Which industry do you work in and what do you love and/or loathe about it?
I’m a final year student midwife and I’m incredibly passionate about educating and advocating for women and birthing people throughout their pregnancy, birthing experience and the postpartum period. It’s a life-changing time and to get the privilege to make such intimate connections with families is absolutely priceless. This isn’t a job. It’s a calling.
What I don’t like about it, and what I’m trying to change is the disparities in outcomes for women and birthing people who are black, Asian and from ethnic minorities. It’s 2022 black women should not be dying at 4 times the rate of white women in a developed country.
How did you get into your job/industry?
It was something I toyed with doing before ‘life things’ happened. It wasn’t until I was in a bad place mentally that I got off the job-to-pay-the-bills carousel and decided to go back to uni and train to be a midwife. I wanted to do something I cared about and I care about people. I care about the experiences of women and birthing people. I care about people being able to make informed decisions about their care.
I was also so inspired by the team of midwives that looked after me when I was pregnant. They were absolute angels and I’ll never forget them. They believed in me, they listened to me and they supported me. I want to be that for the people I look after.
Have you always wanted to work in your industry?
Not always, but as I began my own journey through pregnancy and then motherhood, I realised just how much I wanted to help women and birthing people through this time. It’s scary, exciting and unpredictable but when I see my clients grow in confidence and release their fears and hear about their positive birth experiences and get to be a part of that…I can’t imagine doing anything else now!
Does it feel like a good 'fit' for you as a neurodivergent woman?
On the surface, working in a maternity setting may not appear to be the most ADHD friendly environment. It’s intense, it can get pretty noisy and there’s so much to remember. But I can also be creative when I educate clients, I bring positive energy and I’m good at looking at the whole picture which is vital in providing person-centred care. I am also fortunate to have some lovely mentors who support me when needed.
Any anecdotes that you feel might be insightful?
On the back of writing an article about decolonising midwifery education, I designed and now deliver an anti-racism workshop aimed at student midwives. Last month I was contacted by a student in Southampton asking if I would deliver a session for their midwifery society. Without really thinking I just said yes because I love when students reach out to do this kind of work. I then began to panic because this was going to be the first face-to-face session I’d ever done (they’d all been online at this point)! Honestly, I almost pulled out the week before because I also had a uni assessment but I got on the train (3 trains actually, that took some planning!) and made it down there. I was nervous, I occasionally went blank part way through a sentence, I struggled with eye contact at times but I gave it my all and the feedback I got blew me away.
It can be a struggle to do things, to feel motivated, to focus, to connect but our differences and how we work with them make us all the more remarkable. Being neurodiverse doesn’t need to put a cap on our goals or achievements. And I won’t let it put a cap on mine. As a Black woman, who is also neurodiverse it's important to take up space and become a force for change
What advice would you give to another Neurodivergent woman navigating their way through life?
Having a support network is vital, you can find support from so many places. For me, online communities have been amazing for my learning and self-acceptance.