Spectacular Student Midwife – Chelsea

Chelsea is a student midwife I have followed on Instagram for some time now. I’m delighted to include her in my spectacular student midwife series!

Tell about you, where you are from and what year you are in.

I’m Chelsea, Jamaica born, London bred and Bedfordshire dwelling. I’m a second year student Midwife at the University of Bedfordshire.

Why did you decide you wanted to become a midwife?

There were various reasons for me, firstly I entered the world in a way that was traumatic for my very young mother, the care she received was almost non-existent and I wanted to somehow break the cycle of negativity around childbirth. I was also so inspired by the amazing continuity team that looked after me when I was pregnant, I was always asking them questions during appointments! Having my mother at the birth of my daughter was an incredibly healing experience, I’m so glad she got to see what compassionate and supportive care looked like while welcoming her grandchild earth side. My mind was 100% made up on midwifery after that.

How was the admissions process? Did you do any preparation before you applied? What was the process for writing a personal statement like?

I think I drafted and redrafted my personal statement about a billion times! I was thinking about applying for 2018 intake, but because of childcare costs we had to wait until 2019 applications were open. Because I had been out of education for such a long time, I asked my previous and current line managers for references ahead of time so there wasn’t a rush to get everything done. Having been through the application process before years ago I knew what to expect so I had everything ready and waiting to press that “apply” button the day that UCAS opened! I was very keen lol

What has been the highlight of your time so far?

There have been so many! I’ll have to go for top 3: My first catch, helping a baby to latch for the first time and having parents remember you days after taking care of them during labour. On a personal note, I am finding doing this course has really help to push me out of my comfort zone and grow as a person and aspiring midwife.

What have you not liked so much?

The hardest thing for me is the juggling, study, placement, parenting and homelife. It’s a lot!

Tell me 3 qualities that make an excellent midwife

I think an excellent midwife should be an active listener, be openminded and have great communication skills.

What are your plans for when you qualify? Do you have any specific interests?

At the moment I’m really not too sure. I’d love to work in a home birth team, but I also love the idea of becoming an infant feeding specialist midwife. I’m also really passionate about maternal health equality and reducing the mortality rates for black, Asian and ethnic minority women and birthing people in the UK. I think to effect change both qualified and student midwives need more education and awareness around anti-racism and cultural safety.

What is the workload like, really?

I’m not going to lie, it’s a lot! My course is integrated so we have theory and practical placement mixed as opposed to blocks. The key is to try and stay on top of things by starting assignments early and reviewing wheat you’ve learnt regularly.

Do you have any interesting placement stories that stand out? Remember to keep everything confidential, don’t name the hospital, staff or clients.

I actually provided intrapartum care for one of my neighbours. We didn’t really know each other that well before but we bonded that night. It was lovely.

Give me a few random facts about yourself!

I’d love to write a book one day, I’m a believer in healing crystal energy, I’m a die heard Backstreet Boys fan and I’m also a hypnobirthing practitioner.

What tips do you have for any prospective student midwives?

Do your research into the role of a midwife to see if it matches your expectations. It’s a wonderful and fulfilling calling, but it isn’t all positive outcomes.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, we’re all learning

Read, Read, Read!!!

Follow Chelsea on social media:

Instagram: @blk_mum_to_midwife

Twitter: @BlkMumtoMidwife

Check out this fab article written by Chelsea for The Practising Midwife Journal:

TMP article: https://www.all4maternity.com/should-we-decolonise-midwifery-education

Chelsea’s hypnobirthing website:

Hypnobirthing: https://www.oshunwaveshypnobirthing.co.uk/

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