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Thread: For those who've had a student midwife attend

  1. #1

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    Default For those who've had a student midwife attend

    Hi,

    At my last midwife appointment on Monday, the midwife asked whether I would consider having a student midwife come along to my appointments and be there during my labour.

    I am totally in two minds about this. I would really like to assist someone to complete their studies and become a midwife. My pregnancy so far has been nice and straightforward, and I am hoping it will stay that way. I am having my pregnancy and labour looked after by the midwifery group practice at the hospital, which basically involves continuity of care with the same midwife, and I know that the more midwives that are trained in the benefits of this care, the better.

    But on the selfish side I am not sure I want another person around. My midwife said that it can't hurt to have a bit of extra help around and that if I don't feel comfortable after the first few appointments they can let the student go. I couldn't see myself doing that, though- unless they really grated on me or I couldn't handle them.

    My reservations have to do with this being my first pregnancy- I think if I knew a little more how I would go in labour and had felt some of this stuff before, I would be more confident. Also, when thinking about it, I think I would be ok for a student to just come to the appointments and not the labour part (not that this is an option, but just the way I feel). Also, I really like my midwife and I'm worried about feeling "ripped off" if the student is directed to assist more in my labour- I want my experienced midwife doing the important bits!

    So, after this ridiculously long monologue, I guess my question is for those who have had a student midwife attend- how did it go, would you recommend it for me and were there some benefits to you directly that I might not have thought of (I guess the only benefits I have been thinking about are long term for society in general and for the student themselves).

    Righto, over to you!

    Last edited by *star*; April 5th, 2007 at 10:48 PM.

  2. #2
    mooshie Guest

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    with my first baby i had a student midwife come in with me - i was induced via drip and agreed to it at the very start, this student was BRILLIANT, it was her first birth and she was due to finish at 3pm but she wanted to wait it out with me, she just knew what to do and helped not only me but also my dh - i built up a strong relationship with her and was comfortable for my dh to go out and have 5mins break occassionaly and she was with me the whole way, again she was great.

    fast forward nearly 2yrs later and i go to the hospital in labour with ds and who should be the midwife on duty - yup my student midwife, she had finished her studies and worked at our local pvt hospital - once again she was brilliant.

    when i had my 3rd unfortunately she wasn't on duty at that time, but she did care for me after i had my daughter.

    i must say it was nice i had a strong relationship with her - Tracey (will never forget her) she has been part of our lives in 3 very special occassions

  3. #3

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    um i had a one i was only asked when i got to the hospital and i thought ok y not they have to learn, she was a lovely lady she kept me calm and was really friendly...but now that i think about it i would have much rathered not have had her there well there but not doing the internals and stuff iykwim, i pretty much had everything done twice so she could learn and for me i didnt like that (maybe if it was my 3rd birth but not my first) i think i would have rathered her been there to watch but not to be involved..but i guess she had to learn!!

    i think it is up to u and if u have doubts then maybe not a good idea HTH

  4. #4

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    Star, I also had a student midwife with my first labour and she was lovely. They told me about her when I arrived at the delivery suite and I didn't even give it a second thought. She was there during the delivery and to be honest, I didn't even know who was in the room lol!!! But after, she was very hands on with the baby and my care. Do what feels right for you and I am sure you'll make the right decision. Best of luck.

  5. #5

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    I had a student midwife with me while I was in labour, she was awesome. She stayed with me the whole labour and birth, only leaving to eat something. The whole time she was talking to me and cracking jokes. She was really helpful too.

    Ellie

  6. #6

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    I had one - wasn't asked, her shift started when I was 8cm dilated and she and the other midwife were just introduced to me. tbh, I found the student to be lovely and caring, very friendly, and she prevented more interventions for me by helping me move off my back during monitoring, plus she gave me loads of encouragement. I would certainly want her again!

    She didn't do any internals - I only had one - but saw everything and I appreciated the teaching as I learnt more about what my body was doing naturally - I didn't think about it, but could hear that it was the right thing!

