Modern Midwives Meet Up’s have launched nationally! I can’t believe it!
Last month I teamed up with Sheena and Anna Byrom, mother and daughter, from All4Maternity.com for the ‘Modern Midwives Meet Up’ in Preston, Lancashire.
I met Sheena last month when I invited her to speak at the first meetup. I had known about her since I was a junior midwife and have always been in awe of her wisdom. She spoke about ‘The Humanisation of childbirth and while midwives matter’ and her talk sparked such discussion that when she invited me to Preston to co-host a meet up with her daughter Anna, I was over the moon.
We had a fantastic turnout at Preston with a mix of student midwives to midwives that have been qualified longer than I’ve been alive!
Anna Byrom Kicked off the talks for the evening. Anna has such high energy and passion for supporting midwives and ‘nurturing the nurturer’ was the running theme throughout her talk. Anna pointed out the importance of self-care for women and also shared her own birth experience, an emergency c-section. She spoke with great emotion about the acceptance of her birth, knowing even at the time that she had created the very best environment for her physiological labour and the birth of her baby.
Rineke Schram was next to speak who is a Consultant Obstetrician, Deputy Medical Director and a trustee of Birthrights. She talked about her particular interest in women’s right to informed consent (and informed right to decline), dignity and choice during pregnancy and childbirth. This led to various questions from the audience and Rineke emphasised the importance of continuity of care.
I closed the speeches with my own talk about Modern Midwifery and the digital age. I focused on the value of team work, multi-disciplinary working and the fact that midwives were named as Defenders of Women’s Rights by the ICM for their IDM theme this year. I talked openly about the challenges that we as modern midwives are facing and spoke about suggested solutions.
We finished up with our panel discussion themed ‘Obstetrics and Midwifery – Finding the Balance’ which was brilliant and full of audience participation.
Overall, the best thing about our meetups is that there are no boundaries, authorities or hierarchies. Everyone has the opportunity to share their difficulties, offer solutions and address the room. It’s a safe place for us all to come together informally, without judgement to connect and share.
Although I host the events, they are very much a collaboration between myself, the speakers and those that attend. Midwives have such an important role in society – we are defenders of women’s rights and we need to come together, have each others backs and be honest about our difficulties in order to create change.
If you are a midwife or student midwife and would like to be added to my contact list for events, campaigns or topics of interest please drop me an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org