Meet MEAC Student Representative: Bec Lloyd

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MEAC is one of ACM's busiest committees, but our very first student representative, Bec Lloyd, has accepted and embraced the challenge with ease! 

Bec is a mother to three beautiful children, a wife, and a midwifery student at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) in Brisbane.

If this is the first time you're hearing her name, don't worry it won't be the last. Bec is on the path to becoming a fabulous leader and voice within our community, in fact, she's already advocating for graduate midwives. If you're heading to Transforming 2018, make sure you check-out her Rapid 5 presentation on the 21st of September at 2:35pm.

In today's blog post, we get to know Bec a little bit more, as she shares how she's managed home and study life, thanks her facilitators for continuously supporting her, and reminds student/graduate midwives that the commitment is worth it. 

Is midwifery something that you’ve always been passionate about or dreamt of pursuing?

Ever since I was little, I would get excited when we drove past the Royal Women’s Hospital in Brisbane and I always pictured myself working there. Then, when I was in Grade 12, my mum was pregnant with my little sister. Every night I would feel her tummy and try to figure out what I could feel under my fingers! This was when my fascination with pregnancy and birth started. However it was only after the birth of my second child that I decided, I NEED to be a midwife.

What led to you taking the first step and enrolling into BMid at ACU?

I have tried to remember the exact moment that I decided to apply and I actually can’t recall how or when I came to the decision to take the leap and change careers. What I do remember is receiving my acceptance letter and that overwhelming excitement that one day I was going to be able to say ‘I am a midwife’.

So, we know you live in QLD with your beautiful little family, how have you managed to balance your study and family/personal life?        

A couple of years ago, my husband and I made the decision to become ‘un-busy’. With 3 young children, it was definitely a delicate juggling act to try and manage the work/study/life balance. So we are now more mindful of what we say ‘yes’ to and try to make sure that we use our spare time to do things that are enjoyable rather than those that we simply feel obliged to do.

Placement is such a huge part of your degree, and it’s probably the first time that students are properly exposed to life as a midwife. How did you find the experience?

My first placement was a 4-week block at a large public hospital in Brisbane and I absolutely loved it. After those 4 weeks, I was exhausted but 100 % hooked. I knew I was on the right path and that was such an amazing feeling. My final 2 years have been at a private obstetric hospital. I was concerned that completing my placement in this environment would limit the ability to explore my scope, and while it often challenges my midwifery ideologies, I have been well-supported in finding opportunities for learning. I use my time to ask questions about literally everything, including the rationale for intervention and certain practices around birth, which I find allows me to build my own style of practice around what I do and don't like.

Were there any midwives that really took you under their wing? Or, do you have any special moments that you’ll cherish from this time in your career?

I have been so, so lucky to work in an incredible team of midwives who have supported and encouraged me every single day - particularly Genna, you are amazing, and exactly the type of midwife I hope to be one day. Also my facilitator, Paula, who is such a gifted educator and is constantly finding ways for her students to extend themselves to become the greatest midwife they can be. It was her who encouraged me to submit an abstract to the Transforming Conference and apply to MEAC!

Moving onto your involvement with the ACM, how did you hear about us and what inspired you to become a member?

I was aware of the ACM from my early research into becoming a midwife. As I progressed through the course and realised how much work needs to be done to progress midwifery in Australia, I wanted to become involved and surround myself with like-minded, passionate people who want to make real changes in the midwifery world.

You’re our very first student member for MEAC, how are you finding it so far?

It’s still early days but being able to see what goes into the education and advisory side of the ACM has been so interesting! Everyone has been so welcoming and encouraging so I’m looking forward to getting involved and increasing my contribution in the coming years.

Something that I found really exciting is that your presenting at the upcoming Transforming Conference in Gold Coast. Can you tell us a little bit about your presentation and how you got involved?

My clinical facilitator encouraged me to find ways to get involved with midwifery conferences and so I wrote an abstract surrounding my research into the experience of midwifery graduates and how they are managing their graduate year. My presentation is somewhat of a ‘tool-kit’ for graduates and mentors to try and get the most out of their graduate programs. I’m really excited to be a part of the conference and can’t wait to soak up the atmosphere and find inspiration in the other presentations.

Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, or even 20 years?

These questions always stump me because I am such an ‘in-the-moment’ kind of person (which doesn't always work in my favour!!). However, as long as I’m somewhere with my little family, I’ll be happy.

Are there any messages or words of wisdom that you’d like to share with people interested in studying midwifery or who are part-way through their studies?

The road to becoming a midwife requires so much commitment that oftentimes it’s easy to think “Is this really worth it?!”, I can assure you it is. Those days where you walk out, completely exhausted but unable to wipe the ridiculous smile off your face - that’s where you find that renewed energy to keep chipping away.

Is there anything that you’d like to share about your non-midwifery life, like what you do to relax, your favourite song, any hobbies?

I love watching pretty much any sport, so that is something that our family loves to do together - we all barrack for different teams though, so that makes for some interesting watching sometimes!