  7. #7

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    I had one through my appts during pregnancy with Lexie, but my labour with Lexie was so fast WE only just made it to the hosital in time ourselves (left the house at 9.15, gave birth at 9.50........LOL!), let alone having time to call her to let her know to be on her way, so she never made it to the birth........

  8. #8

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    I had a student and a senior midwife and the student was the best.. she kept me going, would get me water when i drank it all, encouragement galore....and when ever i needed something tio focus on id just look at her and she made it all better....lol I could not more highly recommend or praise having a student there....

    I hope i get one again...

  9. #9

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    I had a bit of a student crowd - unexpectantly......being fully dilated in the car when we rocked up to the hossi, i was ready to push sophie out there and then. Hospital staff wheeled me into emergency and after two pushes out came sophie (still had my shoes on !!!!). After the after birth etc i looked up and about 6 students were peering in the curtain, amazed (i think) at what they just saw. The midwife explaiend to me these students (working in emergency) dont get to see many births, so this was a treat for them. I think i gave them something to talk about at the dinner table that night......i was ok with it.

  10. #10

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    This is a different scenario, universities have a thing called a 'Follow Through Journey' and they need to meet a quota of women per year to qualify. They need to be with you through all pre-natal appts and the birth. So you get to know them through that. Also you can meet them first and see if you click with them. I have heard good stories and some where it didnt work out (i.e. person didnt turn up to visits), so you need to make sure you find someone you are happy with at the start. They all have different beliefs, experiences and it's good to have someone you feel comfy with if you do it. You dont need to say yes just cos you met them! Maybe you could try a no-strings-attached meeting with one?
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
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  11. #11

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    I had a student midwife at DD's birth as well as the senior one I knew well from being in hospital so much with DS, she was probalby the only competent midwife in the whole place, so I was happy to have her.

    I didn't want the midwives there through my labour, but they came in once an hour and then when I needed to push. After not dilating for some time and stuck at 5cm, the senior midwife decided I needed a ARM which I was fine with. The student midwife was to do this - it was her first. That was the only 'issue' I had LOL was that she nicked me with the hook, but I think it upset her more than me. She also could feel DD's head and said to the senior midwife 'she's posterior' and when the senior midwife stuck her hand up to feel, DD turned that instant (oooh what a relief) and she said 'you're wrong', but as soon as her hand went out, DD went posterior again and clunked in there in that position. So it was a bit of a laugh.

    The senior midwife was hard on her, but the student stayed back to see DD born, when I pushed the buzzer a few hours later because I needed to push, they were great getting me on the bed with the bar to lean over and it was all over in 20 minutes.

    The student midwife was way better and more competent than an experienced midwife I'd had in my first birth, so I would definately be okay with a student again. Also it's really nice to see them get so excited about a birth as the older midwives had done it so many times.

  12. #12

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    I had a student midwife during my labour. The midwife went to ask me and I didn't even let her finish as I had absolutely no problem with this (plus being in the health care industry I felt I would be a hipocrit if i said no when I had been a student once too!). She was absolutely fantastic. I let her do the first internal - which meant I had two done then - but said no for the second as I couldn't stay in the one position for long enough. She had no problems with this what so ever. She also had children and knew the perfect spots to push to help with the pain. Because she was a student with no workload she spent a lot of time with my DH and I and we developed a great relationship. She was supposed to finish at 3.30pm but stayed until my daughter was born at 5.31pm. She then came and visited us the next day. I would happily have another student when I do it again. Students tend to be very respectful of what you want and don't want so if you say no to something then that is fine. Plus, I also find that because they are learning, things get done by the book. I think it is great that you actually get to build a rapport with your student midwife before the day, that would've been even better. Good luck with your decision, ultimately you have to be comfortable.

  13. #13
    tiggy Guest

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    Hi,
    I have been on both sides of the fence. I was once a student midwife and needed a woman to follow through and I have been a follow through client.
    It is so important to have women, like yourself, to be able to learn continuity of care and holistic care. I had a really wonderful woman. It was her third baby and my first 'catch'. I learnt so much from her. She had a very successful normal, natural birth.
    Women are not asked lightly to be follow through clients. If a midwife asks you, she must have seen some qualities in you that she thought would be good for the student.

