Working with a student midwife
If you are attending a hospital or birth centre that fosters student midwives, there is a high chance that a student will be involved in your care. This can be in the antenatal setting, labour and birth, and the postnatal setting. It is also possible to request for one specific student to be involved in all of your care, from antenatal to postnatal. So why not link up with a specific student so you can have a consistent support person throughout your journey?
As part of their degree, midwifery students are required to follow a certain number of women through their pregnancy, up until 6 weeks post-birth. Having a midwifery student follow you through your journey is invaluable to both yourself and the student. Having a student adds the element of continuity that is often missing in many models of care. It also imparts copious amounts of knowledge and experience to the student midwives.
Student midwives are enrolled in a Bachelor of Midwifery (or similar) at university. While at university, they learn a variety of skills and practices. Everything that a student does while in a clinical setting has been taught in class beforehand. Furthermore, students will be supervised and mentored by registered midwives while in the clinical setting.
How does a partnership work?
Once you link with a midwifery student, they will attend as many antenatal visits as possible. This may be at the hospital, with your GP or with your chosen care provider. The antenatal period is a great time to connect with the student and ask them questions. If you would like to have your student attend your labour and birth, they will be there as an emotional and physical support. After your baby is born, your student will attend some postnatal appointments with you up until 6 weeks postpartum to make sure your transition to parenthood is as smooth as possible.
How do I link with a midwifery student?
Ask your care provider during your antenatal period. Midwifery students are only available where midwives work. If you are not able to link with a student during your pregnancy, check to see if a student can be involved in your labour and birth or postnatal care.
Bundle would like to thank guest blogger Inny Slade, president of the Southern Cross University Midwifery Society, for contributing this post.