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
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.”