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Periods at Work: Managing my period as a midwife


We spoke to a midwife all about how she manages her period in a demanding and busy job.

Working on a hospital ward involves long shifts, a lot of rushing around and can sometimes involve constant 1-2-1 care. Managing this alongside your period can prove tricky. We spoke to a midwife and one of our customers all about how she finds managing her period on shift, the challenges she faces and her opinion on providing free period care in workplaces.


How long have you been working as a midwife?

“I have been a qualified hospital Midwife for 6 years. That doesn’t include the 3 years of training where you work 50% as well.”


How do you manage your period when you’re at work?

“When at work, I manage my period by applying a fresh tampon right before I go to work so that I won’t have to change it for a few hours (all my shifts are 12hrs long). I also wear a panty liner just in case it starts to leak and I’m unable to change it straight away.”


How do you find time to change your tampon during a shift?

“While on shift, sometimes it’s extremely difficult to change sanitary items. Often it’s busy, short staffed and if you’ve got a patient who you’re giving 1-2-1 care to on delivery suite or birth centre you can’t just leave them. There are staff toilets on all wards of course but it depends what’s happening with your patient as to whether you can leave the room. Things can change quickly. For example, you can have a patient where all is going well and then suddenly they require an emergency c-section. When this happens, you have no time to go and change a tampon for quite some time while you assist your patient.”


Can you describe an occasion when your period has made work more challenging?

“A time where managing my period at work has been more challenging is when during a shift if another area (usually delivery suite where care has to be 1-2-1) is short staffed and they need you to move areas and work there instead. Sometimes you have to go so quickly that you can’t grab your bags. This means you have to go without your sanitary products and sometimes can’t get back to your bag to get fresh items. My work doesn’t provide any sanitary products for staff so if another midwife hasn’t got something to give you, you just have to wait.”


What products do you use when working?

“I used to use conventional liners and tampons, but I now use TOTM.”


Do you use/have you ever thought of using a menstrual cup?

“I used a cup 10 years ago, but it wouldn’t stay in. It would go in fine then fall down to the vaginal opening as soon as I relaxed my pelvic floor. I’m not sure I was aware there were different sizes back then.”


Are periods often talked about in your place of work?

“Being a midwife, we talk about periods often. I recently had a chat with colleagues about organic products and some of them made orders to try. Yay!”


How would you feel if free tampons and pads were available in your workplace?

“Due to the difficulties discussed above, I’d LOVE my work to provide free tampons etc for us! It’d make life much less stressful in an already high-pressure job!”


And finally, what’s your go-to period tip or remedy?

“My period tip is to carry a small bag of sanitary items wherever you go. Due to my contraception, I never know when my period is going to come! It can also come with no warning at times!”

We hope this blog has given you an insight into managing periods in a demanding job role. Do you have a job role that can make managing periods difficult? Let us know in the comments below or on our socials.

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