Comment

Repealing the Eighth Amendment

On 25 May 2018, the Republic of Ireland will hold a referendum to decide whether to repeal the Eighth Amendment, a constitutional provision that effectively amounts to an all-out ban on abortion in...

Flexibility for independent midwives

I first heard about UK Birth Centres Ltd's Professional Risk and Indemnity Scheme for Midwives (PRISM) when it launched in February, directly through Private Midwives The scheme is one-of-a-kind and...

Could artificial intelligence assist mothers with breastfeeding?

As midwives, nurses and health visitors are well aware, there is a wealth of information and research about the importance of breastfeeding Benefits to babies include reduced incidence of...

Transforming postnatal care

Postnatal care, the ‘Cinderella’ of NHS maternity services, is often undervalued and in the shadow of its bigger siblings, antenatal and intrapartum care The women of North West London told us that...

Handwashing and psychology

The acronym KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) is attributed to the American aeronautical engineer Kelly Johnson

From fear to maternity

Fear of birth is becoming increasingly recognised as a clinical issue that can have profound effects on the mother and her experience of pregnancy and birth Failure to identify women with fear of...

How important is reading critically?

On my bookshelf is a copy of Francis Wheen's How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World (2004), in which cults, quacks and New Age mystics are hilariously exposed as charlatans By contrast, in areas where it...

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...

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