If you are about to the a student midwife, an aspiring one, or are already on the course, in this post I’ll be sharing some things I really wish I knew before I started my degree…and it’s not all bad (I promise).
You’ll learn to function on no sleep
You may already know this, but getting a full 8 hours of sleep during this degree will be a miracle. If you are not waking up at 5AM/6AM ready for your 12 hour shifts, you will be waking up to travel to uni. Your sleeping pattern will also most likely not allow you to sleep beyond 8AM due to all those early mornings and late nights! Even when you are not getting much sleep, you will learn your own ways on how to work and function.
You’ll learn to cherish sleep
When you have a weekend off or you are on annual leave, you will really appreciate not being woken up by your alarm.
Black pens will become your best friends
All the documentation you do on placement needs to be written in black, so you’ll probably end up with 5 black pens in your pocket. Whether you are in an emergency situation or you need to make a quick note of something, your black pen will have your back! Also, other people are notorious for “borrowing” your pens, so be weary! Black pens are a necessity!
You’ll cherish comfort over style
When you’re working long shifts, the last thing you really care about is how you look. So invest in those comfortable yet practical black shoes (I would recommend the Clark’s Unloops) and loose and comfortable underwear.
Your nails will (probably) never be the same again
If you love having funky nails, then you’ll get used to not being able to wear nail varnish until annual leave and having to trim your nails every week. Also, by washing your hands a multitude of times at work can cause your hands to be dry. So those hands will not be looking so glamorous for the majority of your week.
You’ll have a degree, a full-time job and a social life to juggle, but somehow, you’ll manage to do it
Stay organised. If you aren’t on top of everything, it will be a struggle to juggle it all. But you will find out your own ways to manage your time.
Procrastination will get you nowhere
As mentioned in the previous point, you will be having to balance placements, assignments, whilst also trying to have a social life. This is why avoiding your work will not get you anywhere and will cause more stress, since you have a lot to do. How can you avoid this? By getting a simple diary or planner and planning in order to use your time wisely.
You’ll lose some people, but meet some amazing people too
Unfortunately, some people won’t understand when you can’t go out or visit them because you have been working nights, or when you have a deadline approaching. Well, you don’t need these people in your life. You will come to realise the people who will support you and help you when you are struggling. You will also (hopefully) make some friends on your course, who will be a great source of support for the next three years!
You’ll realise how strong of a person you are
You will develop a rather weird sense of humour and seeing blood will not make your stomach turn. You will also be exposed to some emotional things, which you should definitely allow yourself to be sad about, but you will also realise how strong you are. This is because you need to be strong for the people in your care, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t be upset about things. Debriefing and talking about things will help you to cope better with things, so I would definitely do this.
You’ll never stop learning
Midwifery is one of the many professions where you learn something new everyday, whether it is in the lecture hall or in a hospital room. Take every learning opportunity as it comes, as it will help you to grow, not only as a midwife but also as a person.
I hope that you enjoyed reading through the points of this blog post! If you think I missed out any other funny points, let me know! I hope this hasn’t scared you off becoming a midwife, because as I mentioned before, it is a hard degree but such a rewarding one! I have met so many amazing people on this journey and I wouldn’t change it for the world.