Wellbeing champions in Wales
Having all been a little nervous starting the programme, we were allocated to our teams and got to meet each other and we realised that we had so much in common, even though we came from different areas, both geographically and in terms of midwifery practice.
A common thread through all of our experiences was the recognition that, sometimes, our workplace can be a challenging and stressful environment. Additionally, through this inherent nature to provide care, that is contained in all of us, we often went above and beyond to ensure that the women and families that we cared for have the best experience of childbirth. However, it became increasingly apparent, that this capacity to care did not always extend to ourselves.
With that in mind, we came together to plan a project based around Wellbeing Champions, an idea initially inspired by Stacey Keane, Midwife and a member of the Wales Midwifery Leadership and Development Programme cohort 2021. Through the learning, resources and guidance of the programme, we instigated a number of small initiatives within Cwm Taff Morgannwg Health Board that included a Hydration Station, Walking group and Wellbeing Posters covering related topics such as exercise, sleeping, diet and wellbeing.
However, we realised, through reviewing comments and thoughts on online media sites, that we could be making a bigger impact, so ventured into the realms of social media! The concept that we came up with really captured peoples’ imagination and was soon trending on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Midwives in Mind, a space to come together to support, affirm and encourage others, appeared to be just what was needed. It seemed that the content shared, which comprised of positive affirmations and words of encouragement and support, really resonated with our followers, and soon we were seeing numbers go up.
Little were we prepared for the effect that being part of such a cohesive group and developing this wellbeing resource would have on us. Throughout this process we have all faced different personal and professional challenges that have seen us come together in times of distress and grief. However, the kindness and encouragement that we have received from each other, in addition to the support of the RCM team and followers of the Midwives in Mind movement has enabled us to stick together, look after each other and make time for self-care. We have learnt to take our own advice and consider our own worth, which we believe, makes us more effective care providers in the end.