May 12, 2023

Midwifery as a vocation


Six midwives work at the Mother and Child Center (MCC) in Bogale, Myanmar. They work around the clock, seven days a week, looking after the 160 or so women who come every month for prenatal or postnatal care and to give birth.

Ms. Chi Shwe Sin Hlaing (Chi) is one of them. Today, onInternational NursesDay, we want to take a closer look at this important profession through Chi's stories. In the interview, she told us why she chose this particular profession and what she particularly likes about it:

Artemed Stiftung (AS): "Dear Chi, you have been working as a midwife at the MCC since it opened a year and a half ago. Why did you choose this particular job?"

Chi: "I've always been interested in babies and newborns, which is why I've often helped out as a midwife in my spare time. This is possible here at Myanmar , even without training. The work itself is a great honor for me, and the profession of midwife is also relatively highly regarded here in the country. However, like doctors and teachers, we have been struggling with major problems recently, as the state's current policies are making our work very difficult."

AS: "That almost sounds like a vocation. When did you finally decide to train as a midwife?"

Chi: "After I finished Grade 10 - so when I was about 16."

AS: "Now that you've been in this job for a while, you must have some things in your everyday life that you particularly like and some that you perhaps don't like so much."

Chi: "Yes, that's right. Just like in any job. What I don't like at all are the mornings when the clinic is overloaded with patients and you feel like you can't keep up with the work. Everyone waits patiently for their turn. Nevertheless, it's often a challenge for us to keep up with everything.

Of course, the moments when the women leave the hospital happy and content with their little baby in their arms after giving birth are great. Then I know again that every minute here is precious."

AS: "That's understandable. Is there a story that has particularly touched you in your career as a midwife so far?"

Chi: "Yes, there are: I was once on night duty on the children's ward. We had newborn twins in the intensive care unit at the time. One of the babies was given an infusion. While his mother was holding his hand, the little one's heart suddenly stopped beating. The young woman looked at me in panic. I immediately took the baby and tried to revive him. Seconds passed that seemed like an eternity. But suddenly the little heart started beating again. The mother crying with happiness, my own overwhelm: There was no more beautiful moment in my life than this!"

AS: "Dear Chi. Thank you very much for this wonderful interview and we hope that you will continue to work as a midwife at our MCC for many years to come. People like you are incredibly important and irreplaceable for society."

The interview was conducted in Burmese by Su Myat Oo, who then translated it into English. The German version was written by Artemed Stiftung in Germany.

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