Frequently Asked Questions

What is a midwife?

Midwives are registered health care professionals qualified to provide care for women during pregnancy, labour, birth and after the birth. They specialise in normal pregnancy and birth and collaborate with other health professionals when complications arise. They may practice in hospitals, community health centres or in the home.

What does a midwifery student do?

A midwifery student is someone who is undertaking a university degree to become a midwife. As well as covering the knowledge required to be a midwife, they engage in clinical practice under the supervision of a midwife or doctor.

What is required of me if I have a student follow my pregnancy?

Once you have agreed to have a student follow you through your pregnancy, birth and after the birth, you will need to let the student know where and when you have antenatal and postnatal appointments so they can meet you to attend appointments. It is also important to keep the students phone number available so that you can call them when you think you are in labour and going to have your baby.

What information will be kept about me by the student and University?

After submitting your details in the “Register your interest” section of this website, a student will contact you and ask that you complete a form with further details. These details are kept securely on a database at the University of South Australia. The University will then notify the hospital that you will have a student with you for your pregnancy, birth and postnatal care. Following the last visit with you, your student will notify the University that they have completed the COCE and your name will be removed from the database. Your details will not be used for any other purpose or given to any other party. We also collect general, statistical information regarding visits to our website, which is more particularly described in the “Website usage” section of the University’s general privacy policy.

Students follow clear professional ethics and are required to maintain confidentiality and professional conduct at all times.

Can I change my mind at any time?

Yes, you can change your mind about having a midwifery student at any time. Your choices and maternity care will not be affected in any way.

If you decide you do not wish to continue with the COCE for any reason, you can contact the COCE Coordinator at the University via midwifery.enquiries@unisa.edu.au and they will notify the student or you can speak with the student yourself.

Can I have more than one student follow my pregnancy?

No, this is an experience between yourself, your midwife/doctor and one student.

How late in my pregnancy can I start having a student follow me?

In order for the student and yourself to gain the maximum benefit from this experience we would like the student to have attended at least one antenatal experience by 34 weeks.

Will the student be at the birth?

Yes, we encourage the student to participate in the birth experience and this is a desired outcome for the student experience. However, if for some reason this is not possible the student can still provide antenatal and postnatal care.

Will the student be performing any midwifery/medical procedures on me?

The student is able to provide care under the supervision of a midwife or doctor. With your consent this may at times involve some procedures such as taking blood, giving injections, listening to your baby’s heart rate or applying a monitor. You will always have the final say in who provides care during your pregnancy and birth.

What role will the student play during/after the birth?

The student will be actively involved in your birth experience; this will include birthing the baby and providing care straight after birth. They will also attend two of your postnatal visits up to six weeks after birth.

Can I have a student that is a friend or relative follow my pregnancy?

We encourage students to provide care for women with whom they do not have a close relationship already.

Can the student babysit after the baby is born?

The COCE is a professional relationship and therefore once they have attended your final postnatal visit the student will no longer participate in your care or the care of your baby.

Can the student drive me to appointments they are attending or other appointments?

No, students should meet you at your scheduled antenatal appointments.

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