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Student Midwives at Birth - pros and cons

(91 Posts)
ButteryJam Mon 13-May-13 11:05:10


Just amending my birth plan, and wondering what are the pros and cons of allowing student midwives into the labour room?

Anyone got any experiences to share?

Thanks! smile

massagegirl Mon 13-May-13 15:32:51

I really think that everyone needs to learn so would be more than happy to have a student present at the birth, they will be supervised. had one on my iniital home birth assessment and she was lovely and knowledgable.

Msbluesky32 Mon 13-May-13 17:04:29

I agreed to have one when I was fully dilated. I'm so glad I said yes - she was a real help! She was calm and very friendly and held my hand when DP nearly passed out and had to sit down. I probably couldn't have done the last hr without her help.

Kt8791 Mon 13-May-13 17:10:55

What a coincidence.......the student midwife that delivered ds1 has just left after a postnatal appoint for ds3! She said that she thought it was men she saw the name. She really is lovely.

ButteryJam Mon 13-May-13 17:15:29

Thanks everyone! smile Looks like everyone's experience is different.

I am very keen on students learning and completely understand why they need to be there but I don't want to be left alone with a student midwife unsupervised. However, at the same time, it seems that many student midwives can be of real help and it may be like having a doula there. I think what I may do is write that I wouldn't prefer to have a student midwife at the birthing centre where there is one to one care with midwife, but if I was transferred to the delivery unit, then wouldn't mind having one ... It is difficult to decide when you have never been in the situation and don't know how it'll be and how one will feel ...

Btw did any of you use hypnobirthing and felt the student midwife may have been in the way?

BikeRunSki Mon 13-May-13 17:19:43

Student mw diagnosed that DS was not only breech, but footling. Something that 2 other mw and community mw had missed. Maybe student had fresher book knowledge, albeit less experience, which may have helped.

hedgehogpickle Mon 13-May-13 17:20:41

I saw a student with a qualified MW when I attended hospital after my waters broke.When I was admitted in labour the following evening, the same student & MW were assigned to me. Total fluke but it was great to see familiar faces. I found the student great - she was with me constantly while the MW had to run in & out and I was fortunate that procedures etc weren't repeated unnecessarily. She was friendly & reassuring and I felt a bit bad afterwards that I had a venteuse delivery so she couldn't count it towards her quota!

NomDeClavier Mon 13-May-13 17:21:32

I would consider a student this time round but I understand people who really don't want for DC1. You just don't know how it'll go....

MrsHoarder Mon 13-May-13 17:29:00

Buttery: from what I could tell in my hospital having the student didn't mean the full MW spent much less time in my room, but that there was someone medical in the room who knew what was going on. Remember in hospitals its 1 MW to every 2-3 labouring women.

lalalalalal Mon 13-May-13 17:31:16

The huge advantage of having a student is a second pair of eyes checking everything and looking over everything. That can be priceless.

I tried hypnobirthing (only used the CDs) for DC1 and it was actually the student who reminded me of the techniques when I lost focus.

TarkaTheOtter Mon 13-May-13 17:55:14

I had one-to-one care from a qualified midwife AND a student midwife (so 2-to-1 care really). Was great. They had so much paperwork to do that I felt like I got so much more time with the qualified midwife that I would have done otherwise as the student did most of the paperwork. I used some hypnobirthing techniques too and didn't find she got in the way. They were both lovely and worked really well together which helped.

On the negative side I had a very quick pushing stage and found it a bit confusing as I couldn't tell when the qualified midwife was talking to me and when she was talking to the student.
I found out afterwards that my dd was the first baby she had delivered!!
Overall still glad I had one though.

I allowed one with dc2, but tbh she irritated the hell out of me as she was more gawping than anything elseconfused
I would allow one in future however aslong as i'm pre-warned early on, so if i don't like her i can say.

piprabbit Mon 13-May-13 17:59:51

I rather enjoyed having a student MW to talk to, she had time to talk which the qualified MW didn't have. Having her there meant I wasn't left alone for long periods.

I can't really think of any cons.

WilmaFingerdoo Mon 13-May-13 18:14:08

I had a male student midwife in when I had ds 11 yrs ago.
The utterly adorable Michael grin
It was long horrible traumatic experience and he was an absolute gem.

JeremyPiven Mon 13-May-13 18:22:06

DS2 was a homebirth with 2 community midwives and a student.
I was pleased to have her there, as I think it's really good for students to see homebirth as an active, positive option for some women, and that birth isn't always a medical procedure.

as ours was the first birth she had been to (first year), she was delighted to be part of it and got quite emotional grin

Also had a student with DS1 and that was a very different story involving augmentation, forceps, and general awfulness. Hopefully that was a good learning experience too grin

Apanicaday Mon 13-May-13 18:24:23

I had ds2 overseas and had a student midwife. It was a bit different there because I had an assigned midwife and then the student assigned to me as well. She was given me as a case because we knew DH wouldn't be at the birth as he had to look after DS1, and it meant I was guaranteed to have someone I knew when I was in labour (my assigned midwife couldn't be certain I'd have her, as it depended if she was on call/had already delivered a baby that day etc). As it was, they were both there and the student delivered ds2, but the reassurance that there would be someone I knew there was immense. She was also extremely good, had time to do a proper debrief with me afterwards, and if I was ever offered the chance to have a student in with me again, I would take it.

