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Tocophobia

Describing her reaction to a film on childbirth that was shown at her school, Dame Helen Mirren once commented: ‘I swear it traumatised me to this day I haven't had children and now I can't look at...

More rigorous investigating needed to improve maternity safety

Coroners could be given powers to investigate stillbirths and help improve maternity safety, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said Currently, coroners only have jurisdiction to investigate deaths of...

Unwarranted variation in the provision of midwifery care

There are a number of examples of unwarranted variation in healthcare, both in the UK and globally Unwarranted variation has the potential to divert resources to areas where they are uncalled for, and...

Prenatal surgery

The first report of a prenatal intervention was made in 1963, when a life-saving intrauterine blood transfusion was undertaken on a fetus with severe haemolytic disease at 32 weeks gestation (Liley,...

Tattoos, piercings and pregnancy

According to Laux et al (2016: 395), ‘many individuals receive their first tattoo at age 16–20 years […] with up to 36% of people younger than 40 years having at least one tattoo’ Midwives often care...

Pregnancy and diet

The midwife is uniquely placed to promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and to provide evidence-based nutritional advice to pregnant women Englund-Ögge et al (2014) reported on a prospective...

Pre-surgery pregnancy status

In 2010, a national newspaper reported that the National Patient Safety Agency database recorded three women who lost their babies following surgery, saying that,

Tranexamic acid

Germaine Greer wrote that ‘[c]hildbirth has been transformed from an awesome personal and social event into a medical phenomenon’ (Greer, 1984: 19) But given that around 830 women die every day from...

Leading greater integration

The Skills for Health working paper, Integration and the development of the workforce (Skills for Health, 2017) set out a drive for greater integration between health and social care, reframing the...

The new world of clinical supervision

Three weeks into my new appointment as Deputy Regional Maternity Lead for Midlands and East, the Easter Bank holiday weekend prompted me to catch my breath and reflect on the dramatic changes and...

The future of artificial wombs

In Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1932), ectogenesis—growing embryos in artificial environments—thrives at the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre Here, ‘standardised’ individuals are...

‘Making a difference in the world’

This month, more than 4000 midwives from over 100 countries will descend on Toronto for 5 days to attend the 31st International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Triennial Congress The theme of this...

The challenge of ruptures

Vaginal wetness is common during pregnancy Around 20% of pregnant women report to hospital or birth units reporting wetness (Odunsi and Rinaudo, 2001) In most cases, it is harmless, resulting from...

Trace display Doppler monitors

Intrapartum fetal monitoring is going through a period of intense scrutiny in the UK Midwives are on the front line of cardiotocography (CTG) interpretation and intermittent auscultation (IA) of fetal...

Interview with Alice Gautreau

What made you want to work in the Congo? I've always wanted to go and work in Africa When I was a student midwife I did my elective placement in Ethiopia and I loved it—I had the best time so I...

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