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Becoming a midwife has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, but from leaving school my personal and professional life had taken me down a different path. That was until 2015 and the birth of my third child when my midwife told me she had started her training following the birth of her own son. Feeling inspired by her story, I decided to embark on retraining in midwifery, as a mature student.

I signed up for a webinar organised by BU, (a webinar is a little bit like an online presentation such as this one here) where I listened to the lecturers talk about the course and the qualifications required, and feeling a passion in my heart, I bit the bullet and signed up for an access to healthcare course at college. Fast forward a couple of years, and several personal statement drafts and interview preparation sessions later, I found myself holding an unconditional offer to study midwifery!

As most passionate midwifery applicants know, midwifery is all consuming. I suppose that entering into a profession which allows us to care for women at such an important time in their lives, we would all want a midwife who truly supported and believed in us. And that is why midwifery is all consuming…. But as time drew nearer to me starting at BU I began to wonder, how would this fit when I’m already caring for a busy family?

Though I really wanted to commit to the course I couldn’t help but worry about the realities of juggling everything. And how did I really feel about starting university as a mature student?  With bills to pay and a house to run? How would I find the time to be a wife, a mum and the student midwife I so desperately wanted to be? Want you will be wanting to know reading this, is it’s doable!

Despite the fact I had been dreaming of this moment for such a long time it did feel strange to see my ‘school bags’ packed next to the kids’ school bags, waiting for me to have my first day at school, but I genuinely didn’t feel that way for long.

The wonderful thing about midwifery at BU is the underlying, supportive characteristics needed to be a midwife are clearly well represented; from the academic team and learning support services, to students from all three year groups, everyone is in it together. Midwifery also attracts such a diverse range of people, some with children and grandchildren to some who have just completed their A-levels at school. Yet the mantra is everyone is equal.

So, my day-to-day routine is a bit of a juggling act. I have spent many hours reading over the Nursing and Midwifery Council Code while cooking the tea, or revising anatomy and physiology once the bedtime routine has finished, but I guess multi-tasking and organisational skills are all part of the preparation to becoming a good midwife! The structure of the theory blocks has allowed me a great opportunity to ensure my children are settled into their routines before I head out into placement, and the lecture times are even set to allow me to accommodate a morning school run!

In just 6 weeks at BU I have already learned so much; from the practical skills such as venepuncture in the clinical practice sessions, to the physiological changes in pregnancy, each and every day reminds me just what a privilege it is to be supporting women through this amazing, life changing event and how lucky I am to be fulfilling my ambitions.

So my fears were well and truly allayed, and I no longer look at being a mature student with apprehension or as being ‘strange’.  Instead I feel excited, included, well supported and most of all proud to say I am a mature student midwife at BU. My advice therefore to anyone thinking they are too ‘mature’ for a career change would be… Don’t. It’s never too late and I guarantee you will not be alone!

1st year Midwifery current student, Kerry

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