Diary of a student midwife: Beginning second year

Year two as a student midwife has hit with full force and I have already borrowed more books from the library than I did throughout the whole of my first year. Half-finished cups of tea litter the house and a healthy biscuit stash is building up.  There’s lots of new information in such a short time, but I am loving every minute of being a student midwife!

students in a midwifery class at the University of Bradford.

Students in a midwifery class at the University of Bradford

The start of year two has been quite intermittent; I’m between university learning weeks, directed study weeks and placement. So far we’ve been introduced to quite a lot of new concepts and ideas for this year’s academic work. I must admit, it’s been overwhelming so much so that last week I felt like I was melting. An equation appeared in one lecture and that was enough to make my heart sink! But, I’m determined and have a wealth of resources and friendly faces to get me through.

Thousands of learning opportunities

So far I’ve only had two day shifts on the labour ward, but they have been amazing! Unfortunately, starting my placement on labour ward means I meet intervention and managed care before I meet normality, but it provides thousands of learning opportunities.

Over my two shifts I have cared for some lovely families, providing intrapartum care and getting to grips with new documentation and paperwork. Caring for a woman in labour is very different to caring for a woman antenatally or postnatally. They are nervous, they are in pain and yet, they are strong and powerful. Although I’ve only cared for a handful of women in labour, I am already aware that every woman has a very different set of needs and expectations from you as their care provider.

Leaving after my first day I had a huge smile on my face. Although I didn’t get the opportunity to attend a birth, I cared for a family for a full 12 and a half hours, building a fantastic relationship with them. I learnt lots about the different equipment used on labour ward, some of the medicines and the art of palpating contractions and plotting partograms.

Two breakfasts

On my second day I got to attend my first hospital birth! It was very different to the home birth I attended at the end of my first year, but equally as beautiful. Towards the end of my shift I left a very grateful family and their beautiful new edition happy and content. I really don’t believe it gets any better.

My mentor for labour ward is lovely and has a heart for maintaining normality wherever possible. Despite nearly fainting on my first day (turns out you need two breakfasts before a labour ward shift), we have already begun to build a great mentor/ student relationship. I hope that throughout my second year this enables me to gain lots of fantastic opportunities.

Faculty of Health Studies building at University of Bradford.Between labour ward and the birth centre I had a week back in university. Our society held a lovely “Microbirth” event which was incredible and provided lots of food for thought. If you have the opportunity to attend a microbirth event I really recommend it. Touching base with my cohort always provides lots of smiles and sprinkles of normality back in my life which is often needed. Next week I start my three-week placement on the birth centre. I am really excited to start and hopefully provide some of the fantastic tips of care that I have been taught about in university, such as alternative birth positions and delayed cord clamping.

Originally posted by Emily Readman on the MIDIRS website on 19 October 2015. Emily is a second year BSc Midwifery Studies student at the University of Bradford.

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