My feed

to access all these features

Get updates on how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy by signing up to the Mumsnet Pregnancy Newsletters.


student midwife care? yes or no?

27 replies

munchkinsusie · 14/09/2004 16:38

hi all, i've just been asked whether i would mind having a student midwife be in charge of my care through pregnancy, labour, birth and post pregnancy. she would be supervised the whole way through by a qualified midwife but she would always be there hands on so to speak (i think this means she would deliver me?)

i have provisionally said yes since i realise how important it is for people to be trained, and she seemed really nice at the booking in appointment i had that she did with me (with the qualified midwife in the background). my main concern is that she will get left on her own to look after me and will do something wrong (especially worried about this during labour/delivery since this is my first and i'm not sure what should be happening).

can anyone give me any comment/advice on this, esp with respect to what i should be aware of/ask about if i do want to go ahead with it. thanks.

OP posts:
libb · 14/09/2004 16:52

I had a fantastic student midwife at the Rosie earlier this year - the other midwife stayed with her all the time and although I didn't really notice her much, I could hear her talking the student through. I was lucky because my birth experience was straight forward and she also sat with me and held my hand after the birth whilst I was being stitched up (so to speak!).

She took my mind off what was going on by chatting about her customs and how her mother in law would choose the baby's name! (she was from Nigeria), you can imagine that that is a bit surreal when half an hour earlier you were pushing a new life into the world.

I would happily have another student at the next one (?! DS is only 4 months old so I am thinking ahead aren't I?)

motherinferior · 14/09/2004 17:03

I think I would be wary of any cutting by a less experienced midwife - a friend of mine was quite badly cut by a student, and although that was just one case, I'd just be more confident with someone who'd done as much as possible.

Distracted · 14/09/2004 17:03

I had a student midwife with me in labour last time and she was lovely. It meant that I always had 2 midwives with me as she had to be supervised and really that was a positive - meant I had more care really. Have had last few antenatal appointments with student midwife too, and again the senior midwife on the unit was with her each time to check things. I think it is definitely a positive really, as you have 2 people looking after you and get more attention!

jellyhead · 14/09/2004 17:18

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fabarooney · 14/09/2004 17:56

I had a student present during the birth of dd1 and tbh she was the only nice thing about the experience. She stayed right 'til the bitter end (voluntarily) while other midwives changed shifts etc. and was so sweet. She cried too when dd was born (it was her first "real" birth) and she went rushing off to phone her mum afterwards to tell her!

If you do have any concerns, write them all down before your next visit and go through it all with her and her supervisor at the appointment. Ask them direct if she will be unsupervised at any stage (I'd be really surprised if she was) and tell them categorically that this is not something you would want. I'm sure they will be more than happy to put your mind at rest.

Twiglett · 14/09/2004 17:57

message withdrawn

bundle · 14/09/2004 17:59

during my 1st labour there was a student in the room with an experienced midwife. she asked about internals and I said it was ok for her to do one and then the midwife could check. but once my waters were broken and I had some meconium staining I asked her stop and it was all ok.

babster · 14/09/2004 18:22

I had a student midwife (again at the Rosie) in 2002 and she was lovely - in fact, during labour, she was the only member of staff I knew and it was so reassuring to see a familiar face. I have another student this time round and she sounds just like libb's!

libb · 14/09/2004 18:23

Was her name Villa by any chance?! that would be a little freaky . . .

babster · 14/09/2004 18:38

No - she's Yvonne. Very nice too though

Socci · 14/09/2004 19:55

Message withdrawn

cuckoo2004 · 14/09/2004 20:23

Dear Munchkin

I used to be a midwife many, many years ago and didn't hesitate to have a student look after me when I went into labour recently (in the end I needed an emergency section). She was a great support to me and even came to see me afterwards to ask me how I thought things had gone. I'm sure that her interest and care were, at least in part, because she was relatively fresh to midwifery. It was actually like having two midwives looking after me.

I felt confident having her look after me because the qualified midwife's registration is always on the line as she is always responsible for the care of the mother and baby whether she or her student actually provides it. The qualified midwife will also take extra care to make sure that things are done to a high standard as their practice will be under constant scrutiny by the student. Also, the presence of a second person will mean that you are less likely to be left alone.

As far as examinations go, if you do not feel up to being examined by a student then please say so as they will understand.

