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Category Archives: Midwifery

Midwifery in Australia is poised for a number of exciting developments, after years of struggle for recognition. Birth International has sponsored many visits to Australia by overseas speakers, all of whom have been instrumental in achieving change in their own countries so that women and babies have better birth experiences and the midwifery profession gains its rightful place in the health services.Their insights have provided direction and ideas for midwives in Australia, who have adapted and developed the new systems that will come into operation in 2010.

The following articles chart the progress of midwifery in a number of countries and also offer insights into midwifery practise and its impact on birth outcomes. A number of these articles were presented at an important series of seminars with the overall title of “Future Birth” that were sponsored by Birth International every two years from 1992 until 2009.

Midwifery in New Zealand

Midwifery in New Zealand

by Karen Guililland Social change of the magnitude experienced by the New Zealand Maternity Service over the last eight years has not been without difficulties. The changes have challenged individual women and their families, midwives, general practitioners, obstetricians, politicians and institutions. Such challenges attract considerable excitement and enthusiasm but they also attract resistance and hostility. […]

Are midwives a dying breed?

Are midwives a dying breed

by Andrea Robertson Enabling a woman to give birth physiologically must surely be every midwife’s aim. The whole philosophy of midwifery rests on the knowledge that birth is a normal bodily function for a woman that requires a conducive environment and an experienced companion to watch for problems that may occasionally develop. This “experienced companion” […]

The Place of Birth: The Dutch Midwifery System

The Place of Birth: The Dutch Midwifery System

by Beatrijs Smulders Dutch midwifery care is unique in the world. Our country has a totally different culture and system that allows Dutch midwives to work as they do and this is not because our midwives or obstetricians are very different from elsewhere but because our approach enables women to get the best of both […]

Highlights: First 100 Babies Report

Ryde Group Midwifery Practice

The Ryde Group Midwifery Practice Ryde Midwifery Group Practice was launched on 15th March 2004. A six months transition period followed. This is a report card of the first 100 intended bookings at Ryde. The Ryde Midwifery Group Practice offers the benefits of continuity of midwifery care to low risk non-insured women who book with […]

It’s happening – midwifery led maternity services at last!

It's happening - midwifery led maternity services at last

by Sally Tracy In this update on our progress towards a National Maternity Action Plan, the new midwifery services are described – the battles, the strategies and the results so far. Together we can reverse the trends of over-medicalised birth in this country. The first part of my presentation will be based on the results […]

Midwifery Care for Every Woman, Everywhere.

Midwifery Care for every women everywhere - Jane Palmer

by Susanne Houd To be born with a home Women in Nunavik, Eritrea and Greenland want to give birth where they live, with midwives that understand their language and culture and at the same time, who have the knowledge of today’s midwifery care. They want their babies to be born with a home – this […]

The Outcome of Perinatal Care in Inukjuak, Nunavik, Canada 1998-2002

The Outcome of Perinatal Care in Inukjuak

by Susanne Houd Abstract Introduction. From the 1950s women in Nunavik were transferred to South Quebec to give birth. Since 1986 women have had the opportunity to give birth in Povungnituk, Nunavik, and the education of community midwives began. Inukjuak, a small community in Nunavik, was included in the project in 1998. There is no possibility […]

Horizontal Violence in the Workplace

Horizontal Violence in the Workplace

by Carolyn Hastie Definition of horizontal violence Horizontal violence is hostile and aggressive behaviour by individual or group members towards another member or groups of members of the larger group. This has been described as inter-group conflict. ( Duffy 1995). Horizontal violence is endemic in the workplace culture and it is an unacceptable and destructive […]

Reclaiming Midwifery Care as a Foundation for Promoting ‘Normal’ Birth

Reclaiming Midwifery Care as a Foundation for Promoting 'Normal' Birth

by Maggie Banks This paper identifies some essentials of midwifery practice and looks at how the woman who may have additional care needs receives woman-centred care. Breech presentation will be used by way of example to demonstrate the latter. Childbirth is neither ‘normal’ nor ‘abnormal’. It is, quite simply, a childbirth journey – a unique […]

Enriching Care The Selangor Maternity Centre Experience

Enriching Care The Selangor Maternity Centre Experience

by Lynne Staff This paper was presented at the Enriching Midwifery Conference, Australia, March 2000 for Birth International. What we did/do at Selangor Live the philosophy, breathe it and believe in it — we don’t just pay lip service to it. Communicate this philosophy well to management (all levels) and ensure their continued support. Developed […]

Managing Change In Midwifery Practice

Managing Change In Midwifery Practice

by Pat Brodie This paper will describe the process of improving maternity care through an innovative program, based at St George Hospital, that enabled the introduction of a community based ‘continuity of midwifery care’ model incorporating collaboration between midwives and obstetricians. This model of care was initially based on evidence and experiences gained elsewhere, such […]

No Gain Without Pain!

No gain without pain

By Nicky Leap Why study pain? The pain of labour is a constant feature of the discussion in unstructured antenatal groups (Leap 1992) and women have highlighted the fact that the attitudes of midwives have a profound effect on their experience of giving birth (Kitzinger 1988; Oakley 1981; Philips et al 1984; Leap & Hunter […]

The Re-emergence of Canadian Midwifery

The Re-emergence of Canadian Midwifery

by Holliday Tyson The Destruction of Canadian Midwifery during the 20th Century Throughout most of the 20th century, Canada was the only western industrialized country with no legal provisions for the practice and the profession of midwifery. Prior to the Second World War, many births were attended by lay midwives; Canada’s indigenous peoples had a […]