Poem; I am a uterus

I am a Uterus by Alison Edwards Senior Lecturer in Midwifery at Birmingham City University I am called the uterus Just seven-and-a-half centimetres tall With a waist called the isthmus And a thick muscle wall.   I have some shy longitudinals But the obliques give them a hug I can then rotate my circulars And […]

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Managing Adverse Childhood Experiences in Maternity Care

A recent safeguarding update at work inspired me to write this blog about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) and the importance of a multi professional ‘ACE informed approach’ to care. The ACE Study was one of the largest investigations into childhood maltreatment and its later effects on health and well-being (Felitti et al., 1998). The study […]

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Time for Caseloading-creating relationship

Time for Caseloading-creating relationships I sent a tweet to Jeremy Hunt Secretary of State for Health and Social Care yesterday. I don’t tweet Jeremy that often but this time I felt it was important. The British news over the weekend was full of midwifery, it even hit the Andrew Marr show on Sunday morning. We […]

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Poem; being a student midwife

Being a Student Midwife Jennifer Cole Third year Student Midwife (now Masters degree student) at University of Wolverhampton When does this epic adventure begin? As you walk through the uni door? Or when you buy your first textbook? It’s actually way before. When you have that initial thought: ‘I want to be a midwife’, It […]

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Poem; dear student midwife

Dear Student Midwife Dear student midwife, with passion in your heart You want to make a difference but don’t know where to start. You feel so inspired by all that you’ve heard But you’re ‘just a student’, who will listen to your word? Well let me tell you student midwife, who hasn’t been here long, […]

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Playing Kate: Re-staging maternal transformation

Playing Kate: Re-staging maternal transformation A guest blog by Jodie Hawkes Introduction Since 2005 I have been making performances with my partner Pete Phillips as part of a live art duo Search Party. One of our theatre performances, My Son and Heir (2015) was made shortly after the birth of our first son Edward, which […]

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A selection of poems

A selection of poems The first two pieces of poetry were written about my caseloading experience as a student midwife. As part of my caseload I supported my brother’s girlfriend; the poems are about them and also about my own fears and expectations while caseloading. Reality bites. A student, mummy and partner, too Caseload is […]

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Being alongside – with #MatExp!

Charlene Cole BSC (Hons.), PgDL, PhD – student midwife Coventry University The theme for this month’s The Practising Midwife journal is Alongside. When I thought about what this meant to me many ideas sprung to mind – collaboration with the multi-disciplinary team, our new alongside midwifery-led unit at South Warwickshire Foundation Trust, @JennytheM’s latest blog […]

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Being alongside on the transformative journey of pregnancy, birth and the start of parenting

The journey of pregnancy, birth and parenthood as transformation Leaving from the airport when I set off on my holidays a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by the huge vibrant graphic above the door as I went through security, reminding that every journey is a transformation. I immediately thought of the journey of […]

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Maternal Journal – Creative journaling

Maternal Journal – how creative journaling can support pregnant women and new mothers with a history of mild to moderate mental health problems Journaling: ‘a record of experiences, ideas, or reflections kept regularly for private use’ (Merriam-Webster, 2018) Introduction There is growing recognition of the serious nature of maternal mental health problems during childbirth – […]

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Attending the UK UNICEF Baby Friendly Conference 2017 – my thoughts!

By Rachel Evans, 3rd Year student midwife, Swansea University   As a self confessed breastfeeding geek, the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Conference is one of my dream gatherings. I was fortunate enough to receive a grant from the Swansea University Student Midwifery Society enabling me to attend the 2017 conference. It was great to […]

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Agnes Gereb – yet another travesty

I met Agnes Gereb for the first time in 2012 in her light filled apartment in Budapest that was both her home and her prison. Agnes had been charged in 2008 with ‘manslaughter through negligence in the course of her professional practice’. This charge was based on the breathing difficulties and subsequent death of a […]

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Holding On!

by Laura Godfrey-Isaacs and Helen Knowles The Birth Rites Collection of contemporary art about childbirth – opening at King’s College London, Guy’s Campus, 25th January 2018 (open to the public by appointment) In January 2018 The Birth Rites collection, the first and only collection of contemporary artwork dedicated to the subject of childbirth, curated by […]

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Hyperemesis Gravidarium; a stressful life event & salutogenic midwifery management

Hyperemesis Gravidarum or severe nausea and vomiting of pregnancy impacts on women’s physical, social, psychological and consequently fetal wellbeing and often necessitates regular hospital admissions and consultant led care (McCarthy et al., 2011; Fletcher et al., 2015). ‘Sense of Coherence’ relates to how people cope with stressful life events; those who interpret life as manageable, […]

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Who Am I?

