As part of #loveyourcareer week, we asked Belinda Joyce about her passion for midwifery and child health nursing. This is what she had to say….
I love being both a midwife and maternal & child health nurse, these roles have allowed me to support new families and mothers in such an important and close way. It is truly a privilege to work in an area I am so passionate about. I love seeing new families develop their skills and enjoy their babies.
What’s the best part about working with patients?
Teaching childbirth education classes to couples and then caring for them in labour, being with them for the birth. It’s amazing to watch a couple become a mother, father and a family.
My role as a maternal and child health nurse is about empowering new mothers in their own new role and I love seeing mums who start out being nervous even handling their baby to becoming confident and making choices about how they want to parent their baby. My role is to give them safe choices and options and let them decide what is right for their own family.
Supporting mothers to successfully breastfeed is always very satisfying, especially if they have had some significant challenges and the baby hasn’t been gaining adequate weight, this is very stressful and upsetting for most mothers. Then with referral to a lactation consultant, a breastfeeding plan and some more frequent consultations with me, their baby begins to gain more weight and they succeed in exclusively breastfeeding their baby.
How do you motivate yourself to move forward and keep the passion burning for your chosen career if you experience burnout?
I remember being a new mother myself and how supportive my own maternal and child health nurse was, she gave me very helpful advice that I could trust because she was qualified in this area. I remind myself that I am that same MCH nurse for other mothers and parents.
What is something that can be improved that would make you love being midwife even more?
If all maternal and child health nurses could directly refer to paediatricians and refer for hip ultrasounds and x-rays this would make our work so much easier as well as one less step for parents having to see the GP just to get the referral we know is indicated. This would reduce the barrier and mean more baby’s getting the care required in a timely manner. All maternal and child health nurses are registered nurses and midwives before doing further postgraduate study, usually a master’s degree. We should therefore be acknowledged as specialists in our field by other health professionals.
Belinda Joyce is a midwife, maternal & child health nurse, mother of four and author of ‘Survive and Enjoy Your Baby’. Belinda’s passion is in providing safe, evidence-based advice & options to parents so they can find their own path to parenthood. Visit Belinda’s website: belindajoyce.com
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- Measuring love for work – By Anna Roberts and Jennifer Smallridge
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