Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Burnout Articles from Midwifery Today

I always enjoy reading my issues of Midwifery Today and in the most recent Winter issue two articles really stood out to me.

The first was:

The Rise and Fall of a Birth Junkie, by Mary Doyle
"A midwife describes both her passion for and addiction to the calling of midwifery, along with her subsequent burnout, and makes the case for prioritizing self-care within the midwifery profession."

Though I'm not a midwife, I found this article particularly interesting in light of conversations I've read in online forums about the appropriateness--or not--of using the term "birth junkie."

A quote that jumped out at me was "'Work more, sleep less, and don't eat--you have no time!' is not advice we'd ever give a client, and yet we do just this in our own lives--and we pay dearly for making those choices."

The second article was:

The Stork and the Phoenix: Birth, Burnout and Rebirth, by Michele Klein
"Author Michele Klein uses the archetypes of the stork and the phoenix to delve into the issues surrounding burnout within the midwifery profession, and provides examples of 'phoenix midwives' who have reinvented themselves and their roles 'with women.'"

I really enjoyed her exploration of "phoenix midwives" who rise from the ashes after burning out with midwifery and continue to serve women in other innovative capacities. I've seen this phenomenon amongst my own contacts in the birth world. I think the idea can apply to activists as well as to actual midwives. (As a side note, in the body of the article, the author cites one of my articles--"Birth Lessons from a Chicken"--and that was kind of fun to see :)

CfM Blogger


Tiffany said...

I'm a pretty new midwife, relatively speaking. I've been working as a CNM for just over two years now. I do find that fairly frequent mini-vacas are a must to keep my sanity. I really have learned that re-charging my 'battery' makes a huge difference in how I feel towards my profession.

Tiffany said...

Was also thinking that 'phoenix midwives' would be a great idea for a tattoo (as I am a tattoo kind of girl!).