Birth Environment Module

The environment in which a woman labours and gives birth can have a dramatic effect on the physical and psychological outcomes for mother and baby (Hodnett et al 2009; Nilsson 2014). The space that is used by birthing women can support the body’s natural ability to release the necessary hormones that create the dance of labour (Buckley 2009), or suppress it.

Instructed by: All4Maternity . in: , , ,

Course Description

Introduction

The environment in which a woman labours and gives birth can have a dramatic effect on the physical and psychological outcomes for mother and baby (Hodnett et al 2009; Nilsson 2014). The space that is used by birthing women can support the body’s natural ability to release the necessary hormones that create the dance of labour (Buckley 2009), or suppress it. Women report increased satisfaction when giving birth at home, or in a midwife-led unit (Birthrights 2013; Walsh and Downe 2013), and for healthy women who have no complications, these environments are safe for mothers, and reduce the need for medical intervention (NICE 2017). Research also suggests that the birth space affects the quality of midwifery care that is provided by the midwife (Hammond et al 2013). How can we support midwives and other maternity workers, to help women to choose the right birth place for them, and then to create a physical and emotional environment for labour and birth that maximises hormonal interaction for optimal birth and parenting?

Learning aims and objectives

This module aims to enhance understanding of the hormones of labour, and the importance of ‘ and birth environment. It offers knowledge of how to maximise the space for women to give birth in and begin their journey as a mother. By the end of this e-learning module you will be able to:
  • Understand the basic hormonal components of physiological birth
  • Recognise and consider environments and care provision that maximise physiological hormonal responses
  • Reflect on the presence of these elements in your own place of work, and how to utilise them
  • Consider your skills and the impact that this learning may have on your own practice

Linking keywords/topics

Physiology, birth environment, oxytocin, childbirth, normal birth, attachment and bonding, skin-to-skin, breastfeeding, perinatal mental health, infant brain development, epigenetics

Curriculum

  • Module
    • Introduction
      • Video
      • References and Resources
      • Recommended further reading and resources
      • Activities
      • Question 1
      • Question 2
      • Question 3
      • Question 4
      • Question 5
      • Question 6
      • Question 7
      • Question 8
      • Question 9
      • Question 10

About Instructor

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