This past week, we chatted gifts for midwives or birth workers and the post was (unexpectedly) quite popular! I’ve received some really touching cards and gifts over the past ten years from families, mamas and friends. Each has been a treasure to me and I know I’ll still have each of those treasures when I’m eighty years old and long retired from catching babies (God willing I make it to 80!).
In researching fun gifts for birth workers and midwives, I also came across some fun ideas for students. Student midwives need lots of love, encouragement and helpful tools as they learn the trade for midwifery.
I’ve been known to gift a pelvis (see below) and few good midwifery books to some of my students or friends that have attended midwifery training as a graduation gift.
Regardless of what you choose to gift your midwifery student, make sure you include a card with some wisdom and encouragement. I’ll never forget what my final preceptor put on my evaluation: “Medicine is an art. You’ll spend the rest of your career learning the art.”
I haven’t seen wiser words since and still remember these words often in my own midwifery practice.
Let’s dive into the goodies! (Officially, I don’t have any relationship to any of the recommended products.)
Cervical Dilation Beads
I didn’t know these were a thing until recently. This is a great tool to keep on your badge from anyone learning cervical exams. Cervical exams are a hard skill to master, but once you’ve got it, you’ve got the skill for life!
Suturing Textbook (In my opinion, this is the best!)
I received this book after I started my first midwifery job. It changed how I thought about suturing and how I sutured. It should be mandatory reading for all midwives.
I would buy this used in a heartbeat.
Cervical Dilation Trainers
Same as the beads, these tools offer similar training feedback but in a different form. These are great even after you master the skill of cervical exams. The wooden one looks beautiful in an office and is a good tool to teach women and families about dilation. And…eventually, all students become teachers. Having a tool like wither of these is helpful when teaching all the students that will eventually come your way.
Coffee Mug or Computer Decals
I love a good decal on my coffee cup or computer. Little reminders about why you are completing your training help to keep the motivation high and the goals clear in your mind!
Birth trackers! There isn’t a midwifery student out there that doesn’t have the number of births they have attended and need to attend in the forefront of their mind. Tracking the births along the way is fun and motivating. There are a number of different trackers to choose from – a simple journal will do or a jar with colored beads works as well. Tailor this one to the student you’re gifting!
Subscription to Midwifery Today Magazine
For anyone especially interested in international midwifery, I really enjoy my subscription to this magazine. Birth occurs around the world every moment of the day – this is a good place to get a reminder of that! Below is the official description of the magazine for those interested:
“Midwifery Today Magazine is the perfect way to keep up with changes in the birth world, while maintaining a busy schedule. The print edition of the magazine was discontinued after the Winter 2019 Issue, #132. Now, completely digital, the magazine content is accessible from any website browser on any device. You can also order a back issue to take with you to a birth or read at home when you have some downtime.
Midwives, doulas, and other birth practitioners share their experiences, tricks, and inspiring birth stories that will reinforce your dedication to birthing women. Mothers write about inspirational births and challenges they face. Learn about the latest scientific studies that support physiological birth, recently published books to help you and the women you serve, midwives in history, and birth practices from around the world. Be part of an international community of birth practitioners and women in their childbearing year!” Source
Similar to the birth trackers above but with enough space to log dozens or hundreds of births. ACNM also offers a Birth and Skills Log here (I bought one of these at the 2014 ACNM convention and used it to track my first births…I think it only has room for about 70 births – maybe 100?).
A Fun Shirt
Midwifery has some inherent unknowns that come with the calling.
1. Babies birth on no one’s schedule but their own.
2. About 40% of births occur at night time.
3. Most people that don’t practice birth work understand the nature, timing and demands of the work.
That being said, sometimes you just need a t-shirt that says it all for you!
Isn’t this journal beautiful! Whether you use it as a birth log or to document all the stories and lessons learned through your journey as a midwife, this is sure to go to good use!
The Prenatal Guides
Whether a new midwifery student or about to graduate…these templates will help you rock those clinicals in the clinic setting.
These templates cover important education for each gestational age as well as anticipatory guidance for upcoming lab testing or ultrasounds.
The templates are unique and I haven’t seen anything else like then in almost 15 years of practice. And, in my own practice, I use them every day.
Each template guides the provider and the patient through the components of a prenatal visit based on current evidence and includes additional resources based on patient symptoms, FAQs or concerns. App, podcast, book and instagram recommendations are also included and tailored to each visit (mamas really appreciate this feature!). References are included on every template so you know exactly where the evidence/education came from.
Gift your favorite birth worker or midwifery student a set today in the SHOP!
Evidence Based Birth Pocket Guides
Evidence Based Birth worked really hard to put these pocket guides out into the world – and I think they’re great for nurses and for midwives. Midwives spend a lot of time counseling, or talking about things and the alternatives, risks and benefits of each thing or intervention. I see students struggle to learn how to master this counseling in school and for a couple years afterwards until they find their groove. These guides (choose from either comfort measures or labor induction, or BOTH!) are a great gift to any new midwife to serve as a review or reinforcement of evidence based care in labor and birth. Get your guides here.
A Keepsake Box for Thank You Cards and Gifts
This may seem presumptuous to some students, but any midwife will tell you the cards start coming in quick and you want to treasure each forever. I would have loved a box like this early on – plus, if it’s in the office or on a shelf that you look at often, it’s a reminder of all the reasons why you love midwifery and all the babies and mamas you’ve been blessed to welcome into the world. And, on the really hard days, you need all the reminders you. can get! The box above is from this Etsy Shop.
The Successful Student Midwife Guide
Last but not least, The Successful Student Midwife Guide! I put this 41 page guide together after a series of posts aimed at students became really popular. I tried to put everything that I teach students, or learned the hard way, into the guide as a way to get a head start into your journey. In my experience, some preceptors and schools do a great job in preparing you as a midwife – while some leave a lot to learn on your own (the hard way). Get your head start today (lifetime access included)…get your copy in the SHOP.
That’s the list! Comment below and tell me your favorite gift you got as a student. A nice stethoscope remains at the top of my list. I got a cardiac littmann when I graduated from nursing school 14 years ago and still use/love that same stethoscope today!
Another great suggestion that came through after the post was published was a suturing kit – there are a number of options out there but his was a great idea!