Research suggests that over 1 in 3 midwives feel under appreciated and undervalued. In fact I think this figure sounds rather conservative, don't you? I would hesitate a guess that they also feel over-worked. Or is it because I was a midwife and heard the daily troubles of my colleagues each shift?
When I worked as a midwife I would do long (13hr) shifts often without any break at all, because there was just too much to do, and you were needed in so many areas. I loved my job, there was never a dull moment, and I really enjoyed supporting women and caring for their babies. However having a break was a rare luxury, especially on the antenatal/ postnatal ward, as not only did you sometimes have in excess of 10 women to look after but you also had their babies to care for too. And if you were on the labour ward, it would really depend on how many women you had to look after and how far into labour the women were.
Caring for women and their babies is at the heart of being a midwife. A midwife is often the first person to ever touch the newborn child, they help to bring babies safely into the world and have a vital role in early development of every baby. Midwives look after pregnant women - pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks - and then postnatally for usually a week or two (if all is ok) until they discharge them to the health visitor. The care and support they provide for women and their families is invaluable.
Many parents have said to me that they will never forget their midwife, such was their significance at an extremely important time in their lives. In fact 8 out of 10 mums agree that it is important to say thank you, however just over half (58%) actually get round to it. Which is completely understandable when you think about the upheaval that comes from having a newborn around. I know from personal experience that I will always be grateful to the midwives who helped us. However I never actually got round to properly thanking them and that will always be a regret that sticks in my mind.
Pampers is committed to supporting midwives and helping us parents say thank you, to show all midwives how much we really do care. This Christmas Pampers is making it easier for us to show our appreciation by rallying the nation to use the hashtag #ThankYouMidwife Every time the hashtag is used £1 will be donated to the Benevolent Fund of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), which will support midwives in need over the festive period and beyond.
As a midwife I know how meaningful something so easy to do yet easy to forget is, it means so much. This is not only a short term appreciation message to midwives it is also a long term commitment too, that Pampers hope will reach each and every one of the UK’s midwives.
Other than donating to the RCM and supporting the benevolent fund (supporting midwives who have hit hard times), encouraging the nation to say thank you through using the hashtag #ThankYouMidwife, as part of their long-term commitment and demonstration of appreciation, what else do you think Pampers could do in the future to help make a positive difference in the day-today support of midwives?
Love Nat x
This post is in collaboration with Pampers for their #ThankYouMidwife campaign