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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

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

TheWoollybacksWife Mon 13-May-13 12:05:42

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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