Looking back – a midwife’s reflection of her career

By Angela McBennett   A note to start…. It seems that in the ‘blink of an eye’, 27 years have flown by as I retire from general midwifery. My memories of midwifery will always be forever in my heart. Pregnancy and birth is a unique time in a family’s life and, as a midwife, we […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

navigating spaces:


fetal navigation techniques “I turned my OP baby and regulated my own contractions in an hour, directly avoiding induction and possibly other interventions. This was my second labour, which from this point on flowed smoothly to a physiological birth in just a few hours. My first baby had also started labour in a less than […]

Read More

Birth Outside the Box – #TheatreChallenge!

By midwife Katherine Mabey   What is Birth Outside the Box? Derby Birth Outside the Box team is an informal forum at Royal Derby Hospital which aims to bring midwives, doctors and other team members together, with the common goal of increasing rates of physiological birth and improving women’s experience for all births regardless of […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More
Articles - Advancing Practice

Advancing Practice: Facilitating Group Antenatal Care – A New Way Of Working

ADVANCING PRACTICE Facilitating group antenatal care: a new way of working This article outlines the principles and evidence behind group antenatal care and explores how developing group facilitation skills can enhance midwifery practice. The authors discuss the impact of different training models developed by the REACH pregnancy programme to support the implementation of ‘Pregnancy Circles’ […]

Read More

Wellbeing And Resilience: 4. Time Management

WELLBEING AND RESILIENCE 4. Time management Midwifery is one of the most emotional and emotive of all the health care professions. In order to be ‘with woman’, we give a part of ourselves to every woman that we care for. Such reciprocity is essential to create a relationship that will maximise a woman’s birth experience […]

Read More

Mindfulness: an intervention to promote maternal and infant wellbeing

Mindfulness: an intervention to promote maternal and infant wellbeing Small pilot studies exploring pregnancy and mindfulness suggest this intervention is associated with lower levels of psychological distress, including less anxiety and depression (Duncan et al 2017). In non-pregnant populations there is a growing body of research demonstrating the positive effects of mindfulness on physiology, emotional […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Global Midwifery Matters: 3. Promoting Continuity Of Care And Autonomy For Midwives In New Zealand

GLOBAL MIDWIFERY MATTERS 3. Promoting continuity of care and autonomy for midwives in New Zealand This article discusses the history of midwifery in New Zealand, exploring the initiation of the New Zealand Amendment Act 1990, leading to the renewed autonomy of midwives. It also looks at how the lead maternity carer in New Zealand harnesses […]

Read More

Midwifery practice suggestions and tips

Midwifery practice suggestions and tips Throughout my midwifery career I saw, along the way, all the things that I was learning that I hadn’t been taught in my training. Midwifery education is now so focused on the academic, and so litigation-conscious, that the simple yet invaluable things that constitute the true art of midwifery often […]

Read More

Guideline Commentary: Midwifery And Human Rights – A Practitioner’s Guide

GUIDELINE COMMENTARY Midwifery and human rights: a practitioner’s guide Alys Einion analyses this guideline (British Institute of Human Rights [BIHR] 2016) on human rights for midwives, and explains its implications for women in pregnancy and birth and for midwives. Guideline commentary aims to help readers make sense of published guidelines by offering a detailed appraisal […]

Read More

#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 […]

Read More

Editorial: Between Lines And Labels

EDITORIAL Between lines and labels “I’m with the diabetic woman in room 2, can you check the twin lady in room 4?” How often do you refer to the childbearing women in your care in relation to their obstetric or medical status? Throughout health service systems we have come to label the people we care […]

Read More

Article Of The Month: Guideline-centred Care Or Woman-centred Care? A Debate And Discussion

ARTICLE OF THE MONTH Guideline-centred care or woman-centred care? A debate and discussion Midwifery practice, care giving and women’s subsequent experiences of birth are often implicitly or explicitly governed by the guidelines, which can be a source of tension for both midwives and women. This article will discuss key issues, such as the conflation of […]

Read More

Living with intimate partner violence: a literature review of pregnant women’s experiences

Living with intimate partner violence: a literature review of pregnant women’s experiences Pregnancy brings joy to most women’s lives. However, some women do not enjoy their pregnancy, due to physical and/or emotional health problems, or social circumstances such as being in a relationship characterised by intimate partner violence (IPV). The aim of this review is […]

