London, Friday 5th May, 2023
Every year, 5th May marks “International Day of the Midwife”: a day to recognise and celebrate the work of midwives around the world. Our midwives do incredible work throughout the UK, using their passion and vast breadth of knowledge to ensure that women and pregnant people can exercise their reproductive and sexual rights.
This year, to mark International Day of the Midwife, we interviewed Jacqueline Dawson, Senior Midwife at our Leeds clinic, about what being a midwife in abortion care means to her.
“I am proud to be able to support people in their choices, especially their choice to access abortion and contraception care.”
How and why did you start working for MSI?
I have worked for MSI UK for almost two years now, and my journey started at MSI’s Wakefield clinic. You don’t get taught much about abortion care when qualifying as a midwife, so when I first visited an abortion clinic for my own abortion, I assumed the midwife supporting me was a nurse. Then I realised that she was someone I had worked with in a previous role, so I then went home and did more research about midwives in abortion care.
Upon researching, I saw a midwife role being advertised at MSI UK and applied. Similarly to being a midwife in maternity care, a midwife in abortion care provides support to clients at a potentially vulnerable time in their life, it’s just a different form of care.
That’s why I started working for MSI, and I am now a Senior Midwife at our clinic in Leeds.
Can you tell me more about your role as a senior midwife, and what a day in your life at MSI UK looks like?
In my role, I support clients accessing medical abortion and surgical abortion care, conduct ultrasound scans, contraception counselling, and sexual health screening. I also fit implants, The Intrauterine Device (the IUD), also known as the “copper coil”, and The Intrauterine System (the IUS).
Most of the time, I see people for consultations or record their medical history. I talk to clients about their decision, provide support, and guide them through the medical abortion process and how to take the abortion pills. This includes telling them what to expect and discussing their aftercare and contraceptive options. I also go through consent forms for a surgical abortion procedure and provide surgical abortion aftercare information to clients.
What is your favourite part of the job?
My favourite part of the job is supporting the clinical team. I am a Professional Development Lead at the Leeds clinic, supporting our staff to expand their clinical skills, helping them to gain new competencies and maintaining their existing skills. I enjoy supporting our practitioners because it helps them to feel really confident in their roles and ensures our clinics are as safe as they can be. I love being client-facing but ultimately, supporting my team leads to the best experience for our clients.
Why are you proud of the work that you do?
I am proud to be able to support people in their choices, especially their choice to access abortion and contraception care. This experience looks really different for everyone who accesses care with us, but it is about providing the right support, especially when so many clients worry that we might judge them.
I’m also really proud to uphold the values of a midwife. When someone walks through the door and is thinking about who they might be speaking to, I want them to be able to walk away feeling happy with the nurse or midwife who supported them that day.
What do you want others to know about being a midwife in abortion care?
I want others to know that this is a service that many of our clients feel happy and grateful to be able to access. They are often relieved to see a supportive nurse or midwife which makes MSI a fulfilling place to work. There is also lots of room for expanding in areas you may not have considered before, which leads to great job satisfaction.
What would you say to those who are considering working in abortion care?
Joining MSI UK was a breath of fresh air. It is a very supportive place to work, and you get to work both autonomously and within a great team. There is room for upskilling and going down different avenues (ultrasound scanning, fitting contraceptive methods, safeguarding, sexual health screening, vasectomy care, professional development, becoming a team leader) and you feel like you are part of a family.
Read more from our colleagues
At MSI UK, we love interviewing our colleagues to find out more about their work and how their roles contribute to our mission to deliver quality reproductive healthcare. Below, you can read some of our latest interviews:
- “All I have ever wanted to do is help, so to be able to help someone in their decision makes me proud every day and that will never change.” – Interview with Angela Gale, Registered Midwife at our Maidstone clinic, about why she is proud to be a midwife in abortion care.
- “I have never felt more like a midwife than I do in this role.” – Interview with Grace Louisa Ash, MSI UK Practice Development and Advocacy Midwife, about what being a midwife and an advocate for nurses and midwives across England means to her.
- Why making a difference is a real privilege. – Interview with Ailish McEntee, MSI UK Named Midwife for Safeguarding Adults and Children, about safeguarding at MSI UK, and how we care for and support our clients.
- “Being a part of MSI and helping so many people access care feels amazing.” – Interview with Sarah Salkeld, Associate Clinical Director at MSI UK, about contraception services at MSI UK, and the importance of having the choice to access contraception.
- “We are here to help empower people to make the decision that is right for them.” – Interview with Ben Tallis, Client Care Coordinator at our National Call Centre in Bristol, about supporting the clients who get in touch with our call centre from all over England.
- “I’ve never felt more like a midwife than I do here.” – Interview with Giselle Barnes, Clinical Services Matron at our Bristol clinic, about what being a midwife in abortion care means to her.
- “If it’s your body, it’s your choice.” – Interview with Stephanie Pérez, Regional General Manager in Sussex, about how she supports our clients within her role.
Careers at MSI Reproductive Choices UK
At MSI Reproductive Choices, we are looking for pro-choice and passionate professionals to join us in our mission.
MSI Reproductive Choices employs over 500 people in the United Kingdom alone, all of whom are dedicated to delivering the highest quality abortion and vasectomy care.
We know that our most valuable assets are the people that work for us. By joining MSI Reproductive Choices, you’ll become part of a committed team that work to make sure we provide the best possible care and support to our clients.
If you are interested in a career at MSI UK, find our current open positions here: Join Our Team