DinoSnores Mon 13-May-13 18:35:10

I've been the medical student on delivery suite & assisting at elective sections. I've so appreciated the families who allowed me to do that. I learned a lot & I hope I was useful to them too.

A student midwife was present when DS was born, her first home birth.

DD2 was delivered by a student midwife. Her care was exemplary.

I can't think of any cons.

AmandaPayneNeedsANap Mon 13-May-13 18:36:34

I had a bad experience with a consultant wandering into the room with my first labour. Had someone or other with him, didn't speak to me, just started talking to the medical staff. I may have yelled at him to introduce himself.

Second time my birth plan said:

- student midwives were fine. Either at home (planned home birth) or on transfer if that was necessary (it wasn't). They are working directly with the midwife caring for you and I didn't mind that at all;

- medical students, generally no. I was fine with one if they were going to stay in the room for a significant portion of time - e.g. if they were shadowing the registrar/consultant and an assisted delivery was needed. I was not ok with groups of medical students on ward rounds or anyone who was only going to be in the room a minute or two.

I was fine with students at any ante natal appointments. Indeed, one did my homebirth booking. I would not have allowed internals by a student in any circumstances - basically I find them unusually painful and only planned to allow them in circumstances where me or the baby was thought to be at risk anyway, so I don't think they'd have messed about doing two.

IHateSafeStyle Mon 13-May-13 18:55:40

I found the student stayed with you when the mw left the room so less 'abanded' tine

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 13-May-13 18:57:30

I LOVED having a student at both of my births. As has been saud above, she was available to talk to me and be there for me all the time. It was an amazing experience.

BlackholesAndRevelations Mon 13-May-13 18:59:10

Oh mind you, a student took my blood at a community mw appointment and it bloody hurt as she was so inexperienced, and I was really pissed off!

Chunderella Mon 13-May-13 21:15:32

There was one there during my delivery. It was quite a difficult one: I'd had a prolonged latent phase then dilated very quickly, was denied an epidural, then contractions slowed so I had syntocin and eventually ventouse. I didn't mind her being there, every other fucker in the hospital turned up at some point so the more the merrier. She just watched. It was probably quite instructive for her because when i first got to the delivery room and discovered there would be neither epidural nor further diamorphine, I was extremely angry and shouty. Then they sent in the 60 year old, experienced, battleaxe midwife (I mean that as a compliment) who basically told me to pull myself together and work with her- and that was just what I needed. Very useful for a trainee to see someone who's really in a bad way and the techniques that can be used to take control of the situation. While my birth was far from ideal, I think the delivery itself was able management of a difficult situation that was a fait accompli by the time I arrived on the delivery suite.

I would have another again, even though my preference is definitely for one of the older midwives who's been through the wars. Mummy figure I guess! Wouldn't allow vaginal examinations though- I find those very difficult and although students need to learn to do them, my labour is too important for me to consent to something that will cause me unnecessary distress. No problem with a student watching a VE, conducting an antenatal or postnatal appointment whilst supervised or checking stitches though. Indeed, I allowed the first two and would have done the third if any student midwife had shown any interest in my fanjo after birth.

Chunderella Mon 13-May-13 21:18:08

Actually thinking about it the post birth one was with a student health visitor.

chocolatesolveseverything Mon 13-May-13 21:22:31

I've no experience of giving birth yet, but I think I'd be quite happy to have a student midwife present. There was a student at my last two antenatal appointments, and whilst she made a few mistakes when measuring me, taking blood, etc, the supervising midwife was there to ensure those were rectified.

What was good about her being there was how at one appointment I was feeling very hormonal and kept bursting into tears over very little, she and the supervising midwife were able to get some gentle banter going together that made me laugh and feel much better. The three of us ended up having a good girly chat about the things that were bothering me which is what I needed. I think if I'd just had the one midwife for that appointment it might've felt a bit more awkward and intense IYSWIM.

With dd1 the student nurse was awful, told me if I didn't have some experimental drug I would be like a woman they had the other day who nearly died. Neither her or the midwife noticed that the continuous fetal monitor was not printing out nor attached properly (MILLIE luckily did). Both left me alone for large amounts of time. Lucky for me the senior consultant was passing as I needed an EMCS.

Next time round I said no students without supervision. Student and midwife were very good at keeping me and grieving DH (MIL had recently passed he had PTSD and fear of hospitals, blood etc) calm during another EMCS. So having her there as an extra person was useful.

cyclecamper Mon 13-May-13 21:35:44

I had a fairly senior student midwife with me - I was her 30th labour and she has to attend 40 before she qualifies. She was totally brilliant and worked out how to explain things in a way I could cope with through the gas and air. There was a qualified midwife as well, throughout. I was off my face, but I got what I wanted and they worked really well as a team. I couldn't fault them.

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