Midwifery Assistant Workshop

The midwife assistant’s primary focus is to assist the midwife. This workshop will equip attendants with the insight and technical skills required to make yourself a truly valuable asset to the birthing team. This course has also been attended by nurse-midwives who are either aspiring to own their own practices, or who are currently attending homebirths and seek additional ideas for improving their clinical practice.

Dr Penny Lane CNM recognized that neither the doula or the nurse were appropriately trained to assist the nurse-midwife in the home setting. The doula lacked sufficient clinical expertise and the nurse lacked understanding of the midwifery model of care. This three-day intensive, created by Dr Lane, will offer an in-depth understanding of the assistant’s role and offer mock scenarios for practicing newly gained skills.

Day One of the Workshop consists of:

Detailing the job description of the birth assistant, her role, gaining skills for out-of-hospital birth, and managing the life-style. What supplies should the assistant have available in her bag? The midwifery model of care is thoroughly discussed and integrated into later discussions: early labor, active phase of labor, and pushing through postpartum assessments. The Fear-Tension-Pain Cycle is discussed and how to empower families while eliminating fear.

Standards of care verses family-led decision making and how these models affect the midwifery assistant is thoroughly discussed. Discerning early labor from even earlier labor and recognizing the perfect moment to join a laboring mother will be discussed, as well as how can the midwifery assistant can work to optimize fetal positioning.

Day One Skills Session offers opportunity for obtaining accurate maternal and newborn vital signs, administering medications, better understanding medical documentation including medical terminology, gaining understanding of the sterile field, assisting with fetal heart tone monitoring, and learning to administer sterile water papules for back labor and apply the TENS unit.

Day Two of the Workshop consists of:

What are professional organizations and which one might the midwifery assistant actively participate? What are practice guidelines? What skills are within the scope of an unlicensed assistant and what situations would take you outside of that professional boundary?

What assessments and documentation is pertinent for the midwife’s assistant during active labor? How do we determine progress? How best can the midwife’s assistant support the mother, the father and the midwife?

What is the role of the midwife’s assistant through the pushing phase, birth of baby and placenta? When is it appropriate for the midwifery team to leave the birthing environment? What assessments are vital during the immediate postpartum and newborn period?

Waterbirth is discussed: when, how, why and what ifs.

Break-Out Sessions are specific to birth emergencies: shoulder dystocia, postpartum hemorrhage, fetal distress & cord prolapse, and precipitous birth. VBAC, vaginal breech birth and twins will also be discussed.

Day Three of the Workshop consists of:

Day three prepares the assistant to optimize breastfeeding and understand her responsibilities in the postpartum home visit. Documenting appropriately and communicating with the midwife, as well as supplies and equipment necessary for a home visit will be part of the third day’s discussion.

Assisting the midwife in a transfer: what is the assistant’s role? Calling emergency services – what do say and what not to say, and organizing these chaotic events.

The Skills Session will offer basic assessment skills for both the mother and newborn, and review of physically supporting the laboring mother. Tips and tricks will be shared and then the workshop will end with birth etiquette, making yourself invaluable to the midwife, and avoiding burn-out.

Upcoming Midwifery Assistant Workshops

Costs

The three-day intensive is $300 and includes a folder of information that will greatly enhance your efforts as a midwife’s assistant and all the clinical equipment and supplies for gaining a fair amount of practice. Snacks and drinks are included, but lunch is on your own.

Attendants at previous workshops have shared:

“Lots and lots of really good info this weekend! Learned so much!”

“Loved the models, loved the blood loss visuals, loved break outs and everything hands on…”

“The practical experiences of listening to heart tones, feeling the ‘pillow’ abdomen and learning injections was helpful and gave confidence. You guys do a great job.”

“Very thorough and helpful! Loved the hands-on work.”

“Very well taught! So thankful I took the course. I enjoyed the hands on experience. This gave me a clearer view of what goals to reach for and what the future holds. I really can’t think of anything to do different during the workshop.”

Penny teaching a group of participants the Leopold’s technique and fetal positioning, particularly how to prevent and manage the occiput posterior position which often leads to challenging back labor and birth.

Participants practicing the sterile water application as one technique for helping mom manage significant back labor.

Food For Thought

Food for Thought

"It is much more important to know what sort of patient has a disease than what sort of disease a patient has."

Sir William Osler

 

Food for Thought

"Happiness is underrated and critically important to health. Seriously! Unfortunately, many people just have no idea how to be happy."

Aviva Romm

Food for Thought

"Physicians simply do not have time to be what patients want them to be: open-minded, knowledgeable teachers and caregivers who can hear and understand their needs."

Snyderman and Weil

Food for Thought #1

"They say that time changes things. But you actually have to change them yourselves."

Andy Warhol

Food for Thought

"To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking."

Johann Wolfgang von Goether

Food for Thought

"Birth isn’t about avoiding one set of realities in favor of another. It’s about embracing all facets of birth--contradictory, messy, or unpleasant as some might be--as vital to the whole."

Rixa Freeze PhD

Food for Thought

"Why I appreciate being a certified nurse-midwife, as opposed to choosing another route for midwifery: I feel learning the science is vital so the art of midwifery is safe and effective."

Dr. Penny Lane, nurse-midwife

Food for Thought

"When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser."

Socrates

Food for Thought

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."

Anatole France

Food for Thought

"Science and uncertainty are inseparable companions. Beware of those who are very certain about things. There are no absolute truths in biological sciences - only hypotheses... 'We need to train medical students and residents more in the art of uncertainty and less in the spirit that everything can be known or that it even needs to be known.'"

Grimes (1986)

Food for Thought

"American physicians are rewarded for doing things to patients, not for keeping them well."

Grimes, 1986

Food for Thought

"The false idol of technology. 'Having a widget screwed into one's scalp has become an American birthright.'"

Grimes, 1986

Food for Thought

"Between 1985 and 1987, a hospital instituted a successful program to reduce its cesarean rate. The rate fell from 18% to 12%, losing the hospital $1 million in revenues - no small sum in those days."

Goer & Romano, 2012, p 37

Food for Thought

"Obstetricians are much more likely to perform a cesarean when they wrongly believe the baby weighs 4000 g or more based on sonographic estimates than when the baby actually weighs this much but the obstetrician did not suspect it."

Goer & Romaro, 2012, p 35

Food for Thought

"If you play God, you will be blamed for natural disasters."

Marsden Wagner (2006)

Food for Thought

"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don't."

Anatole France

Food for Thought #3

"Birth is not only about making babies. Birth also is about making mothers - strong, competent, capable mothers, who trust themselves and know their inner strength."

Barbara Katz Rothman PhD (1996)

Food for Thought #4

"Believe there is always, always, always a way. When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven't."

Thomas Edison

Food for Thought #5

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

Arthur Schopenhauer

Food for Thought #2

"Yet you brought me safely from my mother’s womb and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast."

Psalm 22:9