Do I mention being a mother on my midwifery personal statement?

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lawstudentfg12
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Hello,

So I am 22 (will be 23 applying) and have 2 children and writing my personal statement for midwifery 2022 entry... being organised so I can work on it all year.

Having two children puts me at an advantage as I am aware of conditions I wasn't pre-pregnancy and complications with pregnancy due to suffering them myself so have a more in-depth understanding of midwifery, things such as cervical ectropian causing bleeding, GBS, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, unmedicated birth etc, as I have had personal experience with all. However I am concerned should I mention the fact I have children in my personal statement they will think I am unable to attend placement and may be a liability as obviously you have to have the

'ability to follow a shift pattern that could cover any part of a 24-hour seven-day cycle'

which I would have, but I could completely understand if they have two applicants, one with a family, one single no commitments that they would rather give the place to someone more reliable.

However the issue is having children really does set me apart from other applicants, it gives me something really personal to talk about and allows me to relate to the expectant mothers I would be caring for as I have been there on the receiving end before.

PS- I should mention I have just graduated with a Law Degree and did this 2 children in tow so academically I will show that I can commit to the course despite having children, however no placement was involved obviously!

Thanks!
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lucyyy12
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I think you have to disclose that you have children anyway, at least the people on my course did, for when you're applying for finance etc. So I'd say you should. I think it would give you an advantage. It gave the people with kids on my course an advantage (I do primary ed tho, which is obvs very different)
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username4144852
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Yes I’d mention it in your personal statement along with all the advantages you mentioned. (With the caveat that your experiences might be different to other women) You could also mention you have childcare sorted and it won’t be a problem, and how you’ve learned to balance studying successfully already with the law degree. A lot of midwife applicants will have children already themselves, it’s very common for people to come a little later in life health degrees. I have three kids and have been accepted on a medical degree for September so it didn’t go against me! I know the student midwife who assisted with my third birth had three children herself as we joked we were crazy to go for the third 😆
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moonkatt
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Being a mother wont make you a unique applicant, there’s a significant number of mature students on nursing and midwifery courses many of whom have children, but using your experience to show you have an awareness of the issues you’ve mentioned is reasonable. It also shouldn’t have a negative effect on your application, though you might get asked how you will manage your time effectively (most parents on these courses end up as absolute ninjas at time management).
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lawstudentfg12
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Thank you everyone who’s replied so far! I know being a mother does not make me unique, but on a course where a lot of applicants are 18 with amazing grades but limited life experience, just my grades aren’t going to get me there. I need life experience & to show what I can bring to the profession and I hope that being a parent who has had far from straight forward pregnancies would allow me to have a more in depth personal statement about my understanding of midwifery etc! Thanks!
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STMW20
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If you make the focus of your statement that what sets you aside from other applicants is having been through childbirth isn't necessarily a positive thing. We are taught in midwifery to not put our own experiences into theory and practice as this steps away from women-centred care and evidenced-based practice.
People who don't have kids or are unable to have kids could just as easily know about GBS, PET and other pregnancy related conditions.
Having been through pregnancy and birth won't be seen as an advantage im afraid but your knowledge of pregnancy complications will so focus on your knowledge not personal experience.
if you don't have clinical experience or high science grades then use your life experience as transferable skills. Such as working in a shop has transferable skills of dealing with the public, respecting communities, communication barriers etc.
Last edited by STMW20; 2 months ago
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Winner winner
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I think it really depends how you write it and what your focus is. My experiences of pregnancy, birth, miscarriages and stillbirths feature in my personal statement but because those experiences meant I have done talks on post-grad courses, been involved in research and things like that.
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millsr
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Based on what admissions staff I've spoken to have told me, universities can often view mothers favourably when looking at midwifery applicants. All healthcare courses favour people with clinical experience, and while giving birth obviously isn't clinical work experience, the experience of maternity care and giving birth is still valuable experience related to midwifery, especially where complications were involved, that some other applicants won't have.
If you're worried about how they'll view the childcare and placement thing, I wouldn't stress over it as plenty of mothers have studied midwifery and got along just fine, but perhaps you could mention something along the lines of 'my personal experience as a mother has given me an understanding of the importance of a strong and flexible support system' (which hints that you have support from others when it comes to childcare) if you have space to add that/feel it is necessary.
Also remember that universities aren't actually allowed to dismiss an application purely on the basis of you having children, unless they have reasonable belief that you'd be unable to balance childcare and placements. Given the number of mothers who have studied midwifery and got along just fine, they wouldn't really have any grounds to do so. If they're concerned about it, they'll more likely ask you about it at an interview, where you'll be able to explain with more clarity about the childcare support you have in place, and discuss any support available from the uni if necessary.
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Fortysomething
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I don’t think you should use it as an advantage necessarily. There are excellent male midwives for example who will have no personal experience of giving birth (and could be reading your application !) but still excel in the job. Also every birth is unique - eg a c section is very different to a vaginal birth, terminations, drug addicted mothers etc etc there is also a view that your personal experience can impact how you see other births.
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