I am a post doctorate clinical academic midwife. What does this actually mean? What has urged me to share my thoughts? I was recently challenged by an inter-professional clinical academic colleague that I might not be a ‘proper’ post-doctorate (post-doc) clinical academic (midwife). This caused me inner turmoil, which compounded the uncertainty I already had […]

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Supporting student midwives on the neonatal unit

by Karen Devine, midwife    As a midwife on a busy neonatal unit (NNU), I am constantly aware that not only are parents and families who use the facility out of their comfort zones, but also the student midwives who come for experience can feel this way, too. I have been there! I remember the daunting […]

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Birth Undisturbed – a guest post by Natalie Lennard

I am a fine-art and commercial photographer of 11 years. Having long created surreal and elaborate fantasy scenes, always with a singularly conventional femininity, I’ve been increasingly hungry to showcase a more raw, powerful beauty in the most surreal yet commonplace event in a woman’s life: childbirth. Evan Gabriel I have long been fascinated by […]

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Relationship-based continuity of carer: informed choice for mothers AND midwives

There can be no doubt that we should be implementing relationship-based continuity of carer for most women and their babies. The evidence has been mounting over years and is compelling: there are few developments that offer so much benefit, with fewer risks (See http://www.gtc.ox.ac.uk/images/stories/academic/skp_report.pdf). It is difficult to understand why this evidence is still seen […]

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Starting an initiative; #MaternityLeader case study

Hello all, Happy New Year! A new year often represents a new start and so I thought I’d follow The Practising Midwife’s theme of ‘Bright Beginnings’ with a blog about how to run and launch a social media campaign to help anyone interested in starting a new initiative this New Year. I’m going to use […]

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Access to digital information, social artifice and choice

Changing attitudes and actions around women’s health, childbirth and gender equality are being powerfully supported by technology engaging mass communication. Social media are helping to raise awareness and encourage discussion by breaking down barriers of distance and geography. But sometimes, too much information – especially if it is inaccurate or of poor quality – can pose a challenge for women and families and […]

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The Place of Political Satire and Cartoons in Birth Activism

By Laura Godfrey-Issacs Henny Beaumont (2017) ‘I’ve thought of a great way to tackle midwife shortages’ Recent political events in the UK and globally are a gift for satirists, such as Henny Beaumont – artist, writer and disability activist – and subsequently we see a resurgence of political sketches and lampooning in the media. But, […]

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The birth of our humanity

  ‘A child is born’ …and then? How will that life unfold? Will this baby be well and healthy at birth, with a mother who has been wrapped around in loving care, not only in her childhood and life, but also in pregnancy, labour, birth and the early weeks of life? Will this baby be […]

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We made our big launch at the RCM annual conference 2017..

RCM annual conference 2017 So, its been an exciting time and we were proud to announce the launch of the all new, fresh look journal ‘The Practising Midwife’ and our new online dedicated solution for all involved in the midwifery world – www.all4maternity.com The RCM annual conference was held on the 31st October – 1st […]

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Representations Of Childbirth And How They Can Affect The Choice Agenda

Representations Of Childbirth And How They Can Affect The Choice Agenda We live in an electronic and highly visual age where images of birth, pregnancy and motherhood saturate our social and mainstream media – however, images made by artists, which might be less available, can provide an alternative set of representations, and are rarely referenced […]

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Student Survival Guide 3: Assessment And Clinical Skills

STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE NO 3 Assessment And Clinical Skills For Osce And Practice Starting midwifery education is a new series of ‘Student Survival Guide’ (formerly ‘Midwifery Basics’) targeted at practising midwives and midwifery students. The aim of these articles is to provide information to student midwives, consider the implications for midwives’ practice and encourage readers to […]

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Best foot forward – Midwifery society updates and events

Midwifery societies have grown from strength to strength in recent years. With more midwifery societies being established every year, we feel it is important to shine a light on the amazing work midwifery societies are doing every day. As Chair of UCLan midwifery society, I know how much extra time, effort, hard work and – […]

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Coping with change

Autumn heralds change in many ways: the leaves change from green to shades of orange, gold and red; the sun sets more quickly and the mornings are darker; fires are flaming; conkers are collected; and freshers begin a new chapter in their lives at university. Managing change is a skill that needs to be honed […]

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Technology and empowerment

Welcome to the Maternity Media Hotspot, a resource media space focused on providing you with access to new and existing content published online, including posters, infographics, videos and animations relating to midwifery, maternity, obstetric and neonatal care. These resources are aimed to support women and families, midwives and other healthcare professionals in the provision of […]

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The politics of normal birth

  I will be writing a blog post each month, and you can hear more about it HERE. This first month I am looking at the politics of normal birth. As a midwife you have an impact on people’s lives. Let’s make that impact informed and compassionate by thinking things through. The time for improvement […]

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Viewpoint: Aspiring Midwives Stepping Up: Critical Awareness Around Midwifery And Birth In The Media

VIEWPOINT Aspiring midwives stepping up: critical awareness around midwifery and birth in the media Have you ever seen examples in the media in which the idea of midwives supporting normal birth is presented as dangerous? One of the funniest I’ve seen of this was in the comedy series Doc Martin. The irritable doctor, played by Martin […]

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