The Obstetric and Child Health Services Department at the Victoria Hospital as part of its staff appreciation week of activities took a brief pause on Thursday to recognize the efforts of their nursing colleagues on International Midwife’s Day observed annually on May 5th. The theme for this year’s observance is “Women and Newborns: The heart of Midwifery.”
Susana Lane, Departmental Sister at the Obstetrics Department said midwives are the backbone of the nation as they are the ones who care for pregnant women and their babies to bring about healthy outcomes for mother and child. She said midwifery is a very noble profession which will always be in demand as a career choice for nurses.
“I think it is very exciting, very rewarding and if you’re a person who likes humanity it would be very easy for you to gravitate to that field of nursing.”
For three decades now men in the UK have been allowed to work as though disproportionately with approximately103 men working in the field, compared to 31,189 women, and the proportion has remained roughly the same for the last ten years. Sister Lane says Midwifery in St. Lucia has been completely female dominated.
“I remember there has been discussion on that and I guess it’s more cultural although. We have male obstetricians and male doctors but midwifery has been a female dominated aspect of nursing. It has not been an option for men and I guess it will take a group or somebody to really pioneer or work towards changing it and off-course it will take allot of public education to encourage women to accept men as midwives.”
Sister Lane said midwives must be extremely patience, focused have a great love for their profession and a firm grasp of the field of study to properly understand how to assist a woman in labour.
“You come across all kinds of patients, low threshold, high threshold and you have to be there through thick or thin to support them no matter what. You cannot turn your back or say they are uncooperative. Even if they are, you still have to try your utmost best because at the end of the day you want them to deliver a normal healthy baby. You have to think of the baby as well and your aim is really to get this baby out alive, well and kicking with very minimal complications or abnormalities.”
Tokens were presented to the midwives at the Victoria Hospital showing appreciation for their hard work and dedication over the year.
“We can never fully compensate our midwives for the work that they do, as management or government on the whole. Sister Lane asserted.
Yasmine Lucien a registered nurse and Midwife at the Victoria Hospital said “being a midwife is an awesome blessing,” as midwives take care of persons at a most critical and unique time of their lives. The job however comes with its own challenges.
“One challenge is that midwives are not recognized as we ought to but we come together as midwives and make it work in St. Lucia. Nobody really knows what we go through but we make it work because we have the passion for the babies, we have the passion to see mothers come out with their babies health and they too come out healthy. So it’s just beautiful being a midwife.”
Lucien said there is much anticipation and excitement as Victoria Hospital prepares to transition to the Owen King EU Hospital later this year. The obstetrics unit will benefit from a more spacious and comfortable environment within this modern, state of the art facility. “I am excited to move into that place,” Lucien said.