Jennifer's Personal Notes

Heart Tones

Clinical (also called apprenticeship or mentoring) is the way a midwife learns her skills. It is where you interact with families, practicing the hands on task you have been taught to do and learning how to think like a midwife.  This is all done under the guidance of a well-experienced midwife.

I love my clinical placement.  I am training in a birth center with three midwives I adore. They push me and stretch me and give me plenty of room to grow.  I returned to clinical today after a month away (school break), and was excited to realize just how much I am thinking like a midwife. That is a big statement, and you might wonder what I consider to be “thinking like a midwife” but I don’t have the time to go into that tonight.

I will tell you this, when I found myself in the midst of a prenatal appointment without a doppler I took a deep breath and grabbed my stethescope.  When I couldn’t quite figure out how I was supposed to best use it to hear the heart tones I stuck my head out and quickly asked one of the midwives.  – Use the bell and press very firmly.  Stepped back in with my client, first placement no heart tones; second placement a faint noise…

Was that what I think it was?  listen again…

It is rhythmic.   Seems fast…  Count it

Wow, that is the fetal heart tones, and I can really hear it now!

So I did it, I got the heart tones with my own stethoscope.

So maybe tomorrow I will get up the confidence to try out my pinard horn.

Jennifer Vanderlaan (Author)