The goal of the Perinatal Project is to provide opportunities for interested students to explore the fields of obstetrics, maternal-fetal medicine and neonatology outside of the classroom. The Perinatal Project offers three distinct programs for students, each with a different focus and level of commitment:
- Matching Program – Students are individually paired with an expectant mother and attend her prenatal appointments and delivery. Through this match, students serve as a source of information for the mother and provide her with emotional and social support as she prepares for a long-term caregiving relationship.
- Labor and Delivery Shadowing – Students spend a morning shadowing doctors on the Labor and Delivery service at Barnes- Jewish Hospital. Students have the opportunity to observe vaginal deliveries and scrub in on Caesarian sections.
- NICU Tours – In groups of three, medical students get a behind- the-scenes look at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) from an attending physician. Students meet several of the NICU’s patients and families and learn about some of the most common and interesting diagnoses among premature infants.