Read More

Wellbeing And Resilience: 3. The mindful midwife

WELLBEING AND RESILIENCE 3. The mindful midwife Midwifery is one of the most emotional and emotive of all the healthcare professions. In order to ‘be with woman’, we give a part of ourselves to every woman that we care for. Such reciprocity is essential to create a relationship that will maximise a woman’s birth experience […]

Read More

Viewpoint: Empathic midwifery – radical listening, curiosity and imagination

VIEWPOINT Empathic midwifery: radical listening, curiosity and imagination COMPASSION There is widespread agreement that women have a profound need for compassion during childbirth (Byrom and Downe 2015; Moloney and Gair 2015; Hall 2013). In the UK, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Code (2015) instructs midwives to practise with compassion. However, lack of research has […]

Read More

Launch of toolkit to support midwives measure their impact on the public’s health

Launch of toolkit to support midwives measure their impact on the public’s health Public health bodies launch toolkit to help healthcare professionals measure the impact of interventions on public health, but RCM says lack of resources means midwives are trying to fulfil this role with ‘one hand tied behind their back’. Public Health England (PHE) […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More
Articles - Evidence

Report Review – The new Irish maternity strategy 2016-2026

EVIDENCE Report Reviews The new Irish maternity strategy 2016-2026 In 2016, Ireland launched its first ever maternity strategy (Department of Health [IDH] 2016). This followed many high-profile controversies, including maternal and neonatal deaths due to medical misadventure. This article reviews Ireland’s history of maternity services, the new strategy and current perinatal mental health services. Irish […]

Read More
Articles - Basics

Midwifery Basics: 8. Becoming An Accountable Midwife

MIDWIFERY BASICS 8. Becoming an accountable midwife In the final article of the series, Jancis Shepherd explores some of the challenges of becoming an accountable practitioner. Becoming a midwife is the 16th series of ‘Midwifery basics’ targeted at practising midwives and midwifery students. The aim of these articles is to provide information to raise awareness […]

Read More

Advancing Practice: The Midwifery Unit Network – Creating A Community Of Practice To Enhance Maternity Services

ADVANCING PRACTICE The Midwifery Unit Network: creating a community of practice to enhance maternity services The Midwifery Unit Network (MUNet) is a community of practice which aims to promote and support the implementation and improvement of midwifery units (MUs) in the UK and internationally. It was launched in April 2016 and has been growing fast […]

Read More

Thinking Outside The Box: The Ungentle Art Of Persuasion

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX The ungentle art of persuasion A number of health care practitioners and papers have mooted the idea that sales techniques can be used to identify reasons for non-compliance and then offer information tailored to the recipient’s concerns. This month, Sara argues that this is inappropriate, paternalistic and not in alignment with […]

Read More

Midwifery Basics: Becoming A Midwife (Professional Issues) – 7. The relationship between academic integrity and professional practice

MIDWIFERY BASICS: Becoming a midwife (professional issues) 7. The relationship between academic integrity and professional practice In the seventh article of the series, Jancis Shepherd explores issues relating to academic integrity, the presentation of original work by students and the relationship with professional practice. Becoming a midwife is the 16th series of ‘Midwifery basics’ targeted […]

Read More

A changing model of rural care

A changing model of rural care Consider the impact on your pregnancy, birth and puerperium of living in a remote or rural area. A substantial minority of people in Scotland live in such areas, which has considerable implications for provision of health services and the staff at the front line of the profession. In the […]

Read More

Who’s afraid of working as a continuity of carer midwife?

Who’s afraid of working as a continuity of carer midwife? Midwifery continuity of carer (MCoCr) dominates conversations around midwifery. We are told that women want it, evidence supports it and policy is telling us to get on with it. Yet for many midwives, the introduction of MCoCr is an unwelcome pressure on an already over-stretched […]

Read More

The Resilient Midwife – 2. The Self-compassionate Midwife

THE RESILIENT MIDWIFE 2. The self-compassionate midwife Midwifery is one of the most emotional and emotive of all the health care professions. In order to be ‘with woman’, we give a part of ourselves to every woman that we care for, to create a relationship that will maximise a woman’s birth experience (Hunter 2006). This […]

Read More

Signup for Newsletter

Register your email to keep up to date with the latest information directly to you.