Clinical Practice

Pain in labour and the intrapartum use of intramuscular opioids—how effective are they?

In order to consider how to work with pain in labour it is important to understand its function in labour and birth By understanding the physiological role of intrapartum pain, it is possible to...

Providing sun safety advice: The midwife's role

Of all the different types of cancer diagnosed globally, skin cancer is the most prolific (Nguyen et al, 2012), and melanoma remains the major cause of death from skin cancer (Trakatelli et al, 2012)...

A clinical assessment tool for midwives undertaking the Newborn Infant Physical Examination

The purpose of the Newborn and Infant Physical Examination (NIPE) is to identify and refer all children born with congenital abnormalities of the eyes, heart, hips, and testes, where these are...

Clinical practice: Perineal suturing

It is estimated that 1 000 women per day will experience perineal suturing following vaginal birth in the UK alone (Kettle et al, 2010) The aim of suturing perineal trauma is to achieve haemostasis,...

Caring for pregnant women with long-term conditions: maternal and neonatal effects of epilepsy

Worldwide, epilepsy is thought to affect approximately 1% of people (Grant, 2016) Though subject to various methodological (definitions of disease) and clinical issues (diagnostic criteria) this...

Periodontal health and pregnancy

This article discusses factors that affect periodontal (gum) health and implications associated with delay in conception and reported adverse pregnancy outcomes Periodontal disease is the result of a...

Management of shoulder dystocia using the HELPERR mnemonic

Shoulder dystocia occurs when a fetal shoulder becomes impacted, most commonly on the maternal symphysis pubis, or the sacral promontory of the maternal pelvis (Royal College of Obstetricians and...

Prevention of neonatal whooping cough in England: The essential role of the midwife

Pertussis is a vaccine-preventable disease of global public health significance Estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO, 2011) suggest that, in 2008, about 16 million cases of pertussis...

Labour and beyond: The roles of synthetic and endogenous oxytocin in transition to motherhood

In the course of spontaneous physiological labour, endogenous oxytocin is released from the pituitary gland and initiates uterine contractions However, when it is deemed medically necessary to induce...

Revisiting infant nappy dermatitis: Causes and preventive care

Infant skin cleansing is a controversial topic and one about which proponents of different regimes have strong opinions (Hugill, 2014) Nappy rash and nappy dermatitis are broad terms used to describe...

Cerebrospinal fluid shunts in the maternity context

As a result of advances in medicine, midwives and obstetricians are increasingly seeing a number women with complex medical histories This may include women who have been born with hydro cephalus, or...

Non-pharmacological pain management strategies for labour: Maintaining a physiological outlook

Labour pain is complex and multifaceted, existing within an individual perception and context, and arising from individual physiology, psychology and cultural perspectives Notions of ‘normal labour’...

Motivations and influences acting on women choosing a homebirth: Seeking a ‘cwtch’ birth setting

In the UK, only a small number of women have a homebirth Recent birth figures report that, on average, 23% of women gave birth at home in England and Wales (Office for National Statistics (ONS), 2015)...

Epilepsy in pregnancy: Pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterised by recurrent unprovoked seizures (Krumholz et al, 2015) It is one of the most common chronic medical disorders, affecting up to 50 million people...

Blood transfusion in the context of maternity care

In contemporary midwifery practice, the administration of blood transfusion (BT) has been relatively rare, compounded by the scarcity of blood, with an approximate incidence of 6% of BT in maternity...

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