One Strong Mother’s Guest List: What Being a Midwife Has Taught Me

One Strong Mother’s Guest List: What Being a Midwife Has Taught Me

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Anthonissa styling out her scrubs
I’ve banged on about the huge impact giving birth has had on me. There’s entire list about it  here. Until receiving this list I’d never considered how witnessing hundreds of births would affect you. Here Anthonissa AKA @onestrongmother shares what she has learned from being a midwife:


  • I trained to be a midwife after I experienced a homebirth with my daughter in 2008.

  • The training and job itself has definitely not always been the rose tinted dream that I imagined as a young mother of 25.

  • But I have gained so much from the job that being a midwife is an integral part of who I am, and I not being one. This is what I’ve learnt from supporting a couple of hundred Mothers,

  • This is what I’ve learnt from supporting a couple of hundred Mothers, Fathers and Birth Partners bring their baby earthside.

  • A good birth can be the making of a new mother.

  • Supporting a birthing woman, being next to her as her body stretches, pulls and opens up, does something strange to your insides. It can create a strong deep feeling inside of your womb. As though the gravity is pulling stronger there. Many midwives and doulas I know have experienced this strange feeling too. You could call it sympathy pains, or the deep connection of women supporting women. Whatever you call it, it can feel intense.

  • Being a midwife is physically and emotionally exhausting. To sustain a career, you have to really love it.

  • You can’t control everything when it comes to birth, there are no 100% guarantees and it is healthy to acknowledge that. But with the right preparation, you can definitely stack the odds in your favour, and this means both mental and physical preparation. I

  • I see that labour and birth are comparable to running a marathon. It is physically draining, as you use the muscles of your womb intensely to push open your cervix and bring the baby down. 

  • It is equally mentally draining too, as you enter into the unknown and need the mental conviction that you can do it, to get you through.

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    These pin badges to Mothers who have suffered a loss of a baby (link at the bottom).
  • Being present and part of a birth remains deeply moving no matter how many you have attended. From time to time I still cry.

  • The smell of birth is unlike anything else, it has its own unique mark. And it changes during birth so that you can smell when the baby is drawing near. I never thought about this before

  • I started my midwifery training. But bodily functions create smell, and birth is no different.

  • When I first started training I used to find the smell really potent, but now I understand it is just part of the process and can be a very positive sign!When you watch a baby being born, you are also seeing the birth of a mother. And both can

  • When you watch a baby being born, you are also seeing the birth of a mother. And both can be equally moving. I’ve watched young girls stare down at their tiny infants, as they begin to

  • I’ve watched young girls stare down at their tiny infants, as they begin to sink into that moment when motherhood takes hold of them. Touching their face and holding their baby close and protectively into their breast. No longer the child. No longer swaying freely in the breeze without responsibility. Grounded by that little person hard and strong to the earth. And that is a beautiful thing to see.

  • The mindset that you go into labour with, has a profound effect on how you experience your birth.

  • If a woman is really well supported by her birth partner and midwife, she feels safe and cared for, you might mistake the noises she makes during birth for good sex. Birth is such a primal experience. When you turn off your thinking mind and go into your body deeply, birth becomes an incredible hormonal dance. My favourite birth noises are mooing like a cow and

  • My favourite birth noises are mooing like a cow and roaring like a lion.

  • Women are so much stronger than society tells us.

  • Having a vaginal birth is not the definition of a good birth. I’ve been with many women who birthed by Caesarean or with assistance by forceps and ventouse, and who enjoyed their birth. I’ve also spoken to mothers who had ‘normal’ vaginal births which felt out of control and frightening. The key to a positive birth is good communication, choices being genuinely

  • The key to a positive birth is good communication, choices being genuinely made by the mother and her birth partner, calmness and feeling cared for in those seminal moments.

  • When you look at a woman and fear that she has nothing left, no more to give and it is all too much to bear, she can always surprise you.

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    Birth can be an incredibly positive experience for everyone.


    Nissa works as a midwife at a busy central London hospital, teaches hypnobirthing and is a mum to one. You can enjoy her free relaxation MP3 here.

    ‘One Strong Mother’ pins are available here

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3 thoughts on “One Strong Mother’s Guest List: What Being a Midwife Has Taught Me

    1. It’s really odd. A few people have complained about the same. Apparently there’s repetition and bullets everywhere, but when I look via mine and my husbands phone it looks fine. Am away from home now but will try and fix it later. Thanks for letting me know! X

      Like

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