Although Tammy and I both have experience at birth, neither of us is actually a midwife. This means neither of us have done a vaginal exam, caught the baby or assessed the fetal heart tones. Something that needed to be changed before we traveled to teach these skills.
A midwife in Tammy’s community has graciously offered to give Tammy some basic midwifery training by allowing her to assist at some prenatal appointments and during a few labors. The midwife felt this was important, because a vaginal exam feels very different when the cervix is dilating.
Though we will be teaching the avoidance of vaginal exams at the training (simply not able to prevent infection when there is no clean water or gloves readily available), we accept that there will be times the midwives need to use this skill to determine if a mother needs to go to the hospital. We are both very glad that at least one of us will have a familiarity of the techniques that goes beyond our reading about them.