Maternity outpatients

After an extremely relaxing weekend, I had to get back to the grind of my elective and travel an hour to placement again. Waking up at ungodly hours in the morning is made better by taking a stroll to the bus stop and seeing the sun rise over the horizon painting the sky with beautiful colours.

Today, I was based at the maternity outpatients department with my clinical supervisor (Dr X). She made me feel really welcome and got me involved straight away. I managed to see my own patients in her clinic and examine them followed by presenting them to Dr X. This is more than what we are allowed to do back in England as the main role of the student is to observe what the doctor does; and depending on how nice the consultant is, they will let you examine the pregnant abdomen.

The care provided by RBWH is split into different colour teams. Each of these is led by one or more consultants and includes a number of midwives. Pregnant mothers are then randomly assigned to these teams and their care throughout their pregnancy is dealt with that particular team of professionals. This ensures that there is a continuity of care and allows the women to see one set of health care professionals throughout their pregnancy journey.

I saw a number of different ladies. The one that stood out for me was a lady who was particularly worried about her current pregnancy as she had a previous stillbirth where she noticed reduced fetal movements. Due to the distance of her home to the nearest hospital, by the time she received help, the baby had died in utero as the umbilical cord had wrapped around the baby’s neck. As a precaution, she is constantly conscious of how often her current baby is moving as she was particularly worried that it would happen again. It was hard listening to her tell me her story.

My interest with obstetrics and gynaecology began due to my amazement with the woman’s body. The way it can withhold immense amount of stress and carry life has always bewildered me. The naivety of helping to bring new life into the world was balanced by the notion that the majority of cases seen by the consultant tend to be more difficult to manage.

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