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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

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 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

JugglingFromHereToThere Tue 14-May-13 17:51:37

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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