Caseloading Midwife, Counties Manukau District Health Board
Bachelor of Health Science (Midwifery)
Being a midwife is an immense privilege, says India Brown who is a caseloading midwife for Counties Manukau District Health Board.
“I enjoy working for women’s health. As a midwife, you see families at their strongest and at their most vulnerable. It’s an immense privilege. It’s incredibly rewarding to see women become mothers, whether it’s for the first time or the fifth.
“Women who choose me as their lead maternity carer, book with me at the beginning of their pregnancy. I care for them throughout the antenatal period, providing on-call support and care. I attend to the woman for her birth and continue to supply postnatal care for up to six weeks after the birth, in the birthing centres and at the family’s home. I love the continuity of caring for women in this life-changing period of their journey.”
All-important practical skills
She wanted to focus on a positive aspect of health, the AUT alumna says.
“Studying midwifery was a natural choice for me as you’re working with families to bring new life into the world. New Zealand is incredibly ethnically diverse, and it’s enlightening to work alongside a variety of cultures as they expand their whānau.”
She chose AUT because of its focus on clinical skills and the practical aspects of learning, India says.
“The majority of AUT’s midwifery degree takes place in the working environment, with clinical placements starting in the very first year. We were provided with a variety of placements in primary birthing units, hospitals, ultrasound clinics, high-risk midwifery teams and diabetic clinics, as well as experience with rural lead maternity carers.
“Because I studied at the AUT South Campus in Manukau I also had access to the district health board with the greatest number of births in Australasia and an extremely complex demographic. This resulted in an immense amount of learning and experience before graduation.”
Advice for other students
India has some great advice for other students.
“My advice would be to bring your passion and energy. Be proactive, ask questions, practise and study hard. Make the most of the resources; the library, your tutors, lectures, clinical placements and fellow students.”
Respect the midwives who teach you and the women who allow you to be involved in this precious time of their lives, she says.
“Think about what kind of midwife you want to care for you, your sister or cousin and strive to that standard. Being a midwife means being with women, and this was encompassed in our interactions with lecturers and fellow students at AUT. Through my studies, I met wonderful health professionals who are now my colleagues and lifelong friends.”