Clinical Practice

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...

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...

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...

Immune thrombocytopaenia in pregnancy: Key principles for the midwife

Midwives are experts in the care of normal pregnancy/birth, but are also professionally accountable for detecting deviations and initiating immediate referral to an appropriate expert (Nursing and...

What should midwives know about Zika virus infection?

On 1 February 2016, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the recent outbreak of cases of fetal microcephaly linked to Zika in South America an international public...

‘Once a caesarean, always a caesarean’? Challenging perceptions around vaginal birth after caesarean

The benefits and safety of vaginal birth after primary caesarean section (VBAC) is a subject of considerable interest to midwives, and one which this journal periodically revisits Some of this...

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