Before starting her shifts at the hospital, Natacha Fau had acquired a habit: looking at herself in the mirror. “I watched myself, and I told myself that I was mistreating myself. I felt like I was entering a war zone. “ During the twelve hours on call, the major of the Angers midwifery school could neither go to the toilet nor eat. Every minute had to be profitable.
“At school, we renamed our promo“ Koh-Lanta ”: only the last survivor will graduate. Mistreatment is part of maieutics studies. We live in fear of “dragon midwives”, professionals who are supposed to supervise us and who push us to the limit. I am saddened, and shocked by the number of friends on antidepressants, by the rate of students who go to see psychologists. Myself, I ended up in burn-out ”, unrolls the 27-year-old, now in reconversion in the world of early childhood.
“We are the docile and submissive little hands of the entire obstetrical structure. We are infantilized. From school, we have to mark an attendance sheet and we are prevented from leaving if the teacher is absent. In the delivery room, we must clean the blood on the floor and endure remarks when there are traces of amniotic fluid. », abounds Dominique, a former student in maieutics who wishes to remain anonymous.
Since the beginning of the year, midwives have increased strikes and demonstrations. Once again, they are mobilized on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 November. Thousand three hundred young professionals were present at the last event, in October in Paris, a quarter of the students. An unprecedented movement, according to Chantal Seguin, director of the Grenoble midwifery school: “Young people undergo a drastic selection to access school, endure difficult years on the theoretical and clinical level, all these sacrifices to find themselves increasing the number of fixed-term contracts at the end of school, with a salary of 1,700 euros. net per month at bac + 5. “
Stress and depressive symptoms
According to the latest “Student well-being” survey from the National Association of Midwifery Students (ANESF), seven in ten midwifery students have depressive symptoms, and eight in ten have suffered from increased stress since entering training. 27% have already thought about stopping their studies or reorienting themselves. “The study dates from 2018, but we are in the process of updating it because the figures are increasing significantly”, specifies Laura Faucher, president of Anesf, in fifth year of maieutics in Clermont-Ferrand.
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