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Midwifery Personal Statement

A midwifes role, in the 21st century is to care for women, not only during childbirth but also during pregnancy, and to teach a woman to care for her body and her unborn child - but this care doesn’t just begin and end in a hospital, it extends to the entire community. I was eight when I first pulled my mother’s birth book from the top shelf at home. She purposely kept it out of my comfortable reach, but my curiosity has never been something she can control.

Whilst flipping through the pages I remember my initial response to images of the crowning stages of birth. I was amazed, intrigued and slightly shocked as my 8-year-old self, had never thought of such thing, and why should I have? My eyes flitted over the text to the section about choosing a midwife. I read and reread as many times as I could before my mother came and took the book off me. I asked many questions and to anyone that would listen. And when I was eleven I was comfortable with whole-heartedly deciding that this was the direction in which I wanted to head.

I took my first trip alone in the Summer of 2018, with Projects Abroad. For three weeks, I had the opportunity to learn alongside qualified midwives at a public district hospital in Tengeru, Tanzania. I observed births and assisted in injecting young children and new-borns - by preparing syringes. I was assisted and supervised by a doctor as I took patients and their new-born’s vitals in bi-hourly rounds.

Conditions in the hospital were not of a high standard, but nonetheless, the midwives’ work was not compromised. This has set a very high standard and expectation of work that I will strive to emulate. I spent half of my time there on the paediatric ward, where I assisted my advisor- the doctor there, with the diagnosis of a 3-month-old with severe tuberculosis. This same child suffered from severe malnutrition making the diagnosis slightly more difficult than the doctors had anticipated. But my input was listened to by these medical professionals as they questioned me on what to do, I referred to the charts in front of me and asked them many questions, helping me to come to my own conclusion, and then discussed with them what I thought.

It was an undoubtedly eye-opening experience into the troubles of various healthcare systems. There were times when thermometers and stethoscopes were not available to doctors. They resorted to their own ways of taking patients vitals. This is very different to the working environments of Chinese public and private hospitals that I have witnessed and been exposed to in my life as an international student, as well as those in the NHS.

Birth can be complicated, so the idea of being an advocate and a teacher for women’s, men’s, and children’s health has always interested me. I would like to use the knowledge gained in this degree to travel to areas where infant and maternal mortality rate is unnecessarily and absurdly high, to teach how to utilise simple technology to avoid serious after birth conflicts, which are often the reason for these inflated maternal and infant mortality rates. This course will both challenge me and encourage me to take on the responsibility of a midwife, something I am eagerly anticipating.

I believe the IB has prepared me for this course with the skills I have learnt. I have learnt to critically and constructively assess myself while completing tasks, and have also been placed in a leader role many times, which I tend to enjoy just as much as being a fully participating team member. I enjoy participating in many activities that involve the care of others I firmly believe studying midwifery in university will enable me to take the right steps towards accomplishing my goals.

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