Author: Anna Andrén

Challenging Old Truths: Putting Research into Practice

“Knowledge is power and we need that power to change practice”. With those strong words, keynote speaker professor Cecily Begley,  Chair of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity College Dublin, started off the second day of the Nordic Midwifery Congress (NJF). Her message was clear: the work of midwives must be evidence-based and reflect on the interventions that they carry out on a daily basis.” Evidence-based practice is the key to excellent midwifery-care” Cecily Begley stated and encouraged everyone in the audience to reflect on what future midwifes will say 20 years from now about today’s midwifery-practice. Looking back at this year NJF Congress, I am struck by how wide and varied the field of midwifery is. The presentations during the three-day Congress have covered subjects from how to manage postpartum hemorrhage to describing Danish first time fathers perceptions of the postpartum body. The congress is a great opportunity for professionals to meet and discuss how new research may be implemented in their own workplaces. The Congress has also given me a painful insight into how unequal maternal healthcare is worldwide.  While the Nordic countries face problems such as an overuse …

Midwives: With Women, For Women

“To work as a midwife is not a human right. Women’s right to health care is.” This was said by Kristina Ljungros, President of RFSU, during her speech at the opening ceremony of the NJF Congress in Gothenburg. To work as a midwife involves a responsibility to work for women’s rights, no matter what. That includes listening to them and taking an interest in what women want. The five Nordic countries tops the list for the best places to be a mother. That being said, we still face challenges in the health care that we provide for women. When the birth clinic BB Sophia in Stockholm closes down in one week, many women are left uncertain of where to go on the day they go into labour. Due to the lack of hospital beds in the labour wards in Gothenburg, women are being addressed to clinics in other cities. This is unacceptable, women have the right to know where they are going to give birth. As Hildur Kristjánsdóttir, President of NJF, also pointed out during her …

Witnessing the Start of Life: Why I want to be a midwife

I start my shift at 2 pm on a Sunday afternoon. Outside the sun is shining, spring has finally arrived. My patient of the day is a 19-year-old woman who is expecting her first child. She has had contractions for the past two days and today it’s finally time to give birth. For the next seven hours, I will be with her on her journey to give birth, a journey that consists of both joy and despair. Moments where the pain is so tough that she wants to give up, but also moments where she feels the strength and thinks “I can do this!” At the end of the shift the baby finally arrives, a long-awaited little life. The joy in the room can not be mistaken – and the magical moment comes, when the woman sees her baby for the first time. Relatives streams into the room, everyone wants to congratulate and meet the new family member. The delivery room turns into a celebration! And in the middle of all this, I stand, a midwifery …