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Endometriosis Awareness month is here – what are you doing?

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Thoughts & musings on midwifery related topics for the March Education Newsletter. 

Ruth King, Midwifery Advisor, Education Unit


I love the colour yellow.  It is vibrant and refreshing and shouts LIFE and HAPPINESS to me.  

For the month of March Yellow is the colour being used to raise the profile of Endometriosis (often referred to as “Endo”) in Australia.  On the weekend I baked cakes (hummingbird cakes with pineapple flowers).  They looked and tasted delicious (and they were yellow).  

Today I’ve got my nails painted and I am trying to find something yellow to wear every day this month… it doesn’t have to be my whole outfit (as then I might look like tweety bird) but just a splash of colour.  I’m keen to get the word out there and raise peoples understanding of Endo and the previously silent impact this is having on our birthing population.

I am late to understanding about Endo and what it might mean to women.  I really have had little exposure or understanding of it until my sister Genevieve started to talk to us about her journey and experiences (and then also started her blog - Finding Fortitude). When it comes to matters of the uterus and surrounding tissues I had heard of secondary infertility, PCOS (poly cystic ovary syndrome), cancer, fistulas, menstruation (and all of the variations) and of course pregnancy (and all the uterine changes leading up to, during and after).  But nothing really about Endo…  

I did wonder why that might be, and realise that realistically as it is only just now being accepted by the health department as an area of concern for our society, and one worth attaching funding to, that it probably has not warranted looking at.  And maybe I hear you ask, well why should I think about it?  Surely it is not about pregnancy and birth…. 

Well, for that I want you to have a read of a blog that Genevieve has written for you.  

READ it here: Endometriosis & Pregnancy - from one who knows 

I asked her to write about what it means to her to have Endo, and what it means to her about pregnancy (the thought of it, and what she knows about what barriers she may face) and then what she might need from you (her midwife) when she does eventually become pregnant and seeks out your support and advice.  It is a heartfelt piece and when I read it I thought – gosh I hope she gets an amazing and caring midwife who will provide her with amazing care.  One that understands.  One that is willing to take into consideration her journey to pregnancy as well as her pregnancy journey.  One that understands that the baggage that she will bring to her pregnancy will define her experience.  And importantly one that acknowledges that the care and support they provide her will be pivotal to her journey and will stay with her forever (even if only as memories)

WHAT NOW?

  • Well why not ADD some yellow to your day to support raising awareness of Endometriosis (Endo) in Australia.  
  • Take it a step further and share your images on social media with #MarchIntoYellow and then Start a conversation about why you chose to wear yellow...
  • READ some more of Genevieve’s blogs here (she even has one by me): Finding Fortitude, by Genevieve Byrt.  If you want a different one, just do an internet search (there are LOTS out there).
  • ACCESS my Midwifery Musings from February where I got the conversation started and provdied some other resources
  • READ and SHARE articles about endometriosis with your family, colleagues or by social media.  
  • ATTEND an Endometriosis Awareness High Tea (they are being hosted all around Australia)
  • Its also not too late to SHARE your story and for us to share in the month of March via our social media channels.  We would need your words and an image sent to education@midwives.org.au no later than 28th March
     

Don't forget that any learning that you undertake can be tracked as continuing professaional development in your portfolio.  Keep a record of the time you have spent and activities you have undertaken as well as any new learning needs you might identify and want to address.