During our 7 day stay in hospital, we encountered an incredibly wide range of midwives. The good, the bad (and the ugly) were all represented, therefore in order to help other Mums and Dads know how to deal with them, I thought it might be handy to compile a quick “spotters guide”…
The Scary School Mistress: Often found berating Mums to be for their poor breathing technique whilst constantly scribbling in their notes and tutting under their breath. To be avoided where possible, but if contact is made, it is important for Dad to step in to protect Mum from too much criticism. This breed of midwife knows what they are doing, so the baby will be fine, but appears to lack all empathy. Possibly a robot.
The High-School Bully: The kind of girl who was popular in school and probably became so by being mean about all the other girls behind their back. Will have a facade of friendliness, but beware as liable to turn on you. May be found gossiping about patients in the office…
The Motherly Matron: Caring, cuddly and comforting, whilst with an air of competence that brings a sense of calm to proceedings. If you are lucky enough to have one of these, enjoy the 12 hour shift and get as much support as you can. Unfortunately a rare breed in our hospital.
The Cool Mama: She probably has a child or two of her own, is ‘hip and cool’, and possibly will try a bit too hard to keep things casual. She wants desperately to be friends, but this may mean that she may err towards incompetence at times…
The 70s Throwback: Hates all things “unnatural”, loves breast feeding, and probably can be identified by lack of make-up, tattoos, frizzy hair and a devout hatred of Gina Ford.
The Laughing Lunatic: This is a rare breed of midwife, which can be spotted by the unnerving habit that after everything they say or do they giggle or even laugh. Can be rather unsettling, but they are harmless.
The Student: Inexperience and lack of knowledge is made up for by absolute passion and care. The NHS machine is yet to strip them of all humanity via its punishing shifts and lack of funding, so cherish your time with these unspoilt midwives who are genuinely happy to be looking after you.
The Devil: In every hospital there is one. Avoid at all costs – and to all the Dads out there, don’t be afraid to elevate complaints to a consultant if you feel your partner is being treated badly on the ward. It’s a hard thing to do, but believe me it is worth it!
Anyway, I hope this is of some use to some of you. Let me know if you have spotted any of the above, or any other breeds I may have missed….