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Faced with working conditions, future midwives doubt

“tired”, “frustrated” where “anger”. Faced with the difficulties of a profession they have yet to integrate, midwifery students say they are already worried or even disillusioned. The starting point is, often, their first few weeks of internship.

“Before, I only saw the good side of work: giving birth, supporting children. But in the hospital, after the third year of study, I found myself delivering on my own, because of the lack of manpower. That’s when I realized that being a midwife was going to be complicated »Grenoble witnessed Enola for the fourth year.

→ Analysis. New warning for midwives

This is the experience “important” Suspects the young woman. “It hurts my heart, because it’s a real emotion, but I know that if the situation doesn’t improve, I won’t last”she says.

“It was hell, everyone was burned”

Inadequate numbers are one of the reasons for the week-long strike by the National Trade Union Organization of Midwives (ONSSF) on 24 December. “This is an important point.”Manon, a third-year student, who during her internship at Grenoble University Hospital found herself in a service with two midwives for six labor rooms. “It was hell, everyone was burned”he recalls.

On November 22, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the government and several unions that legalized salary increases beginning in 2022, as well as the establishment of a sixth year of study. measurement “positive” but “not enough”Enola noted: “The sixth year is good, but if the government wants to make the job attractive again, the workforce needs to go further. »

A conversion temptation

Some don’t want to wait any longer. Leah, for example, dropped out of her third year of study in Paris, “tired” By pressure: “I once saw myself consoling a mother who was bleeding abnormally when she was four months pregnant. But I never learned that at school! Combined with 40 hours of work per week and overtime, it was too much! »

→ Critical. “For life”, in the footsteps of an extraordinary midwife

Today at the language school, the young woman reassures him: out of 45 students, a dozen girls have dropped out of her campaign. An observation shared by Enola: “We often talk about these issues at school, even with the headmistress. I was told that half of the second year wanted to leave, and that a large majority of those who remained wanted to practice as liberals, because the hospital was too difficult. »

According to the Department of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics (Drees), 34% of midwives practiced as a liberal in 2021. In 2012, they were only 20%.


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