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National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Antenatal care overview. 2015. (accessed 15 February 2016)

Clinicians in the classroom: The bereavement midwife

02 March 2016
Volume 24 · Issue 3


The aim of pre-registration midwifery education is to prepare the student for the demanding and complex role they aspire to, using a range of teaching, learning and assessment strategies both in theory and practice. This article is part of a series exploring the role of clinicians as facilitators of learning in the classroom environment. This article explores the role of the bereavement midwife and discusses a teaching session conducted by bereavement midwife Tracy Rea with second-year students on the 3-year pre-registration midwifery programme. The session included input from a couple who shared their experiences of the loss of their son and their subsequent pregnancy. The article concludes with student feedback on the session, demonstrating the deep and meaningful learning that took place and confirming the value of bringing the realities of practice into the classroom environment.

One in 200 births in the UK ends in stillbirth, and of those, 1 in 3 occurs at term (37+ weeks' gestation). According to MBRRACE-UK (Draper et al, 2015: 7), ‘although there has been a small reduction in the stillbirth rate for the UK over the past 10 years, it remains relatively high compared to the rest of Europe and other high-income countries'. In response to the specific needs of families suffering the loss of their baby, many Trusts have introduced the role of bereavement midwife to provide a bespoke service for this vulnerable group.

In this article, bereavement midwife Tracy Rea of Milton Keynes University Hospital discusses her own experience and her teaching.

As a result of a personal bereavement while pregnant with my second child, the care that I received from my midwife inspired me to become a midwife myself, in the hope that I could make a difference. It also gave me the qualification to make change. I am very proud to be a midwife and feel passionate about the care that women and their families receive.

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