I try to have an assistant attend every birth with me. This provides increased safety for the client and baby. Assistants are always trained in Neonatal Resuscitation, CPR and have the knowledge to assist in emergency situations such hemorrhage. They share the duties of labor management with me when they have reached this level of competency, and never perform any midwifery duties without me being on site.
Assistants are often midwifery apprentices/students. I have been involved in the training of several midwifery students over the years. Currently, I am working with Lisa Cirello, RN. Lisa lives in Milford, PA with her husband and children, and is enrolled at Birthwise School of Midwifery in Maine. This is a distance-learning program that also requires students to attend class at their Maine campus several times over the 2.5 year program.
Lisa has had a desire to pursue midwifery for several years, and has worked at the Milford Pregnancy Center and as a doula in her area. She reached out to me in Spring 2017 with a desire to get some hands-on experience. In the Spring of 2018, she attended 2 births with me, and has now committed to being my full-time assistant, except when she is required to be in Maine for classes.
If Lisa is not available, I will call upon other potential assistants in my area, usually other midwives who practice near enough to me or to the client to be able to travel there.