    When I was pregnant with my forth baby, I was asked by the educator (and my midwife and friend) to be a follow through client. I said yes straight away. The student midwife was wonderful. I didn't see her very often but when we did, David and I got along with her very well. We went to her wedding and a week later, she was there with me as I birthed William. She was very much a part of his birth and I will be grateful to her forever.
    When everything went wrong, she didn't shy away, she was right there with me. I was really lucky. She kept in contact and we became good friends for a while there. She was one of the very special paople who got me through the first twelve months after he died.

    I really think you can't go wrong with a student midwife following you through. You get the best antenatal care because she will want to know all about you, she will want to give you good continuity of care.
    You will be good for her too, you can give her some very special memories and good experience. You will help to make her a great midwife.
    Good Luck!

  14. #14

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    I gave birth to twins and was admitted into hospital two weeks prior due to a ruptured membranes. I had a student Doctor follow me through to the birth and attend it, initially I didn't really want him to be around but he was wonderful and to know that I was his first vaginal twin delivery was special for us both. I also had a student midwife in attendance and again I was her first vaginal twin delivery and she was so grateful and amazing. I'm happy to know I was able to assist their learning and experience. But each to their own it is your birth.

  15. #15

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    DH and I had a student midwife on her 'Follow Through Journey' come to most of our OB appointments with Flynn and we had many big D&Ms with her about labour, birth and the hospital system, and I really think she contributed to the birth I was lucky to have. But unfortunately she came down with the flu so couldn't be at the actual birth, but that said I will ask her along to the next bub's birth, for sure!

  16. #16

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    I'm on the other side of the fence as a student midwife (and am childless so I'm sorry if I shouldn't be replying) and would love to find some women who would take on a student for their follow-through journey, rather than as the assistant to the midwife (this usually happens in third year or in the year after graduation, and these students are generally much more hands on and left to supervise the birth much more on their own skills, as this is the learning agenda at that point in the course).

    If you are offered the option of having a first or second year student follow you through, you may find that they will be learning things like taking vital signs, palpation, examinations and the lovely skills that midwives have in talking to and supporting you as their client. During the birth they'll be more in the coaching/support role than the hands on stuff, especially if it's their first year and you are among their first few births!

  17. #17

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    At the hospital where I plan to deliver they let you know in advance that as it's a university hospital, there is a strong chance that you'll have a student midwife, OB or neonatologist pressent as well as your fully qualified midwife. The good thing is, it's just 1 student and not a whole throng (as it was when my poor grandmother had my aunt ---she had an internal every 5 minutes pretty much just so everyone could get a shot). I'm totally OK with this because they don't release these students on an unassuming public without them being trained and prepared to a certain extent and everyone has to learn somewhere.

    In my general experience with doctors, midwives and specialists, age ot years in the job do not always equate with competence either information wise or emotionally. I'd much rather any day have a young and supportive midwife helping me with my breathing than one whose been catching babies for 40 years and treats me like an idiot.

    I switched midwives at 30 weeks because I had a really abrupt and horrible one assigned to me first who barked orders, insulted me, said things that I'm sure were only intended to shock and scare me and had me almost in tears a number of times. My new one has less than as many years experience but is so sweet and supportive and always takes that extra bit of time to make sure I feel comfortable, happy and reassured and I wouldn't change her for the world. I've had similar experiences with everyone from driving instructors and hardressers to endocrinologists and mechanics.

    I'm not saying experience doesn't count...but staying current with new practices and knowing how to listen make huge differences too.

  18. #18

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    I had a male student his name was Edward well he said to call him Ed..i wasnt sure whether he was a midwife or something else..i was pretty drowsy lol but he actually delivered DS and it was his first delivery...i could see he was very nervous but knew what he was doing..he was only quite young aswell early 20s maybe, but at that stage of my labour i didnt really care who was there and what was going on he couldve been there from the start for all i know LOL
    The next day we saw him in the halls and we had started a very busy night for him once DS was born he went on to deliver another 5 or 6 babies lol...We have his name written on DS birth sampler the hospital give you

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