Sarah Smith is an English midwife, doula and mother of one. Recently she worked supporting women through births in Los Angeles, where I was fortunate enough to make her acquaintance.
Now back home in England, Sarah is focused on enjoying her toddler son and choosing happiness. I’m delighted to be able to share this interview and hear her point of view on motherhood and asking for support.
What brought you to your work as a midwife?
I always find it hard to answer this question because it wasn’t a defining moment or anything in particular. All I can say is becoming and being a midwife has always been something that has felt very instinctual to me. I knew I wanted to be a midwife since I was about 14, and since then have never questioned it or looked back.
Did your approach to midwifery change after becoming a mother?
As I became a midwife at quite a young age, and therefore before I had my son, I always felt that maybe some people wouldn’t take me seriously being young, as well as not having children of my own yet.
Since having my son, I suddenly felt like I’d earned my stripes, almost like a bit of an initiation and my confidence as a midwife grew enormously. I feel my connection to women now is stronger because of having been through the experience myself, and I feel my empathy is now much greater.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe you need to have children in order to be a good midwife, there are plenty of midwives without children who are fantastic midwives. But for me personally, I know this helped me on many different levels.
What do you wish every mother could experience or know before her own birth?
I wish for every woman to feel a sense of empowerment, in whatever way that might look for her. I would love every woman to know she has a choice and a voice in her care.
Did you have postpartum support after the birth of your son?
I had limited postpartum support, due to various different things, but I wish I had had more support and helping hands around me. I learned the hard way about doing too much too soon!
It’s all about sleep when you’re a new parent, any tips to share?
Everyone says it, but it’s so true, rest when you can, and don’t worry about the little things. Build a network of support around you, so that they can take care of you, so that you can take care of your baby.