"Having a midwifery student made me feel a lot more relaxed about the pregnancy and birth process as I knew I'd have someone familiar with me the whole time. I was, and still am, very 'into' pregnancy and birth and loved researching and looking up alternative ways to do things. I was able to use my midwifery student as a sounding board and she was able to point me in the direction of reliable, factual information and sent me links to places that I might find useful. One of the greatest things I think that I loved the most about having my midwifery student was that she was so enthusiastic about pregnancy and the birthing process! I loved that someone was so excited to help and support me. It made the experience of having my little boy so much more enjoyable. I believe my birth experience was all the better for having a midwifery student there and I hope when I have another bub I can track her down and she can catch my next baby too, or at least have another kind, enthusiastic, professional and caring student there with me."
"When I first heard about the option of sharing my pregnancy and birth with a midwifery student I was a little reluctant as I was worried about involving a stranger in such an intimate moment. Despite my reluctance I entered the process and I am so very glad that I did! The student I was assigned to work with was lovely, approachable and in regular contact enabling me to develop a relationship with her. I quickly learnt the student I had been assigned to work with was experienced and capable and at times I forgot she was still learning. I found it particularly useful to have someone to contact at any point to ask questions and seek advice. I found I was grateful to have an extra person I knew and trusted at the birth and she made this less intimidating for me. Overall I found this experience surprisingly rewarding and something I will do again for any future pregnancies."
"I had a midwifery student throughout the last part of my pregnancy and the birth of my first son. I was very impressed with the student throughout the whole experience. Throughout the 14 hour labour she was very supportive and when my partner had to leave the room she stepped up and coached me through each contraction. The midwives in charge were quite often not in the room and Kaitlin therefore did all the necessary heart monitoring checks when they were needed. She stood back and observed as a first year Midwifery student would, but involved herself when needed. She was amazing and I am really happy that she was a part of the very special moment."
"My baby girl is now nine months old and when I was pregnant I had an incredible midwifery student. She was there for all of my appointments and was never far if I needed advice or was unsure of something. During my labour I found having her there to be so unbelievably helpful. I had some complications with the birth and she never left my side. My midwifery student would explain to me what was happening in a way that I could understand at the time, which kept me a lot calmer. When my actual midwife had to leave due to fatigue, my student stayed right through until the end. She came back to visit my daughter and I in hospital, then at home until six weeks postnatal."
"The Continuity of Care Experience (COCE) has been invaluable. Working in a continuity model has shown me the true meaning of being ‘with woman’. Meeting the women early in their pregnancy allowed me to get to know them, their family, their care provider and vice versa. You know what they want and what they don’t want, and you can advocate for them on their big day. Sometimes you will spend hours or days with women in labour; but knowing how much they appreciate your support makes the lack of sleep so worth it! Sometimes you build a really good rapport with the women and it’s so hard saying goodbye at six weeks - but very special when you get invited back for baby number two!"
"COCE's foster a relationship of trust. COCE is an opportunity to support women. The process of attending antenatal appointments provides the opportunity to get to know the woman and understand her needs, desires and fears surrounding delivery and during the postpartum period. As a student I found COCE's the most fulfilling and wonderful part of the course and was privileged to follow through some women in two pregnancies. I wish I had known this was available when I had my own children."
"I came into the Bachelor of Midwifery degree knowing I wanted to be a part of the women-centered continuity of care style of midwifery. Therefore, the ability to provide that right from the start has cemented those philosophies into my practice as a graduating midwife. I have enjoyed being able to form relationships with women, their partners and families, and being available to them when they needed me. Forming that relationship has also enabled me to be asked to be a part of further pregnancies, again continuing the continuity of care role."
"The COCE program has provided fundamental learning experiences to my development as a midwifery student. Following women and families through their journey of pregnancy, birth and with their newborn baby has allowed me to see midwifery from families' perspectives and adjust my practice accordingly. It is a special experience to be able to be a part of a whole journey and focus on relationships, rather than being solely focused on clinical skill development."
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