Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Mother and Baby Day Two

Day Two turned out nowhere near as educationally exciting as Day One, I must say. Hence a shorter post.

From the outset, though, I got to see the mother, father and baby I made friends with yesterday. The two who could speak were very grateful, to which I had to play all modest (which I've learnt to do quite well, with practice) and honestly thank them for letting me play such a role in a massive experience in their lives. The mother expressed amazement when she found out it was my first birth, but her general happiness made the whole thing worth while. I didn't get to provide care for her and the baby on the ward, unfortunately, but seeing them was enough.

So. Post-Natal. A bit boring, really. It was interesting to see which kind of checks are done on both mother and baby on a daily basis, but not a day's worth of interesting. I got the strange privilege of feeling some contracting uterus' (externally, I should add) but other than that it was pretty procedural.

A note now about midwives. I have worked with two groups over two days, so this is in no way a big time judgement - just thoughts on blog-paper. A lot of the midwives I've met act as if they've seen it all, which a few might have. But sometimes this perceived expertise can come off as inconsiderate. For example, a mother was desperate to get home (for various reasons) but her baby still needed further tests. In this case, the midwives were worried about the baby's bilirubin levels. Too high can lead to jaundice which can, worse case scenario, lead to brain damage. This is a bad thing. But some of the midwives involved, out of earshot of the mother, were highly critical of her need to get home ahead of the needs of the baby. I can understand where they're coming from, but they were actually quite harsh about the whole thing when part of the problem could've been the distress of a new mother. This was not the only time something similar happened on the shift, and I personally felt it wasn't really empathetic practice. However, I'm just a student nurse, not a midwife, and so have no idea of the full picture.

An interesting day, then. I'm sitting here waiting on a call from the community midwives (who, I gather, are a completely different kettle of fish) to inform me of where to meet and what to do tomorrow. Interesting times continue.

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