International Midwives Day: Zoe Hodgson

In honour of International Midwives Day we’re shining the spotlight on Zoe Hodgson, PhD and Registered Midwife.

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  1. What are your research interests?

All families face many choices during their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period. Midwives recognise the childbearing client as the primary decision maker and help them make decisions within a context of informed choice. To enable this, a midwife will review the options with a client and discuss the evidence for and against a given procedure, treatment or course of action. However, the current problem faced by midwives is that there is often a dearth of literature on many of the choices available to clients today, meaning such informed choice discussions are based on anecdotal reports alone. This is especially the case when these options are alternatives to the standard practice. The overall aim of my research program is to build research capacity and create a culture of research among midwives in BC particularly in relation to the study of midwifery outcomes.

  1. What inspired you to transition from your career as the Director of Women’s Research to catching babies as a midwife?

I always knew I wanted to be a careprovider. My role at the WHRI enabled me to become familiar with the maternity scene in BC. I was very fortunate to work with midwives, family doctors, nurses and obstetricians. Midwives have only been regulated and legally recognized as autonomous health care practitioners in BC since 1998. As such, midwifery in BC is still relatively new and has so much potential to grow! I saw midwifery as a career where I could both work as a clinician and academic and conduct research that really mattered to families. Not only this, but I was excited by the potential to narrow the gap between the acquisition of evidence and uptake into clinical practice. As a midwife, I can readily share new evidence with the families I care for.

  1. What has been the most interesting part of your journey to midwifery?

What hasn’t?! I am constantly blown away by this profession, the care providers, the families, and how much midwives truly embrace informed choice and support their clients to have their best possible birth experience. When it comes to baby catching, there is never a dull moment! I truly believe I have the best job in the world.

  1. How does your experience as a researcher influence your clinical work (and vice versa)?

Evidence-based practice is a key component of midwifery care. As midwives, we endeavour to provide our clients with the update to date evidence to allow them to make informed decisions. I feel very fortunate to be in the position to be able to use evidence in my daily practice and also be aware of the knowledge gaps and use these to fuel my program of research.

  1. What’s a fun fact about you?

I am one of a team of midwives who is currently training for Tough Mudder in Whistler in June. I am yet to master the monkey bars!