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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

DoodleAlley Mon 13-May-13 11:20:44

Well I had one present with DS even though my birth plan said I didn't want one present (they never read my plan I swear!).

The downsides are I got all my investigations done twice - once by her and once by qualified midwife. Felt a bit like I couldnt say no but less bothered as had epidural so could feel little.

The real plus point came when DS heart rate plummeted and we got rushed into emergency c section. DH not allowed to be present while they sorted me out in surgery and everyone in the room was understandably busy with their roles except for student midwife who was understandably technically surplus.

But that extra person to talk to me in those few moments while people ran around me doing thing, she was a lifesaver and helped me not feel quite so panicked and lost.

RoxyLady Mon 13-May-13 11:24:17

I found that the doctor spoke more to the students than actually telling you what they were doing and what they thought. You almost became secondary to the students, yet you are in the vulnerable position.
My partner became very angry with the doctor at one point because of this.
In my birth plan for baby No 2 I am going to stress no students at all under any circumstances.

ButteryJam Mon 13-May-13 11:30:25

Thank you both! How about if the plan is to have the birth in the birthing centre (if all goes well of course)?

Chigley1 Mon 13-May-13 11:30:48

I had a straightforward birth with child#2, just one midwife and student midwife present. She was lovely, I had no problem with it at all. I don't remember being asked about it, but presume I was.

SirChenjin Mon 13-May-13 11:32:18

I had a student midwife in the room with 2 of my deliveries - they were both lovely, but tbh I didn't really notice as I was too focussed. Can't say there were any obvious cons.

enjoyingthesun Mon 13-May-13 11:32:45

Our dd2 was delivered by a student midwife who was incredibly supportive. There was one other midwife in the room to supervise. Overall the whole birth experience was so positive because of the support of the student midwife, who seemed to genuinely care. In comparison to the birth of dd1 at which the midwives had a slightly more world weary view of the while birth experience (at least this was my perception).

VivaLeBeaver Mon 13-May-13 11:33:23

Roxy - was that medical students or student midwives? IME there's a big difference and Drs generally don't bother talking to the student midwives. grin

One of the big pros of having a student midwife is that you're more likely to get one-to-one care in labour. It may be a nearly qualified student who will do most of the care with a midwife popping in and out and obv been there for the birth. Or it may be a more junior student who stays with you all the time, the m/w may still have to pop in and out but leave the student with you. Not for medical care as such but to provide support.

Wheras if you have a midwife and no student if the m/w is looking after other women as well when she goes to see them then you're on your own.

If you don't want two sets of VEs, etc you could specify this.

ButteryJam Mon 13-May-13 11:33:36

Chigley1 and SirChenjin, were there any advantages to having them around? Did you feel the midwives focused more on you because someone else was observing them (albeit a student but still)?

RoxyLady Mon 13-May-13 11:34:18

Just thought I would clarify my story.
Midwife there were no students. So no problem
I had a doctor visit me who came with a troop of students, they did not ask if this was ok. About 8 of them came into the room when I was a bit delirious with pethadine and pain... I felt very vulnerable but my hubby was great.

When I had DS1 I think they brought every fucker in the hospital including the cleaners in.

It was terrible, made me feel like an exhibit and I was poked and prodded time and time again.

I said never again, and then with DD1 I was in overnight to be induced and the midwife came round and asked could a student attend, introduced me to the student. And she was lovely.

I don't know that I'd allow it again if it was my first, but for subsequent births when I was more in tune with what was happening, I probably would.

Which doesn't really help grin

Apparentlychilled Mon 13-May-13 11:35:07

I also wanted no student midwives or doctors when I was in labour with DC1 (that and yes please to drugs was about the sum total of my birth plan), but I had a similar experience as Doodle- DD was an undiagnosed breech baby and we were signing forms for an emergency section when they realised I was 8cm dilated, so I gave birth naturally (and v quickly). Student midwife had the important job of holding my other hand while DH and I were kind of in shock as to what was happening.

So like all things, I'd say try to figure out what's best for you, but maybe best be flexible on the day.

PeterParkerSays Mon 13-May-13 11:35:35

I had a flat no on my birth plan to student midwives, mainly because I work at a university, had student midwives from my university in two community midwife appointments as the pregnancy went along, and really didn't want one in with me at the birth if I've then got to face them 12 months later with my clothes on.

