Editorial

Midwives show strength in the face of adversity

In recent weeks, maternity professionals and service users have rallied in support of independent midwives, after the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) decided that the indemnity scheme provided by...

The benefits of a universal approach

Christmas has been and gone, but there are more gifts to come for pregnant women in Scotland: 2017 sees the launch of a Finnish-style baby box scheme across the country. A 3-month pilot in Orkney and...

Respect for women's reproductive rights

‘Sometimes it's hard to be a woman,’ Tammy Wynette once sang, before going on to advise that one should forgive one's husband for being unfaithful because ‘he's just a man’ and thus, she seems to...

Whatever happened to safety in numbers?

England is a safe place to have a baby. So says secretary of state for health Jeremy Hunt, in the foreword to the new report from the Department of Health's (DH, 2016) Maternity Safety Programme Team....

Advancing attitudes towards maternal age

A former school friend of mine, who had her first child this year, told me about her anger when an obstetrician referred to her pregnancy as ‘geriatric’. Inappropriate though this term may seem...

A welcome boost for perinatal mental health

Perinatal mental health has been lingering near the top of the midwifery agenda for a while—at least in terms of rhetoric—but now some of the talk is being translated into action. The Perinatal Mental...

‘Do more with less’ must have its limits

Along with ‘thinking outside the box’ and ‘touching base’, another annoying phrase that corporate jargon has inflicted on the English language is ‘do more with less’. This little gem has been...

Instability in the wake of the EU referendum

In the aftermath of the referendum on EU membership, uncertainty reigns. As I write this, members of the Conservative Party are considering leadership options following the resignation of David...

Looking to the future of supervision

At the end of April, the Department of Health (DH) launched a consultation on proposed changes to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) legislation regarding midwifery regulation (Proctor, 2016)....

The personal side of public health

Despite talk of ‘woman-centred care’, much of the care provided by the NHS is based on guidelines directed at the whole population, rather than tailored to the individual. In time-pressured maternity...

Coping with inequity: All in a day's work

My early years were not exactly traditional. My parents were actors, so the nature of their employment was sporadic. When I was a baby, my mother took a temporary job and my father looked after me....

Missing the point of the maternity review

The new National Maternity Review (NMR, 2016) for England has sparked a range of reactions. As this issue went to press, I read a comment in the New Scientist (Wilson, 2016) which is scathing in its...

Preventing stillbirth and providing support

One of the most emotionally challenging aspects of midwifery is supporting women and families to cope with perinatal death. In January, the Lancet (2016) launched a series on ending preventable...

The role of midwifery in women's health

The chief medical officer's (CMO's) latest Annual Report, published in December, focused on women's health (Davies, 2015). Media coverage of the report has focused on the key message that obesity is...

Midwives leading the way

Last month, at the annual conference of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), I was one of many delegates privileged to hear a selection of excellent speakers including Karen Guilliland, chief...

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