Here we are, at the end of the antenatal placement, my second and penultimate one in this first year in midwifery.
I was in a high risk ward of the hospital with generally women with a very complicated medical history (in acronym 'hx').
My impressions at the beginning weren't so great. The ward was much smaller than the postnatal one and It didn't feel good to start from scratch again, not understanding the handover and not being able to do anything less than observing.
After the first 2 days it went better and I had the chance to practice and hone until the last day:
-Antenatal checks: obs or tpr, abdo palpation, asking edema, bowel movement, eating ok, feeling the baby okay, auscultation of the baby.
-CTGs and the reading of the traces. *Never leaving the mother lying flat on her back cause it occludes the main arteries and she could pass out, plus the baby oxygen is reduced
-Fetal auscultations with doppler and pinnard
-IM injections and venipuncture
-Knowledge about first stage of labour and induction with Propess
-Complications such PET, GDM and the sliding scale, diabetes, PPROM or previous prem labours, giving steroids (BETA), mental and social problems, women with ^BP, heavy drugs addicted women and their SGA (small for gestational age) babies
-Bringing women to the delivery suite and handover her information
-My first nights!
-Open the curtains!!! It's safer and promotes the relationship between the women in the room
I had the chance to work with different people that helped me so much understanding more and more all the listed skills and who gave me good examples of practice.
The bliss of the placement: what students and midwife can do more than in postnatal is talking with women.
I had the opportunity to feel helpful when doing my abdo palpations to a young woman, who admitted to be very scared about the pain and the labour, saying that she didn't really know what to expect from that.
I told her that it's normal to be scared of something we never experienced before and that everyone looks to picture it in a tragic way! But often we like more to talk about the bad parts of the story, forgetting or omitting the best.
I told her that our body uses the contractions to create the most powerful natural drugs existing! That if you know that, If you stay with your breath, with the moment and with your 'waves', you can really be 'high' during the contractions! The surges you will feel are like waves that grow in intensity and then come down again. The high peak of pain lasts just max 20 seconds, about 3 breaths? You can do it! And remember what waits you in between them!!! Just don't think about the next contraction and stay with the present, or the magic fades ;)
She was so happy, surprised and grateful that filled me with immense joy and I consider it my best memory from the antenatal ward!
"That's amazing! I won't forget that and it will help me so much during the labour!!! Thank you"
Gloria Coccoli, midwifery student in Dublin, but born in love with life in the land of sun, Sicily, in 1995
Mother of a baby with wings