant knowledge is key and representation matters in healthcare. Black and brown women need information and guidance on issues and concerns that affect them primarily. It is important we reference them in educational resources, leaflets and visual aids that they can access and understand.
Displaying the qualities of kindness, compassion and being non-judgemental should be paramount when looking after Black and brown women (all women). We know that each pregnancy is different for each woman, so we should normalise personalised care for all women regardless of their race.
What is a typical day like at work for you?
I currently work one intrapartum shift (Labour Ward) and the other days I work in a Diabetic clinic.
Whilst working in a clinic, I often start my day at 0800am with water or a cup of tea. I then go through my emails and communication messages from my colleagues the day before. My clinic usually start’s at 0900am and I get to see the women within my caseload, provide educational information, assist with OGTT clinics, reviewing blood sugars and other miscellaneous tasks. At 1800pm I pack up and drive home in preparation for the next day.
I start my day at 0800am and receive handover from the night staff. Once I am allocated a patient or two I then spend my day providing care to them and their families. Throughout the day it can be very busy so I often have my 1L water bottle on standby and I make-sure to have a snack and lunch on time. I then handover to the night staff and send my well wishes to my patient. I drive home and have a nice shower and eat preparing for the next day.
Do you have any interesting birth stories that stand out?
Whilst I was a third-year student midwife my mentor and I were called from our clinic to attend a home birth nearby. She was full term and was just about to deliver her 10th baby. She made the informed decision not to attend the hospital for her birth as she has always delivered all her children at home with the company of her family members. She was standing in her living room rocking back and forth. My mentor, another midwife and myself were on guard and ready for the arrival of this lovely baby and the complications that could arise due to her multigravida pregnancy. I delivered him in my arms as she stood over her bed, he literally dropped into my arms and cried immediately. Overall, she did not require an admission to the hospital and all was fine. It was the most surreal experience and all her other children and family members arrived to celebrate.
Give me a few random facts about yourself!
1. I love glittery items – lol.
2. I love traveling and can’t wait to travel with Midwifery. I am keen on global advocacy and advancing public health.
3. I love music and I used to play the trumpet as a young girl.
What tips do you have for any prospective student midwives?
1. Ask as many questions, no question is silly.
2. Make it a habit to read around current research and changes.
3. Find a hobby or something fun to do in-between placement and university lectures.
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