Day two of the conference was every bit as packed and interesting as Day 1 and once again I am not going to try to represent all aspects of the day but just share my lasting reflections.
Students played a big role in this conference and I have been really struck by how the student midwife voice is growing and developing in midwifery and making a big impact. On Day 1 there was a student programme with many students really shining in their roles as chairs and speakers. During Day 2 more amazing student midwives participated and presented. I was not able to see all of these as many sessions overlapped but I thought that Mairi McLellan was fabulous alongside midwifery research superstar Dame Tina Lavender and the unforgettable Karyn McKlusky (CEO of Community Justice Scotland). Mhairi not only gave a very slick presentation she sat alongside these very experienced and inspirational women and smashed it. She was a role model to all midwives everywhere to make a difference with small acts of leadership and ‘don’t dull your shine’.
Students from De Montfort University in Leicester hosted their wonderful pop-up exhibition entitled The Breast Feeding Project. Here are two of my favourite exhibits:
This was part of a larger exhibition held at De Montfort Uni in September. The exhibition challenges the stigma around breastfeeding by showing its beauty and reality through art and photography.
I was also particularly struck by Alison Brindle’s contribution, alongside Emma Gornall (Delivery Suite Manager) at Lancashire Teaching Hospital NHS Trust. Alison is actually a newly qualified midwife now but as a student she was instrumental in the growing success of #TheatreCapChallenge in maternity care and in particular in instigating this change in her own Trust. In addition she has helped to change practice to achieve zero separation for Mums and babies when baby needs cannulation (#ZeroSeparation). What absolutely fantastic work!
It is extremely relevant and timely that conference also saw the launch of the first ever student midwives journal: The Student Midwife. Conceived and produced by All4Maternity https://www.all4maternity.com/ it is edited and co-edited by student midwife Ali Monaghan, Mhairi McClellan, Ruth Bowler, Charlene Cole, and Alison Brindle.
It is so encouraging and exciting. Never before have student midwives had such a key role in shaping the profession and they are shaping it for the better. Watch this space 😊