Saying that, there was a final year midwifery mature student on my postnatal ward, who'd had 3 kids of her own, and she was fab, really calming and cheery and supportive. The community midwife student was, at my booking in session, one her first placement, and her nerves really showed. I know you can't say "only 3rd year students" on your birth plan, but that student's experience on her course, and of being a new first time mum, was worth it's weight in gold. The others, i'd have run like hell to avoid having in at the birth.

ButteryJam Mon 13-May-13 11:35:43

VivaLeBeaver, that's an interesting perspective! The Birthing Centre folk said they have one-to-one care, so the midwife is only looking after one person. However, I suspect this may be different in the delivery unit?

Also, is a student midwife more likely to be paired up with a more experienced (older) midwife? I would like everyone I suppose, would prefer to have a more experienced midwife.

littleducks Mon 13-May-13 11:40:12

IME they don't really ask for medical students on rounds, they are part of the team and just seem to go round.

I have been a HCP student and really appreciated people allowing me to be involved in their care.

I would be happy for a female student to observe, but no examinations etc but then I wouldn't want the MW examining me either. I have had two births and only one VE ever so it is definitely possible. In an emergency situation I would obviously forgoe all preferences.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 13-May-13 11:40:33

In a delivery unit its fairly normal to be looking after 2 women and not uncommon to look after 3 (though not all in established labour).

Students generally work with their sign off mentor who will have been qualified at least 2 years. So they're not normally with a NQ midwife but it may not be someone with years and years of experience!

scarlettsmummy2 Mon 13-May-13 11:42:58

My second baby was delivered by a student midwife. She did all my antenatal appointments too under the supervision of the qualified midwife. She was great!

Lavenderhoney Mon 13-May-13 11:43:30

I said no students with my first. I was totally ignored and a student surgeon also stitched me up after the cs. As the surgeon supervising her had already managed to slash my unborn dc when cutting me open ( not an emergency btw, all calm) I didn't really mind.

The student Mw trying to help me bf in the ward was useless though. Poor girl was way out of her depth-- she had never bf, had had no training - it was a disaster. She didnt mention she was a student til I asked her.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 13-May-13 11:43:56

I think a lot of student midwives are more mature students as well, so may well be women who have had their own children (not that that should matter)......Anyway, even a first year student will have seen quite a number of births and hopefully have good support skills and empathy.

Med students can as well, maybe not as much ime but you get some that suprise you. I saw a med student recently end up becoming the main birthing partner for a lady. Fantastic support over hours and hours, rubbing her back, encouraging her, supporting her while she stood, etc.

StormyBrid Mon 13-May-13 11:46:10

I had one midwife and one student. Pros: the student was quite happy to make many cups of tea; and as I gave birth flat on my back with one foot in the midwife's armpit, the student's armpit provided a handy place to stick my other foot. Cons: she wasn't so experienced at spotting when a contraction was coming on, and I had a bugger of a job getting enough breath to shout "wait a moment!" when she was coming at me with the pethidine.

higgle Mon 13-May-13 11:46:47

I had a student doctor at DS1's birth. I was at The Garden Hospital which specialised in natural births and although I was a private patient and wouldn't normally have been asked they said it would be useful for her as otherwise she might not get to see a birth without pain relief and a natural third stage. She was very nice, and very grateful.

BraveLilBear Mon 13-May-13 11:47:26

I've been thinking about this, too. I get very stressed by any VEs at all - let alone during labour - and would hate the thought of being subjected to everything twice, especially with my first DC when I haven't got a scooby doo what's going on.

But at the same time, I know they have to learn, and, would feel mean about saying no - especially as I work with students - and I don't want to be hated by my MW for refusing to let a student in... So will watch with interest.

EauRouge Mon 13-May-13 11:48:08

I had a student MW at my homebirth.

Cons- I felt crowded and the MWs wouldn't leave me alone. I had a running fucking commentary to the whole thing. Lots of unnecessary and unwanted prodding and poking.

Pros- Ummm... She seemed quite pleased to be there.

If I could do it over again, I would say HELL NO.

Blending Mon 13-May-13 11:51:19

I found that having an inexperienced student MW meant that everything was explained in a lot more detail. Rather than everything looks fine, or we not the "mentor" took time to say exactly what she was looking for and why. Yes it was addressed to the student but I found it re-assuring that they were probably more thorough than a quick check and them dashing between 3 or 4 of us in labour.

