Most university courses for midwifery have a caseloading aspect to them, where you meet a woman early on in her pregnancy and follow her through her appointments and scans etc, are there for the birth, catching the baby if appropriate, and then follow her through her postnatal care. I really enjoy working this way, with that bit of continuity – you really get to know the mum and her partner, they get to know & trust you – it is just a really unique relationship (and the deliveries always make me cry!)
My course requires us to do 5 caseloads throughout our course and I actually managed to get all 5 in my first year – I was being very productive on my community placement and was very lucky with delivery timings (even if I did stand M up on one of our first dates because I had fallen asleep after being awake for nearly 36 hours after a uni day, followed by a delivery and another uni day!)
My tutor has recommended that I do a few more as I become more confident in my skills and progress through the course etc, so this year, I have taken on one lady, and then I’ll try to take on another one or two next year. I love doing it, so doing more than is required is so not a problem for me!
As this post goes live, the lady I am case loading this year is just over 38 weeks pregnant.
As such, I’m half expecting a call any minute telling me she is in labour and I’ll have to drop everything and drive down to meet her at the hospital. It’s exciting, but it also requires a lot of planning.
For me, I don’t want to get caught out, so I don’t drink at all after she is 38 weeks, I keep my phone on loud 24/7 and I have a bag packed that I can grab and go and know that I’m all set for however long I’m at the hospital with her.
I mentioned this in one of my posts a few weeks ago and people seemed interested so I thought I’d share with you my hospital bag, and what I put in it, when I’m preparing for a caseload delivery.
My bag I actually was given as a thank you gift from Ceri at Lovely Little Bags when I added her gorgeous personalised midwife bags to my Student Midwife Shop and I absolutely LOVE it! She asked me my hair colour & style, eye colour, and what details I wanted in it (uniform, baby etc) and it is so so perfect! It’s also the ideal size for everything I need for taking to the hospital, and for having prepped and ready to go without taking up too much space in our living room!
What’s In It?
When it comes to actually packing the bag, I try to cover myself for every eventuality – so some of these things might seem a bit much, but I’d rather be over prepared than under-prepared! So, what do I pack?
I’ve tried to put in some relatively healthy things, including things that can be “cooked” using just hot water – saves me going to the shops at the other end of the hospital for microwaveable food (which would mean spending money and the healthy options are slightly limited!)
I’ve also chucked in a can of diet coke for a bit of a caffeine boost when the 4am crash hits, and a couple of cereal bars and a packet of melba toast in case I need to grab something quickly and on the go.
When I get the call, I’ll try to grab a piece of fruit or something too, just as something that isn’t “long-life”!
Placement shoes are a must for any delivery, so I’m keeping these right by my bag so I can grab them with the bag as I go.
Again, these are a complete necessity, particularly if I get the call when I’m wearing my hair down and don’t remember to grab a hair tie – worth having a couple of spares too, knowing how wild my hair is!
Deodorant & Facce Wipes
I’ve chucked in a spare deodorant and a packet of face wipes in case I end up with a long shift with the need for a bit of a refresh – particularly after a quick nap if it’s nighttime!
Again, if I’m gonna have a bit of a refresher, I’ll want to take my makeup off, but then I’ll want to put it back on, so I’ve put in some foundation and a mascara so I don’t look too scary when I come back from my break!
Card & Prezzie
I don’t do this for every baby I catch, but you develop such a special relationship with the women you caseload – I like to be able to have a card and a little prezzie for the couple once the baby has arrived, as a thank you for letting me follow their pregnancy and be there for such a special moment in their lives. 🙂
Without being to crude, deliveries are messy, and scrubs are not exactly “fluid-proof”! I’ve often ended up with amniotic fluid in my shoes and socks, or having to nip off and change my entire set of scrubs and my knickers because of the blood, fluid and baby poo that you inevitably get covered in! Needless to say, spare socks and pants are definitely a necessity!
Am I missing anything? Is there anything else you would add to your bag? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂
To read last week’s Midwife Mondays post, click here: