Night shifts

I haven’t written for some time now and I like to blame it on something else rather than me being lazy, so I’m blaming it on night shifts. The night shifts are making me unfocussed and ultimately lazy!!

I’ve been doing so many night shifts that my colleagues thinks I have chosen to do so, and that really is not the case. It will have to stop after my big summer holiday which is coming up as it really does play havoc with one’s mind and body.

The comments vary when one mentions night shifts; – that must be tough, – money must be good, – not sure if I could do them. Nobody says – I’d love to do night shifts!

Unfortunately, in my opinion they are a necessary evil to many professions. There are some advantages though:

* The money is a little better but not worth it in the long run

* Usually it’s calmer – no management nor visitors

* Off-peak shopping – but if one does shift work anyhow, it’s not that advantageous

* Able to party late without getting tired as already on the night clock – a real positive!


But the disadvantages are more serious:

* The risk of bad health – tiredness, body clock changes, confusion

* Shorter life span

* Being more accident prone

* Lack of concentration


Here are some tips I’ve picked up online that I think could help:

* Sleep and eat well before a shift – easier said than done

* Most adults need 7-8 hours sleep a day, if difficult try to rest, as still beneficial

* Stay up and sleep before the next shift – this works really well for me!

* Have a short sleep before your first night shift – works if successful in falling asleep

* Have sleep-preparation rituals that promote good sleep hygiene

* Make time for regular exercise

* Don’t eat a huge meal right at the end of your shift, as it can disrupt your sleep

* Don’t go to bed feeling hungry: have a light meal or snack before sleeping

* Drink plenty of water throughout your shift

* Fuel up on complex carbs; these will release energy slowly over a long period

* Protein will fuel your muscles throughout the night

* Time your meals and activities to match your “day”

* Make your home dark during the day as sunlight wakes your body and brain

* Find a hobby you can bring to work which is mentally engaging; knitting, reading, puzzles

* Don’t do randomly scattered night shifts – be assertive and tell this to your scheduling person


Hope this help anyone out there struggling with night shifts! If anyone has any other good ideas – please post some suggestions!



Filed under Midwife, New

One-to-one care

One-to-one midwifery care means different things to different people.

Some take it to mean one-to-one care throughout the whole pregnancy, labour and postnatal period. This is obviously ideal but not practical in all settings or possible; there is usually a back-up midwife who can take over care where the named midwife is not available for any kind of reasons.

Some parents-to-be come into the hospital in labour under the illusion that they will only have one midwife, not understanding the shift patterns or that midwives need breaks. Some think this is not proper one-to-one labour care as parents have to meet and form new relationships with strangers but I would like to argue that it can actually be of benefit to get a new midwife into the mix; either to reiterate what has been advised already or to come in with new energy or ideas to help the woman in her labour.

Some midwives can just walk into a room and say a few poignant phrases and pieces of advice that where there was whaling and disillusion within a few contractions there is calm and ‘yes! I can do this’ spirit. This is maybe a little of an extreme example but I do find that often there is a benefit to have a fresh midwife take over labour care at the end of a long shift, especially if midwife has not had a proper break.

Where one-on-one care really makes a difference  is where the women have supportive partners and birth partners who understands that labour is not an illness but more of a quest that the woman has to go thru. Those partners give encouragement, they make the environment nice with music and lighting, take them for walks, gives them cuddles and kisses, they rub their back /feet /cramps /hands /scalp /shoulders, ensure they hydrate, take snacks and shield them from the world making them feel safe. If this is in place, it doesn’t really matter who the midwife is.

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Filed under Birth, childbirth, labour and birth, Midwife, Midwifery, New

Day 14: Success! It ended with a kiss

Yeah, that’s right, I flirted, I teased and got a kiss as a reward!

It started with a lonesome man, a handsome lonesome man, whose eye I’d caught. He was eyeing up what looked like a note of value, he shrugged and I don’t think he wanted to look silly if it was not money. So I got my lovely old friend Ms Attractive to pick it up as she was closest but alas it was only an old receipt. In steps Tall Irishman joking that we could buy a round with the money,’ ok’ I say ‘you go get it’ with a flirty, mischievous smile. So we get flirting and he asks if his ‘Irish charms are working on me’, at the time I thought it a silly remark but actually kudos to him for making it outright obvious that he is flirting with me; I might have to use that one myself but cut the ‘Irish’ and paste with ‘Womanly’.