It also ment that DH could pop out for a sandwich, and I wasn't left alone!

lalalalalal Mon 13-May-13 11:51:22

DC1's birth was utterly awful (failure to progress, induction, plummeting heartrate, almost EMCS and multiple internals, sometimes involving instrumental stretching of the cervix...). Until the consultant got involved I was helped by a MW and a student MW.

I was meant to be the student's last birth before she qualified (wasn't in the end since it was an instrumental birth which didn't count) and she was utterly awesome. She stayed with me the entire time, explained everything etc etc. The MW ran in and out checking on other women, but the student could stay with me.

Yes I sometimes got doubly examined but I'm not precious about that so didn't really care.

It was great: I still have a very soft spot for her.

puddock Mon 13-May-13 11:54:07

I'm all for helping people learn, but not if it changes the environment of the place I'm labouring in to my disadvantage (I wanted dark, quiet, minimal distraction).
Both my birth centre birth plans said the same thing - I consent to student observers but if I or my birth partner feel I'd be more comfortable with fewer people in the room, we'll ask them to leave.
This worked fine for me - good luck smile

Myliferocks Mon 13-May-13 11:56:31

I had a student midwife for both DC3 and DC5. Both students were mature students with one being in her late 30's and the other being in her late 40's.
I was asked if it was ok for them to be there.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 13-May-13 11:58:08

Midwives aren't going to hate you if you say no to a student. It should be very much something you feel comfortable with. If you don't there's other woman who will be happy with it, so its not a problem.

flossy101 Mon 13-May-13 11:59:40

I had a student midwife and for me it was great, she was so supportive and wasn't left without the other midwife so had two there most of the time.

Svrider Mon 13-May-13 12:01:10

Well in my first delivery the student midwife was often the only member of staff present!
She was the one who raised the alarm about baby's heart rate dropping
I only saw the qualified midwife twice, once when booking in and once when baby had been born (tho I was surrounded by qualified staff at this point!)

tabulahrasa Mon 13-May-13 12:02:20

DD was delivered by a student...something, not sure if it was a midwife or a doctor, lol.

The only thing I really remember (DD is 13) being different was that she was genuinely thrilled to have delivered a baby in a way that the midwives weren't as they do it so often, that was quite nice actually.

Svrider Mon 13-May-13 12:05:15

Forgot to say I was v, happy with my student midwife
I couldn't comment on the qualified midwife, as I only saw her for a total of 5mins in a 14hour labour

I had a student midwife at DD1's birth 19 years ago. She was absolutely fantastic. She stayed with me throughout my labour while the midwife was in and out until I was fully dilated. DD1 was her first delivery and I swear she was as elated as I was grin

EskSmith Mon 13-May-13 12:06:01

I had a student midwife for the birth of dd1. I was being induced due to Pre - eclampsia and she pulled out a book entitled something like "childbirth, when things go wrong" DH and I both noticed and we're not impressed. The midwife who took over from them when they went home gave her quite an earful on the subject.
The 2 examination thing annoyed me and was painful, but on the whole it was the attitude of the experienced midwife that made it a bad experience, I was relieved when she left. I wrote no trainees into my birth plan for dd2 as I felt I'd done my 8 hr training stint with dd1!!

Kt8791 Mon 13-May-13 12:13:49

I had a student midwife with ds1 and 2. I was very happy with them as it meant someone was with me the whole time. I think mine may have been 3rd years as I wasn't examined twice. It probably depends on the student. I still have a particular soft spot for the first one who stayed even when her shift had ended to see my son born.

crossjoss Mon 13-May-13 12:16:31

I have had students at both of my deliveries. They were both very kind, really pleased to be there and didn't detract in any way from my experience of either birth. I know that everyone's situation is different but I wonder how we expect student midwives to be the expert midwives of the future if we are not prepared for them to learn from us when they are training?

cenicienta Mon 13-May-13 12:19:12

Those student midwifes looking after you this time round might be the qualified midwives delivering your next baby!

How would you feel knowing they lacked the necessary experience?

How will they ever qualify with necessary experience if everyone says no?

anklebitersmum Mon 13-May-13 12:19:45

Had a student midwife in attendance with DC2 and 3. Fab, highly recommended-if only because they come with the most experienced unflappable senior midwife attached to them.

