Sustaining a Healthy Productive Midwife Career
Preventing and reducing distress, compassion fatigue and burnout
By TheLawleys [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Introducing a continuing education course for certified midwives
Midwives are the traditional professional care providers for mothers and infants, with the skills and expertise needed to help women enjoy healthy pregnancies. Midwives provide each woman with unique personalized care suited to her mental, physical, emotional, cultural and spiritual needs, managing all stages of pregnancy and early motherhood. Midwifery is a woman-centered model of maternity care that has been an integral part of the healthcare community historically throughout the world.
Challenges and stressors of midwives
Today’s healthcare environment can be the cause of stress and frustration for midwives. Some causes are:
- Concerns about one’s autonomy in practice
- Increasing costs and decreasing resources
- The necessity of remaining current with updates in knowledge and technology
- Obstetric emergencies
- Competing family and personal responsibility
- Healthcare consumer demands
- Hierarchical bullying cultures
Having identified common causes of stress that even the most dedicated and talented midwives encounter, an effective strategy is needed to create resilience and reduce stress, enabling midwives to adapt to challenges and sustain a long healthy career.
See our page for nurses.
Transcendental Meditation provides a solution
Adding the peaceful, rejuvenating, deep rest of Transcendental Meditation to your daily routine can dissolve stress, reduce physical fatigue, and refresh your mind. Research shows that the TM technique increases professional and personal satisfaction, develops a more defined sense of self-concept, decreased recovery time from stress, and produces a truly holistic beneficial effect on your health.
More than 380 peer reviewed studies verify a broad range of benefits from the Transcendental Meditation technique, including:
- Deep relaxation
- Reduced stress and secondary traumatic stress
- Increased energy, stamina and resilience
- Decreased anxiety and depression
- Improved sleep
- Improved communication and compassion
- Increased job fulfillment and career success
How the TM Program Reduces the Impact of Stress
Chronic stress has a deleterious effect on the entire physiology, including the brain. The adrenal production of catecholamines and cortisol are associated with a rise in blood pressure. Prolonged exposure to the stress hormone cortisol is very damaging, and the hippocampus—the gateway to memory function in the brain—shrinks in size in response. TM practice is associated with lower cortisol levels, and is the only meditation that shows increases in broadband intra and inter-hemispheric EEG coherence. This enlivenment of prefrontal cortical activity and interhemispheric coherence is likely responsible for the improvement in focus, memory, ability to plan, analytical thinking, creativity, and interpersonal behavior that are documented in studies of those regularly practicing TM.
Other beneficial effects of the TM technique include a reduction in high blood pressure after only a few weeks of regular practice, decreased risk of myocardial infarction and stroke in cardiac patients, and normalization of components of the metabolic syndrome (including systolic blood pressure and insulin resistance) in patients with coronary artery disease.
According to Margaret Mullins, MSN, PNP-C, FNP-C, specialist in Pediatrics and Family Practice:
Every nurse and midwife desires to give her best to her patients. Transcendental Meditation is the ultimate tool to nourish and strengthen any caregiver or nursing professional. As a nurse and later a nurse practitioner, including five years in obstetrics, I have repeatedly experienced the benefits of the TM practice both in my professional and personal life. This simple, natural, effortless technique immediately rejuvenates me and allows me to return more energetic, calm and clear-minded “to the fray,” thus providing more ideal care for my patients and their families. In addition, my co-workers have repeatedly commented on my calming influence when work situations become highly stressed. With TM, I benefit myself, my patients, and my co-workers.