Personalising care for every woman
Fulfilling its meaning of ‘with woman’, midwifery has been present throughout the centuries. The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM, 2011) refers to midwifery as one of the oldest and most respected professions in the world. Midwives have a long history of providing care for childbearing women, and the concept of woman-centred care has been a theme that has remained in midwifery throughout the centuries. The recently published report from the National Maternity Review (2016), Better Births: Improving outcomes of maternity services in England, highlighted personalised care as a key theme. It suggested that a woman's maternity care should be tailored and personalised to her individual needs and those of her baby and family.
In the UK today, midwives have a duty to act as ambassadors for women during the childbirth continuum. It is the duty of a midwife to prioritise people, practise effectively, preserve safety and promote professionalism and trust. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE, 2010; 2015; 2016), the Nursing and Midwifery Council (2015) and the Royal College of Midwives (2014) have all issued guidance, support and recommendations for a woman-centred care approach in all maternity settings.
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