Lina is a midwife from London who makes fabulously entertaining videos on Instagram! She is a wonderful addition to the marvellous midwives series.
1.Tell me your name, where you are from and how long you have been a midwife
-Hi, I am Lina Thomas I’m from London and I have been a midwife for 4 years!
2. Why did you decide you wanted to become a midwife?
-The reason I wanted to become a midwife is because it was work that is meaningful, practical and essential. I knew I could make a difference to the women I cared for, in fact I wanted to make a difference!
3. How did you find the training?
Midwifery was something I always wanted to pursue but I didn’t have the courage or self belief. When I eventually started my training I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It was like duck to water. The theory was what I struggled with the most but once I applied it to the practical element it was a light bulb moment.
4. What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I would say travelling to India with ELLY charity in order to teach obstetric emergencies to the midwives and doctors in Hyderabad. It was an eye opener to see how midwifery and obstetrics is practiced in a place with such different guidelines and protocols.
5. What have you not liked so much?
I’m going to be honest – the work politics (ohhh I said it!) I mean it’s everywhere in every work place but I would say that’s the only thing.
6. Tell me 3 qualities that make an excellent midwife
7. 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?
These statistics are very worrying and even though I’m glad these figures have been highlighted I wish it wasn’t the case in the first place. I think it’s essential that we investigate the root cause of this horrible trend. I think as midwives it is out job to provide clear and personalised antenatal care. There is a view that a large number of BAME women do not attend antenatal care or may not have access to good antenatal care, but as we know Education is key! Once we understand what’s happening to our body and our growing baby we are able to voice it if something is not right. I believe it is out job to empower women to be autonomous and courageous to speak up when they feel like something is not right with either themselves or their baby. This could potentially have an impact on the figures we are sadly seeing.
8. What is a typical day like at work for you?
A typical Monday at my birth centre looks like:
Coffee, answering phone calls from worried clients (or their families) more coffee, carrying out a morning antenatal clinic, which varies from sweeps to birth preference appointments. More coffee. Then a postnatal clinic after lunch! Here I do an overall well-being check on mum and baby, I provide breastfeeding support, we weigh the babies and carry out neonatal blood spot tests. Handling cute babies I mean can it get any better?
If we have a labourer we work great as a team to manage the clinics! Team work makes the dream work.
9. Do you have any interesting birth stories that stand out?
I once delivered a baby just as the mum was exiting the lift to the labour ward. I was a newly qualified midwife at the time (I was super scared) but it all worked out just fine – mum and baby did beautifully well!
9. Give me a few random facts about yourself!
I love pink, I’m obsessed with Disney and I’m a British silver medalist for sparring in taekwondo!! Don’t get on the wrong side of me (haha joking)
10. What tips do you have for any prospective student midwives?
I would advise you carry out work experience on a maternity unit in order to gain some perspective and knowledge on what it’s really like. It can be difficult at times but if you really want it I say go for it! It’s the best thing I did.
Follow Lina on Instagram @mouthymidwife