Clinical Practice

Reducing the incidence of incontinence

Many women develop problems associated with pelvic floor dysfunction, which often stem from the peripartum period Those at most risk include: women of an older maternal age, those with a high body...

Helping women prepare for hyperemesis gravidarum

Nausea and vomiting affects around 80% of pregnant women to a greater or lesser degree making it the most common medical condition in pregnancy (Gadsby and Barnie-Adshead, 2011) Around 30% of women...

Ebola in pregnancy

On 8 August 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General declared the recent outbreak of Ebola virus in Africa, ‘a public health emergency of international concern’ (Kennedy, 2014)...

Is the evidence on waterbirth watertight?

Waterbirth has been recognised as a clinically effective means to reduce the intensity of pain during normal physiological labour and increase women's satisfaction with their birth experiences...

Recurrent and persistent thrush in pregnancy

One of the most common causes of yeast infections in the vulvovaginal area is Candida albicans (Holland et al, 2003; Sobel et al, 2013) During their childbearing years, 75% of women will experience at...

Neonatal skin cleansing revisited: Whether or not to use skin cleansing products

Midwives are commonly asked by parents for advice on how they should clean their newborn infant and what should they use on his/her skin The answers are not as straight forward as might be supposed...

An exploration of the benefits and drawbacks of intrapartum pain management strategies

‘Labour pain is not associated with pathology but with the most basic and fundamental of life's experiences’ (Lowe, 2002: 16) An integral part of the labour process, pain poses challenges to both...

The imperative of implementing delayed cord clamping to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes

The third stage of labour begins at the time the newborn is delivered and continues until the placenta and membranes are expelled Immediately after birth, the newborn remains attached to the mother...

Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy: An ‘alternative’ approach to care

It is thought that as many as 85% of expectant mothers experience nausea, vomiting and associated symptoms such as heartburn (Cardwell, 2012; Pasha et al, 2012; Festin, 2014) The causative factors are...

Hypothermia in the newborn: An exploration of its cause, effect and prevention

Hypothermia is considered to be a major contributing factor to neonatal morbidity and, in extreme cases, mortality (Kumar et al, 2009) Newborns are at risk of hypothermia irrespective of their...

The role of the midwife in breastfeeding: Dichotomies and dissonance

The role of the midwife in breastfeeding is extensive and includes relaying knowledge about the subject, promoting, encouraging and supporting breastfeeding mothers, complying with policies and...

Should midwives measure blood loss in the fourth stage of labour?

The fourth stage of labour is defined in some research as the first 1 to 2 hours following delivery of the placenta (Kashanian et al, 2010; Gungorduk et al, 2011) However, in undertaking a literature...

Induction of labour for post-term pregnancy

Recent decades have seen a theoretical power shift from clinician authority to user autonomy alongside a public and political movement emphasising personal choice and control in relation to maternity...

Managing shoulder dystocia: Understanding and applying RCOG guidance

Shoulder dystocia is a relatively common phenomenon that most midwives will encounter as they care for women in labour Evidence suggests that the incidence rate varies between 058 and 07% (Royal...

Re-engaging with vaginal breech birth: A philosophical discussion

In November 2012, over 200 birth professionals including midwives, obstetricians, alternative therapists and birth supporters gathered together in Washington, USA for the third International Breech...

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