Student Midwife with Twins or Triplets. The Pros and Cons of having a Student Midwife.
You may already suspect you are pregnant, however that first scan and seeing the heartbeat is always a magical moment. Congratulations! You are definitely pregnant. There is the heartbeat. Oh wait, I think there is a second heartbeat. You are pregnant with twins! Oh, I think there is a third baby! Congratulations, you are having triplets!
Once you have recovered from the shock of finding out you are pregnant with multiples, your thoughts will soon turn to your pregnancy care. There are many options, all of which your GP can discuss with you.
One aspect of pregnancy care that you may not have thought of, is having a student midwife. A student midwife is a midwifery student that is partnered with you through your pregnancy, birth and postnatal period. The student is supervised by a registered midwife. There is a two-way benefit to this. For you, you may feel overwhelmed with all the information that you are presented with. A student midwife will be able to explain things and help you ask the right questions. It will also mean that you will have continuity of care, as the student midwife will attend all appointments with you. Oh, and I should mention, it is totally free.
In return, it is invaluable for the student to develop an intimate understanding of the process that pregnant women go through. And let’s face it, for a student midwife with twins or triplets, it is an amazing experience for them.
Twinfo asked in our closed Parents of Multiples group for some feedback from those who had used the services of a student midwife with twins or triplets.
The PROS of using a Student Midwife with twins or triplets
I had one! She was great, really interested in the pregnancy and came to a lot of the appointments with me. She’d done a recent assignment on multiple births and forwarded that to me which was cool. She had worked/studied previously so wasn’t young young, but still young! I actually really liked having someone from my first Appt with a midwife until they were delivered (one by her!). It was nice to have a familiar face among the sea of faces! No real cons that I can think of..I loved knowing she was learning and practicing her skills. I do think it would depend a lot on the person though!
I had a student midwife with my first (singleton) and was absolutely devastated to miss out when I fell pregnant with my twins. Where I am, we get a different midwife/doctor every time we go to the pregnancy clinic so having that familiar face was a relief. Especially for the birth! Even after the birth, she was available if I needed any help. Would definitely recommend!! Will also add, once she graduated, she moved 7 hrs away and a year later delivered my nephew in that hospital!
I had an absolutely beautiful male student midwife. It was his first multiple pregnancy but you would never had know that. I went though the twins clinic so even though I usually had a different doctor, he came to every fortnightly appointment and was just such a warm and kind soul. He was there through the whole birth and recovery and made me feel totally at ease. I couldn’t speak highly enough of my experience with him.
I did and it was amazing! She previously worked at the Royal Children’s in Melbourne so had a lot of experience with prem babies and was a twin herself. Being a multiple pregnancy, in our area I was unable to do the midwife program so this option was fantastic! We had a wonderful relationship, nothing was off-limits or awkward and I felt a sense of calm whenever she was around. Knowing she was just a text or phone call away was great as well. When I went into labor she was actually working that day in the SCN so took care of the twins for the first part of their life which was really special. She will hold a very important part in my heart knowing she was there from pretty well the beginning all and cared for them when they were born. I could not recommend a student midwife enough!
I had a student midwife with twins in 2020, she was actually my student midwife with my fourth baby in 2018. I ran into her in the street not long after we found out we were expecting twins and asked if she wanted to journey with me again and she was so excited! It was great having her be my support person, especially in 2020 when support people weren’t allowed for appointments so she was obviously the exception. We helped each other as she had very minimal knowledge about twins and I was also learning about them from this group. So we were kind of teaching each other. She supported me, helped me decide if I wanted certain things to happen, reminded me to ask the doctors certain questions I needed answers to incase my pregnant brain forgot to ask. She supported my choices without judgement, and If I was to ever get pregnant again (which I’m definitely not haha, because 6 is plenty) I would have a student again in heartbeat! I loved having her apart of my journey and I loved knowing that twins gave her some extra knowledge and experience especially as she was able to come to theatre with us and be with us for delivery and help check over our babies with the other midwives and doctors. She was brilliant with after care, checked up a few times while in hospital and checked in via texts after. I’ll be forever grateful for having her.
I had a student midwife follow my pregnancy and tbh was the best decision, she is now like family, even knew and was more helpful than some of the stuff, my catheter fell out and the nurses didn’t know what was happening to me until my student midwife told them, she also found out the doctors had written down I had Pre-eclampsia but hadn’t told me yet so she looked more into it and even did a complaint on my behalf, highly recommend.
I really loved having a student midwife. They were guided with an experienced midwife so it didn’t make the experience awkward at all. They were positive, enthusiastic, reassuring and most of all they had a passion for learning. What greater gift can we provide them, than giving them the opportunity to learn from a woman that’s carrying two (or more) tiny human beings. I would most definitely accept their willingness to grow and learn through their field, it’s what makes them experienced!