Did say upfront on the birth plan that I wasn't happy about random Doctors and their 'doing the rounds' students though.

HeffalumpTheFlump Mon 13-May-13 12:26:50

I completely understand that students have to learn and there will be many women out there who will be fine for student midwives to be involved in their birth experience. I'm not one of them. This will be my first child and my main concerns are about keeping myself calm throughout labour. I personally need the least amount of people involved as I desperately want peace and privacy for myself and DH. It is a huge part of my birth plan that I want as little intervention from medical professionals as possible, so the idea of an extra person who may or may not know what they are doing being involved is awful to me. It actually makes me really cross that there are women who feel they had no choice over who was present during their labour, I personally will be making it clear that no student midwives will be allowed in the room.

ISpyPlumPie Mon 13-May-13 12:28:07

Had a brilliant experience with students during DS1's birth. I'd been induced and was in a lot of pain, but the qualified mws kept saying it would just be prostin pains and I should go and have a bath. As he was my first DC, I had nothing to gauge it against and thought I just was really not coping with the pain. A lovely student found me sobbing in bed on my own (DH had been booted out by this point as it was overnight). She talked me thorough breathing, and told me I was doing well. She also got one of the qualified mws to agree to examine me - I was 6cm and in established labour.

I then moved down to delivery and was looked after by another student and a senior mw. They were both absolutely fantastic and worked really well together. It was the student who actually delivered DS1 - she talked me through the pushing stage really well, and there were no stitches despite him being a chunky little monkey.

It was something I didn't have an opinion on either way prior to the birth, but genuinely think that the students seemed to have more time, seemed incredibly competent and from a rather inauspicious start turned DS1's birth into a very good experience.

TenaciousOne Mon 13-May-13 12:37:53

I had a student present at DS birth. She was amazing, I had two to one care both the student and normal midwife were there for all of my labour apart from after DS was born and getting the pool running. The only cons were the student was asking for the midwife's opinion on things i.e. my waters didn't break until after DS's head was out and she wanted to break my waters, the midwife said she would leave it and she didn't wait for the cord to stop pulsing (we did sit around for a few minutes waiting)
However, she was very close to qualifying.

cravingcake Mon 13-May-13 12:49:07

I had a student midwife with me, she was brilliant. I had a very long labour and in the end needed forceps and stitching up in theatre. The student midwife came with me and held my hand and nearly fainted as I was in theatre for an hour and this was her first experience of a 4th degree tear. I was more than happy to have a familiar face with me, DH snuggled our DS in the delivery room while I was gone (he wasnt allowed to come to theatre so I would have been on my own).

In my experience the student midwife was very aware of everything and my notes were very detailed because she was actually interested, not just 'doing her job'. To be fair, the midwife I had was also very lovely as well.

hotair Mon 13-May-13 12:54:24

I had a student midwife present the second time round. I thought it would be good for her to see a hopefully drug free vbac (it was drug free). She was awful made me feel really self conscious and missed that I was in transition so that I was alone when I started to push. She also kept asking if I was sure I didnt need gas and air because people usually don't manage without.
I wanted privacy and consistency and between the student and main midwife I didn't have that. I also didn't like them discussing my bits to decide if it was a tear or a graze when I was trying to bond with my baby.
I wouldn't have a student again.

Wickedgirl Mon 13-May-13 13:01:54

A student midwife delivered my 1st baby and she was fantastic. There was also a student present when I had my 3rd

My birth plan this time (baby 4) says no medical students. I have no problem with student midwives at all and am more than happy for them to be in the room if they are happy and positive

MrsHoarder Mon 13-May-13 13:03:50

I had a student mw during labour, she was a mature student, stayed throughout and was very calm and reassuring. The full mw had multiple women so couldn't stay in the room all the time. If asked again I would definitely say yes for selfish reasons as well as the moral one.

Jojobump1986 Mon 13-May-13 13:04:12

A student delivered DS1 at home. She was fab & I'd happily have her at my next one in 3 weeks time. I've officially stated that I don't want to have anything to do with the qualified midwife who was 'in charge' of DS1's birth. The student made me feel more safe & capable than the actual midwife did. I've already said I'm happy for another student at DS2's birth but I'm planning a more hands-off birth so I guess she's not going to learn much!

terilou87 Mon 13-May-13 13:13:36

i had student midwifes with all of my birth's, 4 in total and i will again this time round. imo they need to learn, and you leave your dignity at the door when your in labor so why not. each time i had student midwifes, they were very professional. i suppose it is a personal choice though i'm not the most private person so thing's like that don't really matter to me.

