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This is a guest blog by Verity James, our current BSc (Hons) Midwifery student.

One of the fantastic things about studying Midwifery at Bournemouth University is that, within just a few weeks of starting the course, you are out in the real world, learning skills and developing your knowledge through placement. The first seven weeks of the course are a bit of a whirlwind – one day you are meeting everyone and the next you are having blood tests with occupational health and being fitted for uniform. Placement feels like a million miles away and you are just trying to find your way around and remember everyone’s name. Then, you start to learn the theory behind clinical skills alongside gaining an understanding of the rules and regulations that govern midwifery. In what feels like the blink of an eye, you have received your off-duty rota, you are ironing your uniform and packing your day bag ready for the first day of placement!

My first placement block was based in the Community, seeing women antenatally in a clinic setting and then visiting them at home following the birth of their baby. During this time, I had the opportunity to work alongside some inspirational midwives and meet some incredible women during their journey to motherhood. In just a few short weeks, I have been amazed by how much I have learnt. I have learnt that I need to be careful not to offer platitudes and reassurances that I am not able to justify with evidence and fact. I learnt that, even when you are in your second, third, fourth or even fifth pregnancy, you don’t have to find everything easy to deal with – and this really made me question whether the schedule of appointments that give so few to woman in subsequent pregnancies is really the right thing. It also taught me that there will be women that I meet whose story will stay with me, that I will carry with me and think of and hope that they are doing well on their journey.

I chose to study midwifery as I wanted to be able to make a real difference in people’s lives. What I have already started to learn on this journey is how much of a difference the woman I meet, and this profession, will make on my life.

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