The New Zealand Police have a campaign to inspire potential recruits called Better Work Stories. It’s exactly as it sounds: cops share exciting stories of things that happen on the job and you catch the bug and sign up and get your own better work stories.

I first saw the campaign when I was studying and couldn’t help but think that midwifery is one of those professions too. I always have great work stories, even on my most boring day, because what may be mundane and boring to me is riveting at least to my pregnant friends, if not also many others. So I thought I’d share my favourites here for anybody who wants to read them.

In the interests of privacy and confidentiality I’ll never use anybody’s real name and I will randomly assign genders to babies (mostly because I can’t remember). Any dates are arbitrary and locations unspecified, and I reserve the right to claim all of this as a work of fiction if it ever seems that I may get in trouble for writing any of it. Right, time to get storytelling :) You can find the link to the first story here. It has drama, intrigue, big red bells and, of course, a happy ending.


Midwife Lingo Dictionary

Board – the list of rooms with current patients and updates

Charge – the senior midwife in charge on any particular shift. She assigns staff to patients, accepts new admissions, accompanies doctors on their ward rounds, holds the ward keys and the phone.. In short: she’s the boss

CTG (Cardiotocograph) – a machine which monitors fetal heart rate (cardio) and uterine activity (toco) via two transducers strapped to the pregnant abdomen and prints them out (graph).

Extreme multiparty – lots of previous pregnancies

Hub – the office in the middle of the ward where medical staff meet to handover at the end of shift, discuss care plans with senior staff, arrange appointments, etc; and where the list of rooms with current patients and updates is located

Multiparity – see Parity

Obs (observations) – basic observations to check a person’s overall condition, usually consisting of blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and respiratory rate

Parity – number of pregnancies

Synto (Syntocinon) – called Pitocin in the USA, a synthetic version of the naturally occurring hormone oxytocin which stimulates uterine contractions, among other things