Chandra · 14/09/2004 20:28

I had one and she was great (so was my midwife) however... I felt a bit uncomfortable to have somebody I found sometimes at my college restaurant checking my episiotomy after the baby was born, so although she had been around for quite a while I just asked her to leave that part of the care to the midwife

pupuce · 14/09/2004 20:32

Munchkin... I don't see how your antenatal student MW can guarantee to be at the birth, it is rare to have the same MW (student or not) from AN care to birth....

Chandra · 14/09/2004 20:41

Yes, that's true. I had a midwife+student during part of the antenatal care and the post natal care, but I had 3 different midwives for the birth (looooooong delivery)

edam · 14/09/2004 20:46

If they are offering you the certainty that you really will have this continuity of care ? this person will definitely be at your ante-natal appointments, delivery, post-natal check ups ? then if you like her I'd grab her before someone else does! Surprised if they could be that certain though - surely for delivery it depends on her shifts?
FWIW my sister had a student midwife for her marathon, nightmare delivery in June and the student was wonderful. Even stayed on beyond the end of her shift to see my nephew being born! My sister did have a very tough time but the student midwife was great and the fact that she stayed on was one of the few positive things about my sister's labour.

suedonim · 14/09/2004 20:47

I had student mw's for my first and fourth labours and they were fab. With dd2, the student was sobbing her eyes out and thanked me profusely for letting her be there. They are very responsive to your needs, I've found.

pupuce · 14/09/2004 20:49

That's because they are still excited about their role... once they get into the protocols and politics of the hospital combined to doing "deliveries" day in/day out..... no surprise some have lost their ability to care for mothers.

Helsbels · 14/09/2004 20:53

I had a student HV with my first child - she was brilliant all up to date with knowledge etc. I had a student mw for the birth (only) of my 2nd - she was a real treasure. They were both fully supervised by experienced staff - I would go with it - they are bang up to date and really keen to help you - talk to you etc. Good luck, honey. Go with you instincts but for my money - they were tops!

Shimmy21 · 14/09/2004 21:01

I had a student and an agency midwife at ds1's birth. The agency one didn't read my birthplan, wanted me on my back, tried to give me pethidine that I specifically didn't want and not moving around etc. The student was fab, read the plan, acted as advocate when I couldn't speak and dh was too scared out of his wits /shocked to argue. Without the student the whole thing would have been much more traumatic.

stupidgirl · 14/09/2004 21:06

I had a (male) student midwife delivering my first child. It was hist first delivery.

I must admit I was rather absorbed in the process of giving birth (after a 24 hour labour) and not particularly aware of who was doing what, but I believe the more experienced midwife took over for the episiotomy (was stitched in theatre). It was a positive experience and I would have no hesitations having a student again.

I was examined by a student once during my second pregnancy, but never saw her again as my care was transferred from gp surgery to hospital.

Flossam · 14/09/2004 21:43

As far as I know Midwifery is much like nursing in its training. In so much as the qualified nurses are responsible for the student and are accountable for any errors etc they may make. They will be carefully assessed and only able to carry things out independantly that they have previously been judged as safe to be doing so (ie, a learned skill). Any new things or something they are not sure of will either be demonstrated or closely scrutinised by the qualified midwife. You are fully within your rights to request that the student does not do something. Hopefully though, if she is with you throughout all your appointments and labour you should build up a good rappor and trust in her just like you ideally should with you midwife. Good luck!

breeze · 15/09/2004 07:47

When my SIl gave birth and I was present, she had a student midwife, IMO she was much nicer than the midwife, She told SIl she did not need further pain relief (other than gas&air) because by the time it worked she would have given birth. She was called in and obviously desperate to go home and SIl ended up giving birth 5 hours after she requested pain relief. The student midwife was brilliant friendly and even stuck around for an hour after the birth (the other midwife said its a girl and was gone).

If I was having any more I wouldn't have a problem in having on, saying that they need to learn to be able to do it on their own one day, and like has been said, she will never be left of her own, so you get 2 for the price of 1.

strawberry · 15/09/2004 08:45

Haven't read through all the posts but I had a student midwife during labour and she was fantastic. The midwife supervising wanted to intervene constantly even though labour was progressing well, eg. artificially break waters right at the start of labour. But the student stood up to her for me. She was only with me for the first stage and then the shift finished. I thought she was great. More enthusiastic and positive than some of the more experienced staff.

Oooggs · 15/09/2004 09:04

The student midwife I had with DS was fantastic. The only downfall was that she was will me for her whole shift but baby decided to hold on and was born several hours after she had gone home . The midwife who took over was in charge of the whole department so flitted in and out and it just wasn't the same. The student even came to visit me in transitional care the following day to see all went well. She was great

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.