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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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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Retirement beckons… Passing on the care of midwives

Retirement beckons… Passing on the care of midwives As Cathy Warwick leaves her post as chief executive of the RCM she reflects back on her career as a midwife over the past four decades Retirement leads me to reflect on 41 years as a midwife. What have I learned? I argue that midwives are pivotal […]

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#Enough

#ENOUGH Hannah Dahlen reflects on the origins of her passion for midwifery, research and teaching I have had an extraordinary life – not because I am extraordinary but because I get to enjoy so many facets of being a midwife. Today I am a Professor of Midwifery at Western Sydney University and the Higher Degree […]

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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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Reflections on ICM conference, Toronto Canada, 18–22 June 2017

Reflections on ICM conference, Toronto Canada, 18–22 June 2017 Before the start of the 31st Triennial ICM congress, up to 1,000 midwives paraded through Toronto city centre, guided and encouraged by the local police and a Samba band. Flags flying and drums playing, it was a superb way to let Toronto know the ICM had […]

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From a rabbit in the headlights to a confident user of research evidence

From a rabbit in the headlights to a confident user of research evidence In this paper student midwife Rachel and her teacher Susanne tell the story of Rachel’s journey through her ‘research module’. The story offers hope to students and teachers about engaging with research evidence for safe and effective practice. Despite having encountered evidence-based […]

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Best practice in fetal monitoring and neonatal care crucial to improve birth outcomes

Best practice in fetal monitoring and neonatal care crucial to improve birth outcomes Three quarters of babies who die or are brain injured during birth might have had a different outcome with different care, says national investigation. For the first time, the RCOG “Each Baby Counts” initiative has been able to pinpoint and share the […]

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Editorial: Creativity Counts

EDITORIAL Creativity counts In a welcome to delegates attending the 31st ICM Congress in Toronto, Anna Byron calls on midwives to embrace creativity to adapt and respond to the present and future needs of all those using maternity services ‘Creativity involves putting your imagination to work; in a sense, creativity is applied imagination’ – Ken […]

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Stand up and deliver: enhancing your presentation skills

Stand up and deliver: enhancing your presentation skills In this article I discuss the value and importance of presentation skills for midwives and offer recommendations for how to enhance these skills in practice. My aim is to support your development and confidence in delivering presentations. I include a series of practical tips to help you […]

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Overcoming fear of facilitating water birth: student and mentor perspectives

Overcoming fear of facilitating water birth: student and mentor perspectives Water immersion for labour and birth is a powerful, low cost intervention that facilitates physiological birth. However, for some midwives – students or qualified – a lack of exposure to water births can create fearful perceptions and reduce their willingness to support women in water. […]

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Midwifery Basics: Becoming A Midwife – 6. Overcoming Health And Learning Disabilities

MIDWIFERY BASICS: BECOMING A MIDWIFE 6. Overcoming health and learning disabilities In the sixth article of the series, Jancis Shepherd explores issues of supporting students with health and specific learning difficulties while recognising the need for safe and competent practice. On commencement of the midwifery course, students may have physical or mental health issues or […]

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Physiological breech birth: Evaluation of a training programme for birth professionals

Physiological breech birth Evaluation of a training programme for birth professionals This paper reports an evaluation of the Breech Birth Network (BBN) physiological breech birth (PBB) training programme, which has been developed out of consensus research with highly experienced health professionals. The training was delivered in four National Health Service trust hospitals in the north […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Learning through teaching: a peer teaching innovation in midwifery education

ADVANCING PRACTICE Education Learning through teaching: a peer teaching innovation in midwifery education Peer led teaching (PLT) is a method whereby one group of students is involved in the teaching of another (McKenna and French 2011). Whilst almost all universities worldwide offer some form of peer support for learning, the lack of available literature suggests […]

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Fathers’ views of learning infant CPR in antenatal education classes

Fathers’ views of learning infant CPR in antenatal education classes Infant CPR is not generally incorporated into antenatal classes for expectant women and their partners. The skills of infant CPR are normally taught where infants have cardiac and other conditions that may put them at increased risk. This article reports on the views of expectant […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Clinical guidelines

ADVANCING PRACTICE Education Clinical guidelines Elaine Uppal focuses on the importance of all midwives developing guideline writing skills to ensure that local, national and international midwifery/maternity guidelines are up to date, relevant and reflect midwifery knowledge alongside ‘gold’ standard evidence. The article aims to consider the development, use and critical appraisal of clinical guidelines. It […]

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Virtual day of the midwife: a global ‘pyjama party’

The Virtual International Day of the Midwife (VIDM) (www.vidm.org) is an annual online conference designed to break down traditional barriers to continuing professional development (CPD); provide online opportunities for international midwifery networking; and model open access communication and collaboration practices. Whilst the VIDM is designed to reach midwives all around the world, issues of access […]

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Celebrate midwifery – in Nepal

This paper describes a workshop which was supported by the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust and facilitated in Nepal. The groups were introduced to the concept of emotion work in maternity care and ways of using reflection to manage it in themselves. A practical element was used, following the belief that engaging the right side of the […]

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Articles - Evidence

Research Unwrapped – Continuity of care: what matters to women when they are referred from primary to secondary care during labour?

