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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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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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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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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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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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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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 […]

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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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The road to life: neonatal transitions to extra-uterine life

The road to life: neonatal transitions to extra-uterine life The onset of labour and birth initiates profound changes for infants. It is essential to understand these unique aspects of childbirth; doing so will equip midwives with the ability to detect deviations from expected trajectories, take appropriate actions, but most importantly support normal birth transitions. These […]

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What is a midwife? A survey of pregnant women in Abu Dhabi

Evidence suggests that, throughout the world, there is a lack of understanding of the midwife’s role. It has previously been found that most pregnant women in Dubai did not understand the role of the midwife and felt safer being cared for by doctors. This paper presents findings from a survey conducted in Abu Dhabi, where […]

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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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Articles - Evidence

Cochrane Corner: Massage for promoting mental and physical health in infants under six months

EVIDENCE Cochrane Corner Massage for promoting mental and physical health in infants under six months The aim of this bi-monthly column is to highlight Cochrane Systematic Reviews of relevance to pregnancy and childbirth and to stimulate discussion on the relevance and implications of the review for practice. The Cochrane Collaboration is an international organisation that […]

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Use of acupuncture during labour

Acupuncture is becoming widely recognised as an effective method of pain relief and is being increasingly integrated within the NHS, particularly for the treatment of tension-type headache, migraine and low back pain. Acupuncture during labour has been shown by a Cochrane review to reduce labour pain intensity, increase patient satisfaction and limit the use of […]

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Benefits of infant massage

After spending three months as a clinical midwifery tutor at a remote hospital in Zambia, where I helped to train student midwives and other students, my interest in infant massage was ignited, having witnessed the benefits of massage to both mother and baby. Once back in the UK, I trained and qualified as a massage […]

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Hypnotherapy for birth

There are many misunderstandings about hypnotherapy for birth and how best to support a woman who has chosen to use it. This article brings together experiences of midwives who have attended women in labour using hypnotherapy, and aims to help birth professionals understand a bit more about hypnotherapy and how they can best support women […]

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Mobility and upright positioning in labour

A study by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) (2010) concluded that 49 per cent of women gave birth in the supine position. The RCM advocates getting women ‘off the bed’ in its campaign for normal birth (RCM 2005a). There has been much speculation as to why women labour on the bed, with some suggesting […]

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Articles - Evidence

Cochrane Corner: Dietary supplements for preventing postnatal depression

EVIDENCE Cochrane Corner Dietary supplements for preventing postnatal depression/h4> The aim of this article is to highlight Cochrane Systematic Reviews of relevance to pregnancy and childbirth and to stimulate discussion on the relevance and implications of the review for practice. The Cochrane Collaboration is an international organisation that prepares and maintains high quality systematic reviews […]

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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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Too afraid to push: dealing with fear of childbirth

Maternal request for caesarean section in the absence of medical need is an ethical and moral dilemma for the NHS. When a woman makes such a request it requires careful exploration of the underlying motivation. Many of these women will be anxious or fearful of giving birth and require tailored support. The provision of an […]

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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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Friends and family test: providing feedback on our services

FEATURE The Practising Midwife – February 2014 Friends and family test: providing feedback on our services The maternity Friends and family test (FFT) in England offers midwives some insight into how women and their families feel about local maternity care provision. The way the questions are posed should be easy for women to understand and […]

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Being fit in pregnancy

FEATURE The Practising Midwife – February 2014 Being fit in pregnancy There is a substantial body of evidence to suggest that exercise during pregnancy is not only safe but beneficial, yet many women remain unsure about what exercise is appropriate or indeed whether it is safe to exercise at all, opting instead for inactivity. The […]

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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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Community care: added value at no extra cost

FEATURE The Practising Midwife – February 2014 ‘Community care: added value at no extra cost In a difficult economic climate it is not always possible to restructure or resource existing services run by community midwives. However, it is possible to create and carry through small projects at little cost that improve continuity of care and […]

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Research Unwrapped: ‘Potential effects of chocolate on human pregnancy: a randomised controlled trial’

FEATURE The Practising Midwife – February 2014 ‘Potential effects of chocolate on human pregnancy: a randomised controlled trial’ Research unwrapped is a popular series to help readers make sense of published research by undertaking a detailed appraisal of an article in a careful and considered manner. Contemporary midwifery care seeks to implement evidence based practice. […]

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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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Women’s engagement with mobile device applications in pregnancy and childbirth

FEATURE The Practising Midwife – January 2014 Women’s engagement with mobile device applications in pregnancy and childbirth Childbearing women are increasingly engaging with social media and technology. The use of apps for pregnancy and childbirth advice is a new approach to maternity provision, and has potential to impact upon midwifery. Apps are ideally placed to […]

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Cochrane Corner: Multiple-micronutrient supplementation for women during pregnancy

FEATURE The Practising Midwife – January 2014 Cochrane Corner: Multiple-micronutrient supplementation for women during pregnancy The aim of this bi-monthly column is to highlight Cochrane Systematic Reviews of relevance to pregnancy and childbirth and to stimulate discussion on the relevance and implications of the review for practice. The Cochrane Collaboration is an international organisation that […]

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