Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reflections from a student midwife:

Student Midwife Reflection six months into her course:

Wow what an experience the past six months has been! I have spent the first half of this year on the maternity ward at Southwest Hospital and work with a fantastic team of midwives. I have loved every day of it and although it has not been easy at times, it has been worth every moment.

I have been extremely lucky in my experiences and have been a part of some awesome births and met some amazing women. I have been a part of three water births, a vaginal twin birth including one breech, hypnobirthing and a baby ‘born in the caul’, just to name a few highlights. My mentor Susan is a great midwife whose knowledge and commitment to women and the midwifery profession astounds me. Although I mostly work with her, I realise it is important to work with other midwives as everyone works differently and has different pieces of knowledge which I know will help me to become the best midwife I can be.

Every Friday we have a Midwives Clinic where women who have shared care with their doctors, come to us for a few visits during their pregnancy. This for me is a real highlight, I enjoy meeting these women antenatally, even if it’s only briefly and building a rapport with them as it is the closest form of continuity of care we have here at the moment.

Everyday is constant learning whether I’m working in labour suites, on the postnatal ward, or in the Midwives Clinic, I usually come home mentally exhausted from everything I have learned that day, I feel like a big sponge absorbing everything! I have become much more confident in CTG analysis and breastfeeding education, although I am not as confident with vaginal examinations as each one is so different, so I am endeavouring to improve on that skill!

The hardest part of becoming a midwife for me is the constant battle for ‘normal birth’. I see midwives everyday advocating for their women to allow for the birth that they want and some doctors just need to interfere. It seems that some of them feel the need to ‘rescue’ these women from that ‘horrible thing’ called labour, they don’t seem to realise that it is the most natural part of life. I’ve seen women coping beautifully with a labour that is progressing and a baby not distressed at all and a doctor walk in and insist on interfering in one way or another, which alters the woman’s ability to trust her body and it appears to be only for the reason of doctor convenience. It is frustrating and on going. The doctors are there for those women, who need assistance in the birth of their baby and in obstetric emergencies, and that’s when midwives then step aside and work with the doctors for the safest option of birth, whether it be an operative vaginal birth or caesarean section. It can be draining being an advocate for these women to get a ‘normal birth’, but worth every bit of it when you get a happy and healthy woman with a happy and healthy baby.

The most important lesson that I have learnt is to always listen to the woman. If she states she feels an urge to push, yet was only 2cm dilated half an hour ago, BELIEVE HER!!

So another six months to go until I am a fully fledged midwife, it is scary, yet exciting. I can’t wait to see what to future holds and look forward to the rest of the year!

Written by Aleisha (Student Midwife)


  1. thanks Aleisha for writing this wonderful reflection, sorry it has taken me this long to publish it; it is an inspiring read and you have had some great experiences; Keep up the good work: catch up soon Pauline

  2. great reflection and a great opportunity for sharing


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