Midwifery students are boosting their confidence, skills and decision-making by giving individualised care to women throughout their pregnancy journey.
The case-holding placement sees final-year students provide continuity of care for up to 10 women - including being on call when they are due to go into labour - with minimal supervision.
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The aim is to prepare students for the realities of being a midwife.
Third years Sophie Shea and Chloe Hings agree the case-holding module is one of the reasons they wanted to study at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
Chloe, 23, from near Peterborough, said: "I loved it! I looked after nine women and it was amazing!
"You build the women's trust in you, you know what they would like and hope you have made a difference.
"The first birth was emotional. It didn't go the way the mother planned but she was so thankful I was there and mother and baby were healthy and happy with the care received.
"Afterwards, everyone sees how much more confident you are."
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The case-holding module enables students to follow women through their childbirth journey. This includes assisting women to prepare a birth plan, providing antenatal and postnatal care, as well as supporting them in labour. Home visits are often carried out by students on their own with their mentor available by telephone to offer advice as needed.
Sophie, 23, from North Wales, said: "It is a good way to transition from student to newly qualified midwife.
"I was quite apprehensive to start but it has been really rewarding.
"In the UK, continuity of care is something we strive for but don't always achieve, so we see the process through and build a relationship with the woman and her family.
"One of the women I cared for had had a traumatic first experience and we talked about how to make sure this was the birth she wanted. When she was in pain and not thinking straight, I had an idea of her wishes so became more of an advocate for her."
Both students are due to qualify in September, after completing placements at the birth centre and on the maternity ward at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
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For Sophie, working as midwife has been a long-held ambition. "Nothing compares, it's such a life-changing point," she said.
Chloe has always been interested in healthcare and would to like to work in a Leicester hospital when she qualifies, having originally been attracted to the city because of its diversity.
Her university highlights include the elective placement, where she observed specialist midwives working with asylum seekers and victims of abuse, and a #DMUglobal trip to New York in January.
"I learnt about LGBT history, got to interact with different students, learnt more about other professionals and just enjoyed the city in general," said Chloe.
Meanwhile Sophie has appreciated "the little extra things DMU does".
"We learnt about Down's syndrome and how to communicate with parents about the diagnosis, and some hospital study days are open to us," she added.
Posted on Thursday 13th July 2017