The Practising Midwife - Mother Baby

Family Integrated Care

Delivery of family integrated care on the neonatal unit. The introduction of parent-led ward rounds This article explores the introduction of parent-led ward rounds on a neonatal unit as an influential part of Family Integrated Care (FIC). As a growing independent population, parents want to be more involved in the care of their babies and […]

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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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Articles - Advancing Practice

Reducing the risks of obesity

ADVANCING PRACTICE Public Health Reducing the risks of obesity Obesity is an increasing health problem among childbearing women. Worldwide rates of obesity have more than doubled in the past 35 years and over 1.9 billion adults in Britain are now considered overweight (World Health Organization [WHO] 2016). Costs associated with obesity are projected to reach […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Using theatre in preceptorship

ADVANCING PRACTICE Leadership Using theatre in preceptorship Using theatre methods and techniques in post registration education has the unique advantage of facilitating learning that is based in the reality of practice yet in a safe space free from the demands and pressures of the work place. It offers compassionate insights that allow participants to reflect […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Learning through teaching: a peer teaching innovation in midwifery education

ADVANCING PRACTICE Education Learning through teaching: a peer teaching innovation in midwifery education Peer led teaching (PLT) is a method whereby one group of students is involved in the teaching of another (McKenna and French 2011). Whilst almost all universities worldwide offer some form of peer support for learning, the lack of available literature suggests […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Building enhanced midwifery services

ADVANCING PRACTICE Leadership Building enhanced midwifery services As midwives in 2016, we find ourselves in an ever-more challenging environment when it comes to providing effective care throughout the pregnancy continuum. Social deprivation and poverty seem to be common denominators when taking booking histories and, as a result, we see a steady increase in families where […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Reducing maternal sepsis

ADVANCING PRACTICE Intrapartum Care / Mortality Reducing maternal sepsis Despite significant advances in the diagnosis and management of sepsis, sepsis in the puerperium remains an important cause of maternal death (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) 2012). To ensure the best outcome for women who are septic, timely diagnosis and treatment is required, together […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Detecting fetal compromise during active labour and managing neonatal after-effects

ADVANCING PRACTICE Intrapartum Care Detecting fetal compromise during active labour and managing neonatal after-effects Evaluating fetal wellbeing during the intrapartum period to detect fetal compromise and hypoxia is a topic of considerable importance to midwives. In part this is because the events during this time can have profound significance for the physical and emotional wellbeing […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Advancing the public health role of midwives and maternity support workers

ADVANCING PRACTICE Public Health Advancing the public health role of midwives and maternity support workers Midwives are crucial to enhancing public health and wellbeing. Caring for families throughout the childbearing continuum offers midwives the perfect opportunity to address many public health agendas. All aspects of midwifery care can influence health outcomes and, as such, it […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Concealed pregnancy and newborn abandonment: a contemporary 21st century issue – Part 1

ADVANCING PRACTICE Postnatal Care Concealed pregnancy and newborn abandonment:a contemporary 21st century issue – Part 1 This two-part series explores the phenomenon of concealed pregnancy and the association with newborn abandonment, with reference to recent cases of public interest. In Part 1 we focus on defining concealed pregnancy as a complex process which involves hiding […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Dancing in the grey zone between normality and risk

ADVANCING PRACTICE Intrapartum Care Dancing in the grey zone between normality and risk Childbirth is mainly grey. The most straightforward of births can lead to unexpected, heart-stopping moments – and the highest risk woman can, despite our fears, birth without any of the imagined horrors being realised. As midwives we can choose to be paralysed […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Perineal protection

ADVANCING PRACTICE Intrapartum Care Perineal protection Perineal tearing in childbirth is common and can have a considerable impact on women. There are various hands-on techniques that midwives use routinely to protect the perineum but not all of them are evidence based. Despite this, midwives often feel that they are the determining factor in whether a […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Supporting women’s instinctive pushing behaviour during birth

ADVANCING PRACTICE Intrapartum Care Supporting women’s instinctive pushing behaviour during birth During birth women instinctively push in the most effective and safe way for themselves and their babies. However, midwives continue to direct women’s pushing behaviours. The assumptions underpinning this practice must be examined and challenged. Midwives need to develop an evidence-based approach that acknowledges […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Antenatal Care: Advancing maternal age and trisomy screening