EVIDENCE Research Unwrapped Continuity of care: what matters to women when they are referred from primary to secondary care during labour? A qualitative interview study in the Netherlands – Ank de Jonge, Rosan Stuijt, Iva Eijke, and Marjan J Westerman (2014). BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 14: 103 Research unwrapped is a popular series to help […]

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Midwifery Basics: Midwifery Supervision 7. Proactive use of supervision

BASICS Midwifery Supervision 7. Proactive use of supervision Midwifery supervision is the 13th series of ‘Midwifery basics’ targeted at practising midwives. The aim of these articles is to provide information to raise awareness of the impact of the work of midwives on women’s experience, and encourage midwives to seek further information through a series of […]

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Improving the experience of pregnancy and childbirth for deaf people and their families

Deafness is unique in that it crosses barriers of age, gender, economic status and ethnicity. It is particularly complex in the context of the ‘disabled/abled binary’. Generalisation is unhelpful since impairment is individualised and manifests itself in emotional, psychological, social and physical dimensions of a person’s life. The ‘Deaf Nest’ project aims to improve deaf […]

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Examination of the Newborn: The Key Skills – Part 3. The hips

Midwives are increasingly performing the examination of the newborn. This article considers the importance of the examination of the hips in the screening process. The significance of history taking, knowledge of risk factors and the hip examination will be explored. The necessity for early detection and treatment of hip abnormalities, along with referral pathways that […]

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A healthy ticker… or a good heart?

The amount of paperwork requiring completion by NHS professionals has increased over the years. Some employees feel that is driving them away from client care. In this article, one midwife tots up a week’s worth of what she describes as ‘box-ticking’, and asks: what is the effect of this quantifying trend on the quality of […]

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How midwives can help with perinatal depression

In 2011 a national children’s charity led a campaign that identified why help with postnatal depression (PND) needed to improve; however PND remains a huge problem. Numerous cases are still coming to light where a mother has not sought help or has not been given adequate support, with disastrous consequences. Why is this still happening […]

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Striving for better maternal mental health

Mental health is an integral part of health and a state of wellbeing. The concept of ‘parity of esteem’ increases awareness that mental health needs to be treated as seriously as physical health. During the childbirth continuum, women and their partners can be at increased risk of mental health problems; therefore it is important to […]

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Not my choice: results of an online survey

FEATURE The Practising Midwife – February 2014 Not my choice: results of an online survey A survey into women’s experiences of giving birth in the UK, published in October 2013, provides a useful insight (Birthrights UK 2013). It is the first of its kind to capture women’s views on dignity in childbirth. The survey reflects […]

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Examination of the Newborn: The Key Skills – Part 2. The cardiovascular system and congenital heart disease

FEATURE The Practising Midwife – February 2014 EXAMINATION OF THE NEWBORN: THE KEY SKILLS: Part 2 – The cardiovascular system and congenital heart disease Midwives are increasingly performing the examination of the newborn. In the second of a four-part series, this article considers the importance of the cardiovascular examination in the screening process. The significance […]

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Midwifery Basics: Midwifery Supervision – 5. Supporting continuing professional development

BASICS Midwifery Supervision 5. Supporting continuing professional development Midwifery supervision is the 13th series of ‘Midwifery basics’ targeted at practising midwives. The aim of these articles is to provide information to raise awareness of the impact of the work of midwives on women’s experience and encourage midwives to seek further information through a series of […]

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The politics of maternity

FEATURE The Practising Midwife – February 2014 The politics of maternity Changes in the culture of health care require that, to be effective, midwifery practice should become more woman-centred. This may be facilitated by adopting a stronger community orientation. In this way the hegemony of maternity care may be addressed. This paper seeks to draw […]

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Baby Friendly News: All the evidence in one place

FEATURE The Practising Midwife – January 2014 Baby Friendly News: All the evidence in one place The ‘Evidence and rationale for the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative standards’ is a freely-available publication that brings together all the evidence behind the Initiative’s new standards around breastfeeding and relationship-building. It includes forewords by health ministers from all […]

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