Implementing optimal cord clamping – never, ever, give up

By Amanda Burleigh  In this blog, supplementing The Practising Midwife’s February 2018 Article of the Month (Burleigh and Uwins 2018) promoting practice change to implement optimum cord clamping, Amanda Burleigh describes the 12-year journey she has taken, and offers insight into the effort required to overcome the barriers to implementing change. Amanda charts the moments […]

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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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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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Advancing Practice: Communication Skills

ADVANCING PRACTICE Communication Skills Life After Attending And Participating In Nhs Connected Course In Advanced Communication Skills; A Midwife’S Perspective Communication is a process of giving and receiving messages and is essential to providing competent care (England and Morgan 2012; Silverman et al 2016). The poor quality of communication identified in reports (Knight et al 2014; 2016), […]

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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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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’ […]

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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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Original Research: Effect Of Husband Participation On Mental Health During Antenatal Care – A Randomised Clinical Trial

ORIGINAL RESEARCH Effect of husband participation on mental health during antenatal care: a randomised clinical trial This study evaluated the effect of husband participation on pregnant women’s mental health during 2014. A randomised clinical trial was adopted. By randomised sampling, the data of 66 participants were collected among women who regularly attended health centres for […]

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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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Original Research: A Prospective Chart Review On The Management Of Postpartum Acute Perineal Pain

ORIGINAL RESEARCH A prospective chart review on the management of postpartum acute perineal pain Postpartum acute perineal pain can cause a significant impact on maternal morbidity (Dahlen and Homer 2008). The purpose of this article is to enhance midwives’ understanding and knowledge regarding the management of postpartum perineal pain following perineal lacerations sustained during vaginal […]

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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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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 […]

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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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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 […]

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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) […]

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Midwifery programmes receive top marks in Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative

Midwifery programmes receive top marks in Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative Oxford Brookes University has been commended for its ‘outstanding programme of study’ in a recent assessment of Unicef UK Baby Friendly standards. The Baby Friendly Initiative is a worldwide programme of the World Health Organization and Unicef first introduced in 1992 to encourage maternity […]

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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 […]

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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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Empower: Empowering Mothers, Providing Options With Education And Relaxation

EMPOWER: Empowering mothers, providing options with education and relaxation Most women within their lifetime will experience pregnancy, birth and motherhood. Despite this almost universal experience, the process is far from uniform. Throughout the childbirth continuum, expectations and experiences of women are diverse and ever-changing (van Teijlingen et al 2017). This article explores an innovative idea, […]

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Viewpoint: What To Push For?

VIEWPOINT What to push for? The aim of midwifery care is to optimise health and wellbeing for mother and baby; support for a straightforward normal birth is a part of that care continuum. SUPPORTING NORMAL BIRTH There has been a great deal of debate and discussion in the media lately around the issue of ‘natural’ […]

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Thinking Outside The Box: The Evidence For Rebozos – Part 2

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX The evidence for rebozos: Part 2 This is the second part of a two-part article in which Sara discusses the use and history of the rebozo, a colourful shawl traditionally worn by Mexican women, which is increasingly used as a tool by midwives, and considers whether there is evidence to support […]

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