As it transpired our Tall Irishman was a proper flirt and flirted with us all, all fab five of us, and any passer-by’s too for that matter, I find that quite off-putting but in his defence he tried to get all his boys in on it as well but they were quite difficult to get going on the flirt scene. Although one of them defrosted eventually and danced a little jig and flipped Ms Attractive on her head with a Strictly Come Dancing move. There was another handsome friend of Tall Irishman whom I tried to get close to, to try my newfound flirting skills on but I was stopped at every attempt by Tall Irishman, at the time I thought it was bad timing, now maybe I’d like to think there was an ulterior motive. I was also put off by thinking that he was into Ms Attractive which always invariable seems to happen I think, or am I just being insecure? Anyhow I seem to be the more approachable, less attractive brunette who guys start flirting with to get close to the more attractive blond company I keep. Is that not often guys game plan? I think I might have read that somewhere.

Meanwhile I’m also trying to flirt further with lonesome handsome man who is no longer lonesome, he give me a wink or two and flashes me a gorgeous smile, 30 minutes later he is squeezing and caressing one of his company’s asses, by the looks of it; his girlfriend – what the f’?! Oh, well! It was fun to feel desirable whilst it lasted. Thinking back, I am also guilty of flirting with all and sundry, what’s actually so bad in that, I ask myself now?

The evening comes to a halt, everyone starts making a move home or a make their final move on the evening’s flirts. Tall Irishman steps in again wanting to take his chances with me, I vehemently state that he really was  after my friend and I am the scraps, he vehemently denies this. I think ‘ why not, he’s kind of handsome in a charming smiley way, go for it’. So we take company to the train station, through the alleyway, which in my (distant past) experience is a great place for a tease and a kiss and I’m not wrong. He stops, grabs my hand, leans against the wall and brings me close to him. He tries to kiss me but I like that electric moment before a kiss, I savour that moment by keeping my distance. He calls me a tease with a charming smile, I giggle seductively and I come closer again. He pulls me in even closer and I continue to keep the distance after our lips have gently caressed. We breathe the electricity. He takes my face in his warm large smooth carpenter’s hands and now  teases me with his lips then finally we kiss – mmm, lovely lovely! Then he takes my hand, he has strong wonderful warm hands, as I’ve already mentioned, and we walk off into the sunset…… never to see each other again, we never exchanged numbers, it was not to be. Never mind, tonight is another night and I have a date with someone else!

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Filed under flirting, Kissing, New, Single Woman

To wax or not to wax

I am currently reading “How to Be a Woman” by Caitlin Moran, it’s very funny! Laugh-out-loud funny! She is a couple of years younger than me so I can totally relate to what she has written. I have recently finished reading chapter 2 ‘I Become Furry’ and it made me think of my Flirty Friend’s comment on how she in the last months of pregnancy probably wouldn’t bother with personal grooming in the nether regions, which sparked a further discussion on how most women seem to undertake a fair bit of grooming where I work prior childbirth which I have found rather peculiar. Maybe it is just part of their regular grooming in fact. I’m guessing this has to do with the modern times we are living in and the age group who gets pregnant. But doing some more research on this, it could be a combination of both modern times and muslim cultural practice. It is apparently common practice for both women and men in the muslim world to wax all over once they get married and where I work there is a high percentage of Muslims.

In America apparently nearly 60% of 18-24 year-old’s are sometimes or always completely bare and almost 50% of 25-29 year-old’s are too. In the UK the statistics in general are that women in the age group of 18-44 are more likely to remove their pubic hair completely than those over 45, as they think men prefer the manicured look. Speaking to a couple of girlfriends in the 25-29 age group, full grooming of the vulva had either been tried once, never to be done again or something done when with a regular partner.

Ms Moran writes about how the times have changed and how waxing only the bikini line in her teenage years was bizarre, marginal and for porn models only. My experience was different as my best friend was Turkish and sugaring is big Turkey, handed down in the generations like a family affair, the women folk getting together for a sugaring session, again Muslim culture. So I have often sugared/waxed my bikini line, legs and underarms since my teenage years. When moving to London there was no dificulty in finding salons to accommodate me on this because of the cultural mix in London. Fastforward 20 years and waxing more than your bikini line is now a routine part of many women and men’s personal grooming even in the Western world.