SisterMatic Mon 13-May-13 13:19:22

I had a student present with DC1. She was wonderful, she wiped my bum after I pooed pushing blush we ended up having a laugh, even though I had pre eclampsia it was all very relaxed.

With DD2 I dont know who was there, I was that ill..too ill to be allowed a trial of labour and too ill to even be awake at the birth, the Queen could have been there and I would be none the wiser grin

ben5 Mon 13-May-13 13:23:54

with ds1 I had a midwife in training and a qualified midwife. Dh was on his way from Plymouth to Glasgow, missed the whole thing and one of my best friends missed it all by 10 minutes( I think). The trainee midwife delivered ds1 and qualified midwife held my hand. My placenta was retained so it didn't qualify as an actual delivery for the trainee as I had to have an epidual so a doctor could go fishing for it!!! The trainee midwife that was watching this had to leave the room as she felt unwell!!! I was asked if the second midwife could watch and I agreed. The first one I didn't really care as I was spaced out on gas and air and had ds1 within 20 minutes of getting to hospital!!!

everythinghippie29 Mon 13-May-13 15:03:32

My little sister is now a fully trained midwife but unfortunately doesn't live locally to me to deliver mine when the time comes. I know how hard she and her fellow students worked during their training, all sensible and hardworking young ladies and I would be happy to have a student midwife present at my delivery. Its a very admiral career choice and is hard work, I think sometimes the student midwives can bring an excitement, enthusiasm and kindness to the process that some more seasoned midwives can lack.

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.

Gonnabmummy Mon 13-May-13 21:53:33

I know this isn't what you asked re prons and cons but imagine the benefits you are also providing midwife one day she could be the one to deliver your grandchild just a little extra worth thinking about smile

BraveLilBear Tue 14-May-13 13:21:11

Having read all of the comments here, I think I might be willing to let a student midwife observe, but would feel very uncomfortable with any hands-on in action as this is my first child and tbh I feel incredibly stressed about anyone getting their hands on me at all, let alone someone who I may not have full confidence in their knoweldge or ability.

Whilst in hospital at the start of my pregnancy, I was cared for by a student nurse (who had three weeks left before she qualified) and was also subjected to a random consultant plus 12 students on rounds. I was also seen by a number of student nurses in the follow up care, and I didn't mind despite having had surgery on my undercarriage.

However, I fear that being completely naked and exposed, and possibly emotionally stressed and frightened, will leave me feeling much much more vulnerable and for that reason I wouldn't want half the world getting their hands on me.

If I get to a DC2, then my thoughts may well be different.

AmandaPayneNeedsANap Tue 14-May-13 13:30:37

Brave - You are totally able to say that if that's what you want. Observing can still be very valuable to students. Also, bear in mind that you can refuse routine internals. They actually serve far less purpose than is often made out.

iliketea Tue 14-May-13 13:38:08

i had a student who.had followed.me through from my booking appt to birth. She was marvellous - asked me if I could.let her know if.she.could come to my appts (and came to the ones I agreed 2). Was with me all through my induction and I felt like I had an advocate on my side - stuck up for me.when I was begging for pain relief etc. She was an RN already, doing an 18month midwifery course, so it probably helped that she already had experience and wasn't scared to.stand up for me. My birth was horrific, but she was one of the very few.positives of the process.

BraveLilBear Tue 14-May-13 13:44:47

Thanks Amanda, that's useful to know. I feel like a bit of a hypocrite saying outright no as I work with students and totally appreciate how much they need to learn blush

I think the whole internals thing is very difficult to judge. At this stage (30 weeks) all the experience I have to go on (in labour, have obviously had internals before and hated them) is what I've seen on the likes of OBEM, which seems to perpetually have some poor woman writhing/screaming in agony with someone 'doing something' to them!

TheSecondComing Tue 14-May-13 13:47:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lucamom Tue 14-May-13 17:01:21

All three if mine delivered by students, and with a sister as a midwife I'm fully supportive if people needing to learn.

I found that I got twice the attention, and the students were a lot better at the niceties than the over worked midwives who didn't have time for the sundries (cups of tea etc).

