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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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 […]

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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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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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A place for student resilience

A place for student resilience Student survival guide (formerly Midwifery basics) is 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 seek further information through a series of activities relating to the topic.In this fourth […]

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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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Student Survival Guide: 2. Practice Placements

STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE 2: Practice placements In the second article of this new series, Afshan Ali and Anna Matthews provide advice on how to approach practice placements. This includes practical tips on what to take with you and what might be expected of you when you get there, as well as how to prepare for […]

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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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Article Of The Month: Perinatal Mental Health And Wellbeing – Policy And Practice

ARTICLE OF THE MONTH Perinatal mental health and wellbeing: policy and practice In the first article of our new series on perinatal mental health, we provide an overview of the relevant policy landscape in England. Future papers in this series will include a discussion on pathways for mothers affected by more severe mental health conditions; […]

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Student Survival Guide

STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE To accompany this month’s journal article in which second year student midwives Afshan Ali and Anna Matthews give students their top tips for surviving practice placements, Afshan and Anna describe their experiences of being on placement. AFSHAN: DELIVERY SUITE PLACEMENT FIRST SHIFT So today is the first day of my second delivery suite […]

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Global Midwifery Matters: 4. Stillbirth In Sri Lanka

GLOBAL MIDWIFERY MATTERS 4. Stillbirth in Sri Lanka This mini series aims to share, discuss and promote midwifery in a global context. Midwifery is a truly global profession and even those of us who work solely in the UK will care for women from many different cultures; these articles reflect the experiences of midwives and […]

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Women’s Voices: Surrogacy. The Dream Of Parenthood

WOMEN’S VOICES Surrogacy. The dream of parenthood Women’s Voices is an occasional series that captures the reflections, recommendations and reviews of those who work within or use maternity care services. Sharing the perspectives and experiences of women, partners, families and maternity workers helps to explore what really matters in the everyday, life-changing moments of childbearing, […]

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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 […]

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Report Review: State Of The World’s Fathers – Time For Action

REPORT REVIEW State of the world’s fathers: time for action State of the world’s fathers: time for action presents a summary of the current issues facing fathers with suggestions of what action is needed to improve the experience of fathers and the wellbeing of families across the world. Helman B, Levov R, van der Gaag […]

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Editorial: #inittogether – Passing It On

EDITORIAL #Inittogether – passing it on This summer I was contacted by a midwife from Birmingham and asked if I could send some well-wishes for one of my past clinical mentors as she retired from midwifery. I had worked with this mentor in my final community placement of midwifery education. Reflecting on that time, I […]

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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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Student Survival Guide: 1. In The Beginning – Getting Off To The Best Start As A Student Midwife

STUDENT SURVIVAL GUIDE 1. In the beginning: getting off to the best start as a student midwife In the first article of this new series, Sarah Baker and Louise Webster provide advice on how to get off to the best start as a new student at university. This includes practical tips on how to ‘hit […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Twitter: what is it all about?

Twitter: what is it all about? The authors examine the role of social media and how midwives can use it to develop their own practise – and offer useful advice: think before you Tweet (or post) Social media is enormous and continues to grow and develop each day. It could even be said that social […]

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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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