2nd-year student, Bachelor of Health Science (Midwifery)
Watching her nephew being born inspired Shannon Paahi to become a midwife and support other families through this life-changing experience.
“19 years ago I attended the birth of my nephew, and I knew that being a midwife was something I wanted to do. However, I felt in myself that childbirth was something I needed to experience first-hand before I could achieve this goal. It has taken me this long to get here. My youngest is now 10 years old, so it was easier for us as a whānau for me to begin my studies.”
Being a midwife is a wonderful career option, says Shannon who is currently in her second year of her Bachelor of Health Science (Midwifery).
“There’s a shortage of midwives across Aotearoa so for anyone contemplating midwifery as a career, just do it because it’s amazing! Māori and Pacific midwives in particular are very much needed in Aotearoa and are in high demand. I look forward to starting my career as a midwife and being able to support future Māori midwives.”
Deciding where to study to become a midwife was easy, Shannon says.
“AUT is the only institution in Auckland that offers the midwifery degree., and the midwives I had met here in Auckland did their own midwifery studies at AUT. I also appreciated that the AUT South Campus, where the midwifery degree is offered, is conveniently located in South Auckland.”
There have been plenty of highlights in her studies so far.
“I’ve enjoyed the content we’re learning in this degree. The human body is fascinating and incredibly complex, and add to that the complexities around pregnancy, childbirth and the functioning of the fetus in utero. It’s incredible.
“I’ve also met some wonderful wahine doing this degree and have made some lifelong friends with both students and lecturers. Another massively positive aspect for me has been the support of the AUT staff and students, and the Māori midwives that engage with us.”
Challenges and achievements
Starting university in 2020 came with some unexpected challenges, Shannon admits.
“I began my studies in February 2020 and, as we all know, COVID-19 hit our shores and changed everything and created some difficult times for everyone, whether on a personal, whānau or professional level. AUT had to make some fast decisions and change the way it delivered programmes, and they did not disappoint. Zoom quickly became the main online learning platform to support our studies, and it’s still a popular communication and lecturing tool now.”
Despite the challenges, she is proud of what she has achieved in her studies so far.
“When I got my grade point average for my first year at AUT, I was astounded and I thought to myself ‘I can really do this’.”