If you’re reading this, you might be thinking of pursuing a career in midwifery. Perhaps you've already applied to university and are looking forward to starting your course. Here are some tips on how to prepare.
Welcome on board the crazy midwifery rollercoaster. I remember when I finally got my unconditional offer from ARU, I wanted to start straight away. What did I need to start? What can I start reading? Do I study a bit to be prepared? Don’t worry, I’m here to answer all these questions I also had as an eager student midwife.
1. Make the most of your rest time while you can
I completely understand the acceleration you get when you finally get confirmation. You want to be sat in the lecture hall the next day, and out on placement ASAP. But Midwifery is a demanding course, with long hours of workload for 3 full years. Rest while you can. Treat yourself to a few extra hours of sleep and enjoy time off with friends and family while the time is there. There’s plenty of time for study when September comes around.
2. Do some light reading or revision of Anatomy
So, if you’re like how I was when I began, you’ll think my first point is utter rubbish. So for those who like to stay active, I would recommend some light, enjoyable, midwifery-related reading. This gave me an insight into the world of healthcare and what it is like working on the frontline. A standout book I would recommend is Hard Pushed by Leah Hazard. This book shows the true raw side of being an NHS midwife.
If you’re looking to do some more revision-based reading, I would recommend looking back over the anatomy of the body, specifically topics like the female reproductive system, and your systems of the body (i.e., nervous, endocrine). This will really help your understanding of the year 1 material.
I would recommend going bananas and buying loads of books for university because it’s not necessary. The material supplied by lecturers is fantastic along with the astounding collection in the ARU library
3. Buy comfortable shoes for placement
When I began my first year, I went shopping crazy. Anything that had ‘student midwife’ printed on it, I had it. I’ll save you money now, don’t do what I did. If I could recommend a definite investment for a year, one would be a comfortable pair of shoes for placement. Just think you will spend 12 hours running about in them. A variety of shoes are seen in trusts, make sure to choose ones that are comfiest for you, it’s not a catwalk! I would also recommend having a look at your trust's policy before buying a pair as some trusts have requirements. The pair I settled for was Sketchers go walks. They had a fantastic cushion insole and were wipeable (recommend this because you never know what you will be covered in).
I could probably write a bible of what to do and not to do to prepare for midwifery, but hopefully, my few points have helped some aspiring student midwives. My main tip would be to relax and enjoy yourself when you have the time.
You’ve got this!