Ms Moran and others blame the porn industry, as it is now so assessible on the internet, for the trend of complete removal of pubic hair. The porn industry has adopted this kind of pubic hair removal for both men and women for better penetrative shots. Personally I find it’s a little creepy, like being pre-pubecent, surely our men want women and not young girls? Equally I want a man who looks like a man and not a pubecent boy! Some will argue that it sensual and hightens the sensation for sexual pleasure, sure I say to that, but for that we only need to shear away in the most intimite parts of our vulvas and does not include the anterior vulva, our visible triangle, which in my opinion seperates women from girls. I don’t know how this works for men?


I wanted to look at this from a feminist standpoint but as men are also undertaking this practice it’s not a feminist issue at all, someone aptly put it down to freedom of choice versus group pressure to conform to uncomfortable standards. Erotic grooming trends have changed through the ages but dates as far back as 2000BC. So with this I want to say, groom however you want but be sure it is your choice rather than about conforming to some kind of sexual ideal that is not your own idea of sexiness. 


Filed under childbirth, Midwifery, New, Single Woman, Women

Day 9: not much flirting

There hasn’t been much flirting as I have been working long shifts and  have also not quite been in the ‘mood for flirting’. To be in the mood one has to be in top form I think, i.e. not tired, feel attractive, sexy and feel slim –  I have slim days and fat days, my mum has her sparkly or gloomy eye’s days, what about you? But today might be the day to get into flirt mood! I have already been messaged by a man whom I have not dated yet but whom I have exchanged messages with for some time. You might wonder why we have not been on a date yet? Something is stopping me from properly arranging a date; is it a gut feeling or purely being scared of being disappointed yet again. I think I just have to jump in and not take any set back too seriously. Having just watched this delightful advert I can draw some parallels between this mouse’ story and dating:

The mousetrap is dating and the final is what we all aim for – the big cheese/love!

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Filed under flirting, online dating, Single Woman

Day 3: strike the pose

Recently I took a workshop in a variety of styles of dancing, and one of the styles was burlesque. This at the time was for me somehow surprising but afterwards not so, I obviously had been concentrating on only one facet of the workshop ignoring the rest. I really did not feel sexy when we started off, my advice here is; dress to kill. Whether this is your sexy little black number, your jeans with that fabulous sparkly top or your retro tea dress with a flower in your hair but don’t wear your track pants and tee without on ounce of make-up.

But I did find my inner sexiness after striking a string of sexy burlesque poses that our fabulous teacher had choreographed. It felt particular evident when I went out dancing blues today, on day 3 in my bid to flirt better. I flirted outrageously with my whole body by hitting those sexy burlesque poses and wow, how I felt like “all woman”! I thoroughly recommend taking a burlesque class to find your inner sexiness, like I did.

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Filed under dancing, flirting, New, Single Woman

Day 2: online date lined up

True to my word, I went onto my online dating profile and checked the men out. I messaged one guy whom I had contact with some weeks back which had run into the sand as I have not spent any time on the site to follow through – no reply of course. Next I messaged another gentleman, who low and behold was in his fireman uniform! Not usually one for uniforms but I have for some reason always had a thing for firemen. Especially like the navy/black uniforms with the red suspenders and yellow helmets. There is something so manly about them with their red trucks and hoses, rescuing women over their shoulders coming down a ladder with the house on fire as a backdrop.

Was just about to leave the site and a message came in from someone whom I have been more or less ignoring for about a year, why you may wonder. Probably because he uses and over ruses of babe, honey and princess in the shortest of come-on messages ever. However I noticed he also is a fireman and being that I really want to get out there dating, I have to lower my expectations and as my Flirty Friend is currently experiencing the following – someone very interesting and articulate online is face-to-face rather socially inept. Maybe this online inept fireman is face-to-face very interesting. A date is now being arranged (this is tricky as we both work shifts) after some flirty messages back and forth, and a promise to not use those over-familiar name callings until we are no longer strangers!


Filed under flirting, New, online dating, Single Woman