ADVANCING PRACTICE Antenatal care Advancing maternal age and trisomy screening: the practice challenges of facilitating choice and gaining consent Antenatal screening for chromosomal anomalies such as Trisomy 13, 18 and 21 (Patau’s, Edward’s and Down’s syndrome, respectively) is offered to all pregnant women in the first two trimesters. This article explores the varying considerations of […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Complimentary Therapies: Attitudes and approaches to healing for midwives

ADVANCING PRACTICE Complimentary Therapies Attitudes and approaches to healing for midwives This article is about the types of approaches available to midwives that enable them to learn additional skills to support mothers and babies in their practice. It is a combination of theory and humanistic understanding and I believe I can share useful experiences with […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

FGM and midwifery practice

ADVANCING PRACTICE Public Health FGM and midwifery practice Midwives in the UK should have appropriate education in order to provide optimum care for women with female genital mutilation (FGM) and know how to safeguard any children who could be at risk. In addition to this, women with FGM have a right to progress though their […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Improving workplace behaviour in maternity services

ADVANCING PRACTICE Leadership Improving workplace behaviour in maternity services It is tragic that in the midwifery and medical professions we are still witnessing bullying and poor workplace behaviours in the NHS. The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) have been discussing this since the early 2000s as midwifery […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Enhancing and developing leadership in midwifery

ADVANCING PRACTICE Leadership Enhancing and developing leadership in midwifery Leadership is a word often heard in any workplace, and healthcare services are no different. Much has been written about leadership styles and theories, with a search of one online retailer revealing 153,589 books available on the subject. How many midwives have those books on their […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Clinical guidelines

ADVANCING PRACTICE Education Clinical guidelines Elaine Uppal focuses on the importance of all midwives developing guideline writing skills to ensure that local, national and international midwifery/maternity guidelines are up to date, relevant and reflect midwifery knowledge alongside ‘gold’ standard evidence. The article aims to consider the development, use and critical appraisal of clinical guidelines. It […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

From pregnancy to palliative care: advancing professional midwifery practice?

ADVANCING PRACTICE Mortality From pregnancy to palliative care: advancing professional midwifery practice? Historically midwives may have not considered palliative care as a part of their professional role. Enhanced technologies and antenatal screening have broadened the boundaries of care. However do midwives truly embrace the philosophy of palliative care into their practice? This paper presents the […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Reflections on human rights as a reality for women and midwives

ADVANCING PRACTICE Leadership Reflections on human rights as a reality for women and midwives We often speak of a woman’s right to choose the way she wishes to give birth. This article discusses how ‘real’ that right is. Some of the legal background to human rights as they relate to childbirth is set out, centred […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

The Power of Two: Reflections on the MBRRACE-UK maternal and perinatal deaths reports and the London Maternity Strategic Clinical Network

ADVANCING PRACTICE Mortality The power of two: Reflections on the MBRRACE-UK maternal and perinatal deaths reports and the London Maternity Strategic Clinical Network The UK maternal mortality rate is 10 per 100,000 maternities and is falling. The decrease is due to fewer deaths from direct causes; there has been no significant change in the indirect […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Mind the gap: diastasis of the rectus abdominis muscles in pregnant and postnatal women

ADVANCING PRACTICE Complications Mind the gap: diastasis of the rectus abdominis muscles in pregnant and postnatal women This article looks at the abdominal physiology of pregnant and postnatal women, the incidence of diastasis recti abdominis and the possible risk factors for this condition. The longer-term implications of this condition, the effects of exercise, indicators for […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Decision making in midwifery: rationality and intuition

ADVANCING PRACTICE Decision making in midwifery: rationality and intuition Decision making in midwifery is a complex process that shapes and underpins clinical practice and determines, to a large extent, the quality of care. Effective decision making and professional accountability are central to clinical governance, and being able to justify all decisions is a professional and […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Effective non-pharmacological birth interventions

ADVANCING PRACTICE Intrapartum Care Effective non-pharmacological birth interventions Midwifery expertise is in ‘normal’ birth. What constitutes ‘normal’ is debatable, but well embedded within ‘normal’ are the birth plans of women who aspire to give birth without using drugs. To give birth without drugs for many may seem undesirable or intolerable, especially to those whose cultural […]

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Articles - Advancing Practice

Paranoid or persecuted? The stigmatisation of pregnant drug users: a literature review

ADVANCING PRACTICE Public Health Paranoid or persecuted? The stigmatisation of pregnant drug users: a literature review Substance misuse is a complex issue, fraught with many challenges and inequalities for those affected; most of these are as a result not of the substances themselves, but of the underlying web of socioeconomic problems associated. Whilst the literature […]

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