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Midwife profile: Sophie Jackson

Sophie Jackson spoke to us last week about what inspired her to become a midwife and her amazing experience working in Tanzania.
Could you tell us a bit about your experience as a midwife?

I think the main body of my experience has been quite varied. I trained in a small hospital, which was on the outskirts of the countryside. When I qualified I moved to inner city Birmingham, so the birthing demographic was very different.

We had a lot more challenges in terms of socio-economic problems. People from different countries, refugee statuses, as well as other challenges including FGM. I think that was probably the most eye-opening thing moving from such a small place to such a busy metropolis. I had to adapt very quickly and I’m so glad I made that move so early in my career because it opened my eyes to everything. Nothing would shock me now and I feel confident looking after women from different backgrounds, which is great.

What did you enjoy the most during your midwifery career?

In terms of the things I’ve enjoyed the most, it’s probably working abroad. I worked in Tanzania for two months as a midwife and went with a very small group of professionals from the trust that I worked for, as they’ve got a charity link there. We went and were hosted within the community. The richness of the culture and the influence that has on birth and the way the families interact with each other was so interesting. Nothing scares anyone. Everything is just that, it is what it is, let’s move on. Whereas here we do tend to nitpick at things, don’t we? We want things to be a certain way but in Tanzania I found the attitude to be whatever happens, happens and we’ll work with it.

I think that was the big lesson I learned there coming back. And no, I didn’t get bitten by a snake, although we did have a spitting cobra on our back porch! I think the resilience of the human spirit is the main lesson that we brought back to the UK.

What made you decide to work for MedBrief?

I was very, very happy in my role as a midwife. I was working in the community at the time, and I got sick and had to reduce my activity significantly to the point where I wasn’t patient facing anymore. I was in it for the women and the families and to have that connection over the phone just wasn’t the same. I know it’s quite strange because a lot of people then had to live that experience via COVID and the pandemic. People experienced the job in the way that I’d experienced it two years before.

In 2018, I was medically retired from the NHS. I moved into lecturing for a brief spell and then somebody that I trained with as a midwife was working here and said, oh, you know, have you considered this? You can do it from home, especially because my health was so up and down. So, I said, let’s give it a go and I came in as a sorter, and I’ve just worked my way up and now manage the team. It’s taken four years of graft, but I think we’ve established a good base now and I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved.

I think the product that we can offer is amazing and I like working here for the flexibility, especially around my health appointments, but it also gives me purpose. For somebody who was driven – to have that taken away is quite soul destroying really.

Having the opportunity to come somewhere, show up and do a good job, felt like I was giving something back to the people who took a chance on me, and I think it’s paid off. I’ve put time into the business, they’ve put time into me and now we’re here, and I love working here!

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