The society has only recently been established, and here the founding members walk us through its inception and plans for the future…
How did the midwifery society come about and why?
Several of our cohort had already attended study days at other universities and hospitals to broaden their knowledge and increase their passion for midwifery related topics.
When our personal tutor sent an email asking if there was any interest in setting a society up, a group of us jumped at the chance and started researching the process. We hurriedly filled out the forms and were whizzed through ratification just in time to man a stall at the fresher’s fair in September. We held a raffle for everyone who signed up with knitted boobs, midwifery books and other goodies as prizes.
The degree course is so in depth, with tutors having to cram so much information into a lecture, that we only manage to scrape the surface of subjects we could have a whole day dedicated to.
By having a midwifery society in place, all students are able to voice which areas of midwifery they want to learn more about which will enable us to be better educated, more equipped midwives when we’re qualified and looking for employment. It’s a great opportunity for those involved to enhance their employability, while doing something beneficial for the university and other students. We’ve been really pleased by the response so far, which has made the hours of organisation worthwhile.
What plans does the society have in development?
We’ve organised a launch event which will take place on 10th December called ‘An Evening of Mindful Midwifery’. We’ve got three guest speakers who will be sharing their passion, experience and knowledge of divergent midwifery practice that we, as students, can evolve into our practice.
Those speakers are as follows:
Michel Odent: The legendary French obstetrician who has written several books and will be talking about childbirth from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Tara Pauley: A research midwife from Hitchingbrooke hospital who will enlighten us with details of her post-dates clinic where complementary therapy is used to reduce induction rates.
Amanda Burleigh: A published midwife who will impart her wisdom surrounding delayed cord clamping and the benefits to mother and baby.
We’re also planning a monthly student forum where we will have a speaker come in and talk to us about a midwifery related topic such as VBAC, the dad’s perspective, and how to stand out at interviews and clinical governance. Students will also be able to share experiences in a confidential arena and be supported by their peers.
We’re also in the process of setting a website up which will have blogs from multi-disciplinary agencies with a ‘day in the life of…’ theme, midwifery book reviews, and also a buddy-up system for students to have contact with someone who has been where they are and can offer advice and support throughout their degree journey.
What advice would you give to other students interested in setting up a midwifery society?
Go for it! It’s hard work and does require a lot of planning and organisation, but it’s so rewarding. The key is finding some like-minded, passionate individuals to drive the society forward. When you have your team sorted, the rest all falls into place.
Also, get on Twitter and other social media sites to network with midwifery society members from around the UK, as well as connecting with potential speakers who you may want to invite once you have your society up and running. It’s also useful to get your local hospital trusts on board; as a society we have offered the heads of midwifery at each trust two complimentary tickets to our launch event, and we’ve had lots of interest from midwives too.
UGMS Committee members: Esther Hayward, Michelle Goulding, Awo Hussein, Claire Doughty and Katrina Sadler