I was a second-year student midwife when I decided to venture to Kathmandu in Nepal. I’d always wanted to experience midwifery in another country, and after lots of research, I decided that Nepal was the place. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Work the World are great with preparing you for the trip with a timeline of reminders and phone calls with staff members. After fundraising and receiving a grant from my university, I was ready to go.
On arrival, the staff and Nepalese people were so welcoming. The orientation was great, and it helped me get my bearings and embrace the culture. I felt really safe and the house was lovely. The food was incredible and our cook was great. I was concerned about being vegetarian but they were so accommodating. I miss the food so much already.
The next day, we had our hospital introduction. The staff were keen to find out all about practice in the UK and I wanted to know all about Nepal.
In the first week, I experienced high risk care on the labour ward. I saw caesarean sections and normal vaginal deliveries. Some things were shocking but I learnt so much. The department was so understaffed and had a lack of resources so I was helping whenever I could; helping to provide women-centred care that was sometimes missing due to being so understaffed.
The women were so strong. I had a discussion with one of the doctors about pain relief and the fact they had none as it was so expensive. He then said the women have to ‘breathe and take it like a woman', which I didn’t expect to hear.
On the second week, I was on the birth centre which was attached to the postnatal ward and I was surprised by how different it was. There was much more normality and they had embraced advice from the RCM in the UK. This included delayed cord clamping, mobilising and skin to skin; what they classed as a social model of care.
I assisted in deliveries and saw some beautiful babies come into the world. This was more similar to the UK and so I was more comfortable. The nurses have to write notes in English so there is less of a language barrier. A lot of the women you care for also speak English and were so thankful for helping them. I had the best two weeks and learnt so much. It has influenced the midwife I will be and care I will provide when I qualify in a few months.
I met some of the loveliest people and I wouldn’t have wished to experience this trip with anyone else. You will meet some of the most amazing people from across the world and make some incredible memories!
The great experiences didn’t stop there. We visited so many places after placement. From shopping and drinks in Thamel, to the Swaybunath. I also must recommend the crematorium temples and visiting some of the durbar squares. Use your afternoons and nights if you can!
As I was there for 2 weeks, I had one free weekend on which we decided to go to Pokhara. It was breathtaking. The views were beautiful. We shopped, had walks down the lakeside, rowed across the lake and walked up to the peace pagoda. Moreover, I paraglided off the mountain side. I couldn’t recommend this weekend trip more.
I can’t thank Work the World and the people of Nepal enough. Thank you for welcoming me and thank you for teaching me so much. I must add, don’t be afraid to travel on your own, you will meet the best people. It will be the most worthwhile decision. JUST DO IT.