Palpating pregnant bellies is incredible. Today we were given the privilege and honor of practicing palpation skills on the bellies of 4 pregnant women ranging from 12 weeks to 31 weeks gestation. It was awe inspiring.
We practiced Leopold’s Maneuvers today, felt for the fundus and the rest of the uterus, felt for position and lie, listened to fetal heart tones with our new and shiny fetoscopes, and measured the uterus. I was able to work my way from the woman with the earliest gestation in order up to the woman with the latest gestation. It was surprising how much of a difference there was between even 1 week gestation difference or between women who were pregnant for the first time versus those who had given birth before.
And I haven’t even begun to tell you what it is like to feel a fetal head in a woman’s pelvis, to touch the butt of a fetus and feel the fetus kick and move away, or to know for sure that this is where the back is and here is the shoulder. Like I said, it was awe inspiring and I am entranced. I can’t get enough of it all.
I can’t wait to practice and improve my skills, to get to the point like my instructors who can place their hands on a woman’s belly and know right away what they are feeling. Our instructor likened it to learning how to read. Remember back in the beginning when you had to sound out each letter before your brain learned how to recognize a whole word at once? I’m having to think “What is this part? It’s rounded and hard, but does it move side to side? Is it a butt? Is it a head? And I totally wrong and it’s just a shoulder? If this is the head, that means the butt is over … here. Got it. Oh, NOW I can feel the back, it was there all along ….”
All-Mother, my hands are truly yours. These hands that heal, that will one day catch babies and that are currently learning how to feel life moving within the womb truly belong to you.