My student midwife was my life saver. She was with my at every appointment at the hospital which was very important as it was during covid and she was allowed an exception when my husband wasn’t. She was there for all 3 of my preterm labour experiences. I messaged her when I was scared, happy or struggling. She advocated, encouraged and listened. She did most of my procedures which was great as I felt comfortable with her. Thankfully, she helped me explain my feelings and gave me reminders. She was there for the whole birth and she was there for me every single day of our 13 day NICU journey. She was my light and my everything during the pregnancy. As a first year student, but mum of 3 herself, she knew the hospital system well. She didn’t know a huge amount about multiples but went out of her way to do research and spoke to doctors and her teachers on my behalf. 15/10 would recommend finding a student midwife that you connect with. I think it was so great as we had a great connection. She knew me so well, during labour she knew what to say. I had bad experiences with some doctors and every time she took them out of the room and explained my wishes so I didn’t have which was a huge relief.
I had one and he was so wonderful. He was at 90% of my appointments and scans. He was there for the ups and downs of the pregnancy and was there with me during the birth. I had a student with my Singleton so I was set on having one with the twins too. I was his first set of twins which was nice too.
I had one and she was lovely. She was a neonatal nurse who was training to be a midwife and her sisters were twins. It wasn’t arranged through the hospital. I met her through social media and we caught up for a coffee and chat before I decided to let her follow my pregnancy, as I wanted to make sure I had someone I would get on with too. As I didn’t have a support network at all, other than my husband, who works long hours away, having her was awesome. I viewed all her official paperwork from her university. She attended lots of my appointments as she was my only support person and was with me when I was being observed at the end and of course during the birth. She visited after the birth and also came to my house to see the babies and attend my MCHN apts. I still keep in touch via social media and I’ve bumped into her and her kid a couple of times. I would highly recommend having a student midwife.
I lucked out with the top third year student in her class. She came to all 25 or so appts between 15 and 32w, helped me advocate for what I needed, and caught my twin A. I was so lucky to have that continuity of care with someone who was confident and knowledgeable. She was AMAZING and we are still in touch now.
A beautiful experience with both of mine. With my first birth in WA, my student midwife was the only light in that room. It’s her voice I listened for when I didn’t think I could keep going. The hospital staff were so disrespectful and traumatised me. With my multiples I immediately applied at the hospital for a student after missing out on the program with my second daughter in NSW. And as fate would have it, my student had her own DCDA twins so she was a wealth of knowledge! She had to do an important test/exam the day I was giving birth and she wasn’t able to miss it. But she managed to make it back in time with a few hours to spare and took care of me during my delivery, and followed me to theatre for the birth of my twin B. She advocated for me and made sure my wishes were being met as much as possible. Being able to debrief and keep in touch with them is so important to me. Both women have had a huge impact on our family. We feel well looked after from day one.
Mine was amazing, best thing we did this pregnancy. She was so supportive and advocated for us throughout our journey and attended our antenatal appointments, was present during c sec and was so attentive to my postpartum care in recovery helping Express colostrum to take to my girls in nicu/scn, and she captured photographs for us. Was very special as she’s one of my sister’s long term friends so I already was comfortable to ask her.
I had one, it was the 1 thing that that made my pregnancy bearable. She was great and supportive. Anything she wasn’t sure of she would check with her teachers and get back to me asap with. We are still friends now and she has not long graduated. Best decision I made having her follow my pregnancy.
Mine was a godsend. With a twin pregnancy, the hospital were very focussed on the potential issues of the high risk pregnancy, but unfortunately some of the other care was lacking. Having a student midwife with twins for continuity of care was amazing. Also a plug for finding out what your care should look like up front and advocating for yourself as things are sometimes missed- my SMW was so helpful with all of this, and through my advocacy and her support I practically self referred for GTTs, whooping cough vax… her support led me to pushing staff to investigate why I was so tired (previously I was getting of course you’re tired, you’re pregnant with twins).
The CONS of using a Student Midwife with twins or triplets
My experience was pretty poor. It started out OK as she seemed to be there for me and I could message her if I was concerned and she advocated for me at appts. And then she stopped showing up to appts and I would only get a message when I asked if she was coming and get a petty excuse. She wasn’t able to attend the birth as it ended up being an emergency caesarean but then she made no effort to follow up after even when I arranged visitors around so she could come to the SCN and when she didn’t show up I messaged and made an excuse about her child being sick!
Had a student midwife with my last pregnancy from about 16 weeks and then delivery. She was ok through the pregnancy stage but not that great through the labour stage (my actual MW commented on it too) and then after birth she never reached out to me again despite saying she would pop in next day and would check in over the first couple of weeks. I didn’t bother too much at first thinking maybe something came up, but 8m on now and never heard a word. I think it’s been more of an individual issue as opposed to the process of having a student midwife though and it wouldn’t deter from having one again.
Mine just wanted to do her homework. I thought she could help more but not. She was looking for doctor signature.
Mine came to three of my appointments on a sporadic basis, took some notes based on what he doctor would say and I never saw or heard from her again and I had way more than 3 appointments
Conclusion: Is it worth it?
Unfortunately it totally depends on the person you get, but for most people having a student midwife with twins or triplet was a positive experience.