Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Studying midwifery

midwife studentCherie Bryan is studying to be a midwife at Greenwich University. Read her experiences from scary caesareans to realising that she’s a different kind of student altogether.

When I first told people that I wanted to be a midwife, I got one of two responses:

a) A look of disgust followed by the question “why would you wanna look at that all day?!”
b) A comment like “Oh that’s lovely” followed by a look of “why would you wanna look at that all day?”

The fact is that pregnancy has always fascinated me, I see a pregnant woman’s expanding stomach and am amazed.

Fortunately my aunt is also a midwife and she was able to arrange for me to do my work experience with her.

A new experience

At 18 I spent my first day on the labour ward and it was life changing! I met a couple who were having an elective caesarean section and went with them into theatre to see the operation and birth of their baby.

I have to admit that even now I can’t watch labour or operations on the television, it looks horrible, so I was a bit concerned when the obstetrician warned me that if I was going to faint I’d better do it in the corner and not all over the sterile equipment!

Although I turned away (as I still do) when they made the first incision, I was able to watch the whole procedure. As for vaginal deliveries, watching a life coming into the world is such an incredible experience.

I wouldn’t call it beautiful because at the end of the day, it is like watching an over-sized basketball being pushed out of something significantly smaller than a golf hole; but it is amazing to be a part of the experience.

The challenges

I’m 21 now and have almost finished my degree. Deciding to go ahead with my midwifery training at the Queen Mary Hospital has been the best decision I’ve made education-wise.

I hated sixth form, yet I’ve really enjoyed the past three years at university and I haven’t even minded waking up at 6 in the morning to get to placement (I am not a morning person at all!).

The course is far from easy but I’ve been blessed to have had so much support from family, mentors and tutors.

A unique student experience

In interviews to get onto the course they constantly tell you “this isn’t a normal course” and “you won’t be like other students”. That’s because unlike what call “normal” students, you’re working full-time on placement throughout the course.

You still have to write essays at the same time as well as having to negotiate a part-time job and obviously, you need to make the time to have a social life too! But my advice is that if you are interested in pregnancy and birth then definitely find out about midwifery and apply for one of the courses. You don’t have to be a nurse first, you can go straight into midwifery as I did.

The best part of the job for me has to be when after supporting a woman through a long labour you see the family’s happiness and hope as they cuddle their baby.

Knowing that you have been a part of something so wonderful is a mind-blowing thought.

Related links