From spotlight - Winter 2017 - On the frontline [p24-25]
(Right click and choose 'save as...' to download a printable version of this article)
Sophie Maule is a newly qualified midwife working in London.
I am a caseloading midwife.
Having rotated for a year as a newly qualified midwife, I felt I wanted to explore other options and see what it was like to work more independently, as well as experience on calls. Since my training, caseloading was an area I had a real passion for and I wanted to look after women and their families throughout their childbirth experience.
I love the relationships I form with the different families in the community setting; it is wonderful looking after a family for a long period of time, getting to know them and seeing them grow as they welcome a new member of the family into their lives.
It varies quite a bit... antenatal classes, home visits, home births and hospital shifts on the labour ward are all weekly occurrences!
The on calls are the most challenging aspect because I can't 'switch off' for 24 hours or so(sometimes up to 72 hours if I'm on call over a weekend). Thankfully, God has blessed me with rest and energy - it's never too overwhelming.
My team are wonderfully supportive, which I am very thankful for. Recently we had a team picnic and invited all the women who had given birth in the last twelve months - it was a treat to see so many of the women I had looked after and have a cuddle with their three, four, six-month-olds again. Despite the on calls, caseloading is very rewarding.
Also, I often ride around on my bicycle from house to house which seems to simplify things- getting back to basics and not overmedicalising pregnancy.
God really helped me through the transition. I did shifts every week during my course, so becoming full-time was not so much a shock to the system in that respect, however my first shift 'flying solo' on the labour ward was definitely nerve-wracking. Nothing that a pre-shift prayer session can't sort though!
Just to remember that everyone has their first day, so you've all been in the same boat at some point. God calls us to be bold and embrace challenges, knowing that he is with us and goes before us. That thought has sustained me through many an emergency!
I am transferring back to the hospital in September to go part-time as I am studying again - so prayer for the transition and that I would still prioritise time with God amidst the new adventure! Thank you.