AmandaPayneNeedsANap Tue 14-May-13 17:16:54

Brave - I find internals agony. Most people don't, but I do. My first labour was full of pointless 'we'll just see how you are getting on. Oh, no progress in 2 hours' internals that destroyed my already fragile confidence (I'd had a very long latent stage and hadn't slept for two nights, so I was unusually pliant). I am very much against internals 'by the clock'. They should be for a medical reason - like the mother feeling an urge to push but it seeming early, or simply a desire by the mother to know what's happening. The idea that it needs to be regularly checked to see how someone is progressing just comes from the fact that midwives are too stretched to spend enough time with women to judge progress in any of the other myriad ways available. And since many women dilate irregularly, the fact that you are 5cm doesn't mean you are 5 hours away from delivery (or 10 hours, depending on whether you go with the 0.5cm an hour or 1cm an hour model). It just means that,right this minute, you are 5cm. You could still have given birth 30 minutes later. My birth plan for no.2 said no internals unless it was believed mine or my baby's health was at risk or I asked for one. <rant over>

lynniep Tue 14-May-13 17:18:01

I had a student midwife in for my first delivery. I'd stated I didn't want one in the birth plan, which the midwife looked at and then gave all sorts of reasons I should. TBH at that point I didn't have the energy to argue so she stayed.
I'm glad she did, as she was the one who came in and checked me, noticed the mess everywhere after I'd done one great involuntary push, and thus examined me, only to find a foot. This was about 10 minutes after I was told his head was engaged by the main midwife. I went on to have a footling breech birth (don't get me started on how no-one believed me when I repeatedly said he was breech).
Glad she was there as she raised the alarm.

intheshed Tue 14-May-13 17:19:23

I had a lovely student midwife at DD2's birth. She held my hand, brought me toast and made me feel very looked after.

firawla Tue 14-May-13 17:25:03

I had student midwife with my ds2 birth. I used to just automatically write on all the birth plans "no male drs, no students" but one of the midwife spoke to me about it and explained that allowing students can actually be a good thing as you get extra care, more people paying attention to you etc so I changed my mind and thought why not!
I had no problems during the birth with the student midwife being there, and don't remember having internals twice or anything so pretty sure I didn't? I got to hospital at quite advanced stage of labour though, so didn't have many internal with that birth anyway - maybe only 1?
The actual delivery was done by the student so she must have been a fairly qualified one? I ended up with 3 midwifes there are he was born at shift changing time so the previous one stayed, then the next one coming onto shift, and the student - so i had loads of people looking after me and it was a great experience, they were all lovely. I wouldn't have a problem with student midwife being there in future, but wasn't asked about in for my ds3

DeathMetalMum Tue 14-May-13 17:31:19

I had quite a difficult second birth , shoulder dystocia(sp? Sorry) then rushed to theatre for a retained placenta. During the bieth itself there was an extra person to hold my hand during the delivery stage. I also really liked having the extra person to talk to in theatre. It's hard to explain really but I think having the extra person around was invaluable for my whole experience. Similar to lalalala because I was never left alone, also she asked questions that the Midwife didn't ask and helped me keep my mind off other things.

TarkaTheOtter Tue 14-May-13 17:34:57

In terms of painful internals I would rank hcp:

Consultant (most painful)
Student midwife (least painful)

feetheart Tue 14-May-13 17:42:01

The student midwife at the home birth of DS was the only one in the room (including 2 trained midwives and both paramedics who were only there as midwives weren't sure they would make it through the traffic!) who had ever been to a home birth, and she was the one with the car apparently shockhmm

I'm not sure if I saw any student midwives for birth of either of mine but would say it may prevent the experience of just being left to it with your DP and no-one else (which I definitely experienced) I'd say someone with some experience is often better than no-one, and resources are very stretched in many maternity units.
If it's your first baby be aware that things are much less ideal than you'll probably be expecting - especially on post-natal ward. My advice there would def be to go home ASAP !

MadMonkeys Tue 14-May-13 19:13:19

With dd1 a student mw did my post natal obs, v useful as the mw explained loads to the student in my hearing which I doubt I would have been told otherwise. With dd2 a student was with me in the assessment room before I was admitted. I was on a monitor, moaning softly to myself as thhe contractions were pretty intense. I was asked if the student could do a VE but I said no as she had just stood there looking uncomfortable since I arrived. Wasn't a problem.

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