I continue to be a full time midwifery lecturer and aim to have one or two midwifery clients per year. This year, however, I booked 4 women. I was a little concerned how that would work but it never fails to amaze me that everything works out to be very convenient. The only problem was that one of the women birthed on my daughter’s birthday. This affected her plans and she has never forgiven me for it! One illustration of the effect of being a LMC and why I would not go back to full time practice.

  1. I didn’t get to suture the two women that needed suturing. One woman had had a third degree tear previously, and was quite hysterical so it was not appropriate for me to do it. The other woman had quite a ‘messy’ second degree tear that I decided would be better off being sutured by someone who had better skills. That was my rationale – was I trying to get out of it because I felt inadequate? How can I keep up my practical skills? On reflection, whilst I do very little skills like suturing in practice, I am confident in my ability because of the teaching/practice I do with midwifery students. My aim this year before my next clients are due their babies, is to update my infant resuscitation. I will be able to do this with lecturer colleagues who teach this to students.
  2. I had an unplanned home birth. The client laboured extremely quickly and I did not realise the extent of her progress. To cut a long story short, I arrived at her house just as she was starting to push the baby. The baby was born 5 minutes later. Thus, I had fallen into the trap of doing something I think is very dangerous – attending women in early labour without birthing equipment. In view of the fact I have booked considerably more women over the Christmas break, I bought some equipment of my own, and will put together a birthing box to have in my car at all times.
  3. I had a case where I identified family violence (FV). This is the first time I had ever faced this sort of scenario. It happened just as I discharged the woman, so I wasn’t able to monitor the situation. I asked her what happened, and she said that she had banged herself. I was too ‘scared’ to do anything else at that time. But I worried about it. So on my next and last visit, I asked her again about the bruise. She said that there was nothing to worry about, but I did leave her the number of the Women’s Refuge. It felt a very unsatisfactory way to end a relationship with a woman, but after going to a FV workshop, I feel more confident about my actions. I was very pleased that I had confronted my fears and embarrassment, and talked to the woman about it . I also had to present a seminar about sexual abuse to students, which has increased my knowledge, but I still have to work on my skills of asking women about FV.
  4. Working with women in the hospital has been a little less scary this year. The core midwives have been very supportive and I have been extremely appreciative of this. It has really struck me recently what ‘experts’ some of these midwives are in secondary care work. I have had a baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) . Whilst the staff were very nice, I was quite concerned about the lack of communication between NICU staff and LMC. Even when the baby was discharged, the mother came home with no written information for me. Obviously, I regularly checked in with NICU whilst the baby was there.
I also thought there needed to be better communication between the postnatal staff and LMC around the issue of transfer from postnatal ward to NICU. I had no idea there had been problems with the baby until I turned up during the day. To my mind, I should have been informed that there were concerns and I should have been the one to transfer care. I have talked about this with other midwife LMCs, and I believe this is a grey area. My plan would be that I write in individual women’s notes that I want to be called if there are certain problems.

To do - Video stories about my feeling of lack of power and working with students

Professional development plan