Ways to Prevent Midwifery Burnout

Ways to Prevent Midwifery Burnout

Prevent Midwifery Burnout

All professions related to the medical field has never been easy-breezy type of job. It is extremely rewarding but can be stressful as well. Midwifery, as a type of medical profession, has been this stressful as well. This profession requires great commitment, hard work, and endurance. Midwives have stressful jobs in that they regularly deal with people with high anxiety. They are emotionally involved in the birth process. Their job also involves showing a lot of compassion, warmth, and understanding, which can be emotionally demanding.


A new study indicates that 40% of midwives in the United States are burned out, stressed, and exhausted, putting them at risk of making medical errors and missing necessary patient care. Burnout also leads to less professional engagement, reduced productivity, absenteeism, and resignations, according to new research published in the leading journal, Health Services Research. 

While many speculate that the stress and exhaustion are due to working long hours or having too many patients, the researchers actually found the predictors of burnout to be poor leadership and support. Midwives cited a lack of professional recognition, staff and resources, control over clinical practice and practice autonomy, and a negative work environment. But researchers also found a reason for optimism. They say those problems can be fixed with cost-effective, straightforward changes in the practice environment.

“Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:
• feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
• increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to
one’s job and
• reduced professional efficacy

Burnout cannot be easily cured by any medicine or medical procedures, it requires personal effort to sustain your mental, emotional and physical health. You need to attend to your own needs and realize your potential. But as they may say, prevention is better than cure, burnout can be prevented by following these ways.
1.Early recognition of burnout and related risks
• self-denial can occur
2.Cultivate ability to self-reflect
a. Attend to your own needs
b. Realign goals and expectations for yourself
c. Evaluate a typical weekly schedule and reduce or eliminate unnecessary items
3.Complete a periodic assessment and realignment of goals, skills, and work passions
4.Exercise regularly
5.Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet
6.Get enough sleep
7.Include daily enjoyable “timeouts”, such as yoga, a hobby, or meditation
8.Build up your professional and personal support system
a. Dedicated family time
b. Meeting with mentors to discuss setbacks, time management strategies, and other
perceived barriers

Burnout is pretty common especially for midwives. With how stressful our work as midwives can be, we may experience burnout but take note that it is treatable, and you can absolutely recover from it. Always pay attention to your mental, emotional and physical health. Exercise, surround yourself with people who inspire you. There are so many things that you can do. We have an amazing FREE midwifery burnout course to help prevent and manage midwifery burnout: https://midwiferybusinessconsultation.teachable.com/p/how-to-prevent-and-recover-from-midwifery-burnout

Burnout in midwifery: An occupational hazard? Health Times. (n.d.). Retrieved May 29, 2022, from https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/midwifery/38/news/hw/burnout-in-midwifery-an-occupational-hazard/3504/
Home. CALE Learning Enhancement. (n.d.). Retrieved May 29, 2022, from https://inside.ewu.edu/calelearning/psychological-skills/preventing-burnout/
World Health Organization. (n.d.). Burn-out an “Occupational phenomenon”: International Classification of Diseases. World Health Organization. Retrieved May 29, 2022, from https://www.who.int/news/item/28-05-2019-burn-out-an-occupational-phenomenon-international-classification-of-diseases

Check out our amazing course on How to Prevent and Recover from Midwifery Burnout