International Day of the Midwife

I just thought I’d jump on quickly to write a little blog post dedicated to all the truly amazing midwives out there in celebration of International Day of the Midwives which is celebrated annually on the 5th of May.

Before having Raife I had no idea that International Day of the Midwife was a “thing.” But boy, am I glad there is a day dedicated to appreciating and thanking all the midwives out there working all hours to ensure that families all over the world get to enjoy the miracle of having and raising children.

Midwives work loooong hours. At Christmas, they give up spending time with their own families in order to help yours, and always have to be prepared in case they get called out unexpectedly.

Midwives can also have a very sad job. Not every baby or family get the happy ending they want and deserve and to be the one to have to break that news to a parent must be the hardest thing in the world.

I had my son at the Royal Gwent Hospital, South Wales and the whole team of midwives that cared for me was amazing. From the birthing suite, to the theatre staff to the care on the ward following the birth, and even the community team who came to visit us at our home. Every single midwife took the time to offer help, came running when I pressed the buzzer and reassured me that I was doing a good job (even though I had no idea what I was doing!) I was desperate to breastfeed Raife and there was a period in hospital where he wouldn’t be interested in feeding at all. During one particular feeding session, it had been a few hours since he’d fed and after a number of tries, we’d almost lost hope. However the midwife persisted and lo and behold, Raife started to feed. We’re still breastfeeding 6 months down the line and I know this is down to the tremendous support and guidance I received.

Hospital

I was extremely sad to read that according to the Royal College of Midwives, 1 in 3 midwives feel undervalued. That’s a huge number. I know I’m only one in millions of women, but I’m eternally grateful for the team that cared for me, both at the Royal Gwent and Pontypool Hospital. Due to the support and care I received, it made a huge difference to my levels of confidence when making decisions, reassured me that baby was getting enough milk and offered plenty of ways to get in touch should it all become a bit overwhelming. I want to say the biggest thank you – as I’m writing this, Raife is feeding and cooing away as my husband sleeps peacefully beside me. We are forever thankful to you for bringing our son into the world and for making sure I was okay. You have made us so happy and for that, we’ll always be in your debt.

To say your own thank you and appreciation, you can use the hashtag #ThankYouMidwfe

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