Mothers and Newborns Course: Information for Students
Weekly course meetings are designed to supplement this experience by covering topics related to pregnancy, childbirth, and early infancy. There is particular emphasis on topics that are not’t covered in our medical school curriculum (health and wellness during pregnancy, OB anesthesia, breastfeeding, newborn physical examination, etc.)
Medical student participants will:
- Have the opportunity to develop a continuous, longitudinal experience with a pregnant woman and her provider.
- Gain first-hand knowledge regarding the experience of pregnancy and childbirth from a patient’s perspective.
- Gain insight into the comprehensive approach of prenatal care, emphasizing psychosocial as well as medical issues.
- Have the opportunity to shadow obstetricians who work with both low-risk and high-risk pregnancies.
You are invited and expected to attend as many prenatal care visits with your mommy as possible. THIS MAY ENTAIL MISSING SOME CLASSES. During the actual visit, your role is mainly to observe and ask questions in a way that makes your mommy feel comfortable. While you will have other opportunities for clinical exposure during your first two years, PEDS/OB 282 is a unique chance to observe the same patient on many consecutive visits and watch the exciting progression of her pregnancy. While the majority of students do actually participate in their mommy's birth, the decision to invite the student to the birth process is ultimately left to her.
Guidelines for Students
Please review the following guidelines to ensure a successful relationship with your mother
Attending visits: You are invited and expected to attend as many prenatal care visits with your mother as possible. THIS MAY ENTAIL MISSING SOME CLASSES. During the actual visit, your role is mainly to observe and ask questions in a way that makes your mother feel comfortable. While you will have other opportunities for clinical exposure during your first two years, PEDS/OB282 is a unique chance to observe the same patient on many consecutive visits and watch the exciting progression of her pregnancy. While the majority of students do actually participate in their mother’s birth, the decision to invite the student to the birth process is ultimately left to her.
Finding out about appointments: It is your responsibility to know when your mother’s next appointment is scheduled. Ideally, the next visit will be scheduled after the conclusion of her previous visit. We encourage you to call her the day before any scheduled visit to confirm that she is coming. This is also a good opportunity to touch base and find out how things have been going for her, and to discuss any questions or concerns that she might have.
Missing an appointment: Missing visits without contacting your mom is unacceptable. However, it is understandable that over breaks, or on days of exams, it may not be possible for you to make the appointment. If you cannot make a visit, you need to contact your mom:
- Before the visit, to tell her you will not be able to make it, and
- Afterwards, to review what happened at the visit and to see if there is anything she would like to discuss with you.
Giving medical advice to patients: As a medical student, you are part of a health team whose goal it is to provide quality medical care to your patient. As you begin to develop a close, continuous relationship with your mom, she may begin to call you whenever problems arise with her pregnancy or within the context of her psychosocial situation. In ALL cases, you are to get in touch with medical personnel before giving medical advice. You should first try to contact your mom’s OB provider after discussing this plan with your mom. If you cannot get in touch with that office, please call one of the course TAs.
In regards to referrals: Your mother may have or develop various needs that require more specific help from other services in the community (i.e., domestic violence, substance abuse, housing, financial assistance, etc.). ALL referrals to other services should be made through her provider.
In an emergency: Your mother has been instructed NOT to call you in the case of a medical emergency. Make sure to remind her of this when you meet her. If she does call you with what you believe is an emergency, or any complications of the pregnancy, have her call her provider or 911.
Write a thank-you note to your mother: Prepare a thank-you note for your mother and present it to her before the conclusion of the program.
End of Quarter Reflection Assignment: The one written requirement for this course (in lieu of a final exam) is a short (2 page), informal reflection on your experience being paired with your mother. It will be due at the end of the course. The course directors and TAs are interested in how these matches work out, the type of relationship you formed with your mother, and what you gained/learned from the experience. You may also find it valuable to keep an informal written journal over the next few months, to record your interactions with your mother, which can be submitted in place of the reflection assignment.