This week was our final Uni week before our next placement – I just can’t believe how quickly it’s come around!! My next placement is on the Midwife Led Birth Centre so this was my last week to absorb as much theory as I possibly could before heading out there into a busy deliver setting for the next 6 weeks – exciting! (As always, I have changed to order in this post for confidentiality reasons.)
We had four full days of lectures this week, and two of them fully revolved around boobs. We learnt all about the anatomy of breasts, and the physiology behind breastfeeding, and then later in the week we focussed more on potential complications with breastfeeding and advice to give women when their milk comes in and they feel like their boobs might actually explode. We are now all officially boob-pros! Seriously, I have learnt so much about boobs this week,
In addition to the BSc degree that we get from this three year course, at my university we also all come out with a NIPE qualification, that is, a Newborn and Infant Physical Examination qualification. Every baby has to have this check within 72 hours of birth, and then again around 6 weeks – it is a baby check that looks specifically at the Eyes, Heart, Hips and, in the case of male babies, Testes, to try to screen for any congenital conditions and refer if needed.
This week, we had a starting session on NIPE – we start these gradually over the next year or so, before we do the actual module, so that we can start becoming familiar with the terminology over the three years. It was really interesting to start looking at the things we look at in those checks – this week, we started on the head and neck and there is a hell of a lot to remember.
Communication and Labour Positions
We also had lectures in communication which focussed on the importance of actively listening, and a bit about mother and baby bonding, focussing on things like safer sleeping.
Our final lecture of the week we spent focussing on ideal labour positions – which essentially meant we all spent the afternoon sitting on birthing balls and squatting on all fours on the floor – what can I say, it’s a glamorous life as a student midwife!
Another Caseload Baby “Catch”
On my day off this week, I woke up to a message from one of the ladies on my caseload saying that she was in the hospital. So, I threw on some jeans and a jumper and headed down to the hospital. Within an hour of waking up, I was in my oh-so-sexy scrubs, and sitting by the birthing pool with this lady and her partner.
We spent the next couple of hours just chatting away, and every few minutes she would just stand up, lean over and breathe her way through a contraction, and then sit back down again to carry on chatting – and she had only had paracetamol!
A couple of hours later, she was asking about a little more pain relief and so it was decided that we would do a vaginal examination to see how far she had progressed so we could decide what pain relief would be the best for her.
I put on my gloves, put the cold jelly on my fingertips and readied myself to feel how dilated her cervix was, however when I started the vaginal examination, I could only get my fingers in up to my first knuckle before I felt the babies head! The cervix was fully dilated and the baby had travelled right down – it was time to push already and she had barely made a sound through her whole labour! Amazing!
Within 15 minutes, she delivered a beautiful baby boy straight into my hands and I passed him straight up onto her chest. She just did so so well!
It is so so special being able to follow these women through their pregnancy and then be able to be there to be the “delivering midwife” – this is the second of the ladies on my caseload that I have followed all the way through now, and being able to be there for the delivery, and to “catch” the baby, is a completely indescribable experience. It’s emotional. It’s exciting. It’s inspiring. It’s so unbelievably special – and it is a real privilege – and I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend my day off! – or any day for that matter!
So yes, all in all, it’s been another really good week. Tiring, but good. And now it’s time to start my next placement block – 6 whole weeks in the Midwife Led Birth Centre – and I just can’t wait!
Image by bady qb
To read last week’s “Midwife Mondays” post, click here