Clinical Practice

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...

Alternatives to breastfeeding: The use of goats' milk in infant formula

‘The scaling up of breastfeeding to a near universal level could prevent 823 000 annual deaths in children younger than 5 years and 20 000 annual deaths from breast cancer’ (Victora et al, 2016: 475)...

Retinopathy of prematurity: Causes, prevention and treatment

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a proliferative disorder of the immature retinal vasculature The retina has no blood vessels until around 16 weeks' gestation; the vessels grow out from the optic...

Safe drug administration in midwifery

Safe drug administration is an NHS priority and fundamental standard of the Care Quality Commission (CQC, 2016); this is important because midwives' errors in drug administration are reflected in...

Platelets in pregnancy: Their role and function in disease

Platelets are ‘anucleate’ cell fragments that circulate in the blood and are critical for haemostasis (Figure 1) They usually exist in a quiescent state but upon vascular injury they become activated...

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