‘You don’t have time to pee or change sanitary products’ Midwife’s photo shows the reality of life on the labour ward

A midwife’s picture has gone viral after highlighting the tough reality of life on the labour ward.

Petra Vinberg Linder, from Stockholm, shared a photograph of her blood-stained scrubs after a shift where she’d had to deliver three babies to her Facebook page, explaining how busy she’d been throughout the night.

‘Night shift midwife = had three childbirths,’ she wrote. ‘You don’t have time to pee or change sanitary products. Thanks and goodnight.’

Her image has since been shared more than 250 times, with many praising Petra for her honesty and thanking her for her hard work, but also wishing that she wasn’t facing such intense time pressure.

Petra Vinberg Linder

Nattbarnmorska = haft 3 förlossningar. Då hinner man inte kissa eller byta sanitetsprodukter. Tack och godnatt 😂👌🏻🙃😴☠️😨🤡🤡🤡🤡

‘Of everything that could have been written about your work situation, I think the picture and your brief comment sums it up best,’ one applauded. ‘All the love and respect to you and your colleagues who stand out and exist. Hug from a grateful mother.’

‘😂 you are wonderful Petra! Love you! ❤️ but of course not ok not to be able to take proper breaks,’ another added.

Speaking to The Local, a site which reports Swedish news in English, Petra acknowledged that she’s chosen a very challenging field of work.

Petra Vinberg Linder

Petra Vinberg Linder added a new photo.

‘I love my job, I chose it and I want to work in this field, but I wonder after a night like this how many years I’ll manage,’ she admitted.

‘I’m 40, I’ll work to 65 if I’m fit, but can you manage that? There are so many people in this country who want to work with childbirth, but don’t because of the working conditions.’

Although it wasn’t her intention to gain this level of attention, she added that she hoped the popularity of the post would encourage others to speak out about their own experiences, and spark positive change in the community.

‘I shared it for my private friends on Facebook, went home and went to sleep, then when I woke up I saw people had asked me to make it public. So I did, then it became a big thing, but that wasn’t the original idea.’

‘Though I’ve only worked as as a midwife for a week, before that I was an assistant nurse here for many years and it was always high pressure. But it has escalated. It’s just getting worse and there has to have a change.’