12 November 2015
I really thoroughly enjoyed my week in the Delivery Unit; it’s an area that I was really looking forward to experiencing, as some paramedics are known to find maternity jobs terrifying!
I spent my first shift down on a clinic, which is a little bit like a walk-in centre for pregnancy. Most of the patients that I observed there were in for monitoring for reduced foetal movements (RFM) as it’s an indicator of baby distress and needed to take quick action.
I learnt that RFM can be quite normal, just as much as it can be serious. I also learnt about palpating for the baby’s position – feeling round the mother’s stomach I was able to feel the head and bottom of the baby. I also witnessed the treatment of a lady with hyperemesis, something I was told isn’t normal, I learnt about dehydration and the importance of acting quickly if a pregnant lady cannot stop vomiting.
I spent a day on the delivery unit where I witnessed three births: one caesarean, one forceps delivery and one natural. They were all very different and gave me a greater understanding of the birthing process, pain relief and aftercare. I felt extremely privileged to be part of this whole process. The natural delivery was probably the best part of my experience in the DU. I watched a woman deliver a baby, helped coach her and go through the process with only a midwife in the room. The baby was born with shoulder dystocia; something I’m told is common. I was asked to pull the buzzer to summon assistance as I’m told this is a maternal emergency. The midwife explained that shoulder dystocia is something that we can tackle on the road using techniques like the McRoberts manoeuvre, to make more space for the baby and to change position so that gravity encourages the baby to come out naturally.