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2 years of Independent Midwifery

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

2 Years of Independent Midwifery. Independent Midwife of The North Ltd.
Independent Midwife of The North

Wow what a rollercoaster ride the past 2 years have been!

2 years of Independent Midwife of The North Ltd!

2 years of supporting  birthing families in the North East and beyond!

I thought I’d write a little update blog post since it’s been 2 years this month since Independent Midwife of The North Ltd was born!

Deciding to leave the security of a permanent job as a community midwife in the NHS wasn’t a quick or an easy decision to make but with the encouragement and support from my family and friends I knew it was the right step to make. Since making that decision in 2021 I haven’t looked back. It was without doubt the right decision for me and my family.

I had a large and complex caseload and it bothered me immensely that I wasn’t able to give the time and the care to the families in my caseload that they deserved. By trying so hard to give my all to everyone with the little time & resources I had, left me feeling stressed all of the time. My mental and physical health was impacted, I had little to no work life balance, my youngest daughter was struggling with life and I felt torn and I was being pulled in all directions.

I loved midwifery as a profession, but knew something had to give as I was starting to not want to be a midwife anymore. I had to prioritise my family and my own well-being but I really didn’t want to walk away from midwifery. I have always been so passionate about midwifery and wanted to help the families in my care have the best experience they possibly could. I simply wasn’t able to maintain the level of care I wanted to give and it bothered me so much that the system was failing so many. I knew if I stayed in the system it would continue to get worse and it would eventually break me, I simply couldn’t do it anymore.

I had started looking into other work that I could do that would enable me to prioritise a better work life balance and be home for my daughter more. I honestly didn’t want to do anything other than be a midwife. It is who I am and who I always want to be. The thought of giving up the profession I had worked so hard for made me so sad, I just couldn’t give it up.

I looked into being able to practice midwifery in a different way, outside of the system, where I could be the autonomous practitioner I craved to be, knowing I could give 100% to the families in my care and be at home more without compromising my health or my families well-being. I had previously looked into private and independent midwifery and knew in my heart that’s what I wanted to do.

I had many discussions with my husband and friends, all were so encouraging and told me to go for it. I had reservations for a while, it felt so scary the thought of making the leap into the unknown. I remember the decision was finally made in my mind after talking about it with my husband and friends on a camping trip, my friend said I just needed to go for it and what was the worst that could happen. I knew if I was unemployed indefinitely and my if business dream didn’t work, I knew I’d still be happier and I just had to leave. My husband assured us whatever would happen, we would manage and we would be ok. I had to follow my heart, and I am so pleased I did! No regrets at all, I’ve had such an amazing 2 years of practicing private and independent midwifery that I can’t wait for to see where the future of independent midwifery will take me! I have learned so much from independent midwifery and other like minded birth workers in the past 2 years than in my whole 13 years midwifery career!

I immediately felt passionate about midwifery more than ever and the work stress left me immediately. I was home when I needed to be, I was able to manage my workload to fit around my family and when I wanted to work AND for the first time in the longest time I felt I was able to practice true midwifery in a truly autonomous fashion. I experienced that job satisfaction again that I had been missing for so long.

To meet other independent midwives and other birth workers working outside of the system was truly refreshing and such an eye opener to how midwifery care can and should be. I have had the privilege of working alongside some fantastic and inspiring birth workers who are all so passionate about midwifery. My work no longer feels like a job, it’s just who I am and a part of me and my life and I think, always will be.

I have met many new families embarking on their journey to parenthood and have had the privilege of supporting many through their births. Many of the families I have supported in some way, I am still in touch with long after our care has ended and that brings me so much joy.

So what are some of the benefits of working independently? Apart from the obvious better work life balance, improved mental health and incredible “job” satisfaction?

I have witnessed more physiological birth and “normality” in midwifery care in the past 2 years than I have since I qualified in 2010, I have experienced more opportunity to learn and grow, supported families through care deemed “out of guidance” or “high risk”, supported choice, supported families navigating the system and helping them achieve the birth experience they wish to have. I finally feel like I can practice autonomously and give 100% continuity, I know the families I am caring for well and they feel assured by having someone on their team who will listen, support and guide them through their journey and it makes such a positive difference to their experience and outcomes.

In the past 2 years I have learnt new skills, undertaken new courses, re educated myself on many topics. I am qualified in swedish and pregnancy massage, aromatherapy in childbirth, KG hypnobirthing and I am doing my NIPE qualification! I have had the space to learn and grow and look forward to many new opportunities.

There is a community of independent midwives and birth workers who all share the same philosophy and who are there to support each other so you never feel alone or unsupported.

I am also away from the office culture of gossip, cliques and judgement. If you know you know and I’m not about all that! I hate office politics and hate how a work environment has the ability to change your mood and outlook. I surround myself with like minded people and am grateful I get to choose my “work” environment, which today is in my garden in the sunshine at home 😊

I chose to leave a broken system and made a life changing decision, I choose to put women and their families at the centre of their care and I will continue to support and empower those I have the privilege of caring for.

Here’s to next year of Independent practice ❤️

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