Popular Midwifery Books
The hugely popular television programme Call the Midwife captured 9. It is set in the s East End of London, and depicts the true story of a young community midwife, based within a religious community of nursing sisters. One Born Every Minute also enjoys widespread interest and offers a contemporary view of maternity care. Another recent programme The Midwives focuses on the pressures of being a newly qualified midwife in a large maternity unit in Manchester.
Why are these programmes so popular?
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Why has birth - and midwifery - suddenly become such a talked-about subject? Is it a voyeuristic need to witness women giving birth, surrounded by 21st century technology? Have people become inured to TV soaps with their doom and gloom storylines and want something more realistic, more positive?
Or is it simply that there is nothing better to watch? There are a few minor errors - for example, measurement of the height of the abdominal fundus was not introduced until the early s.
Seeing a woman in normal labour, coping well with contractions, whose midwife quietly monitors her progress, and whose partner sits reading the paper, is not exciting viewing. It is far more watchable if there are emergencies, women screaming in apparent agony or fathers-to-be behaving strangely. Post-war clinical practice, particularly in the community, often combined maternity work with aspects of nursing, such as caring for the elderly.
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Babies were generally born at home until the Peel Report Ministry of Health recommended hospital as the safest place to give birth, and the trend for the majority of babies to be born in hospital took hold. Midwives and nurses worked within a hierarchical framework in which the doctor was the most senior professional.
Despite many initiatives attempting to instigate these principles, there was a continued emphasis in the late s and early s on avoiding risk, particularly given the increasingly litigious nature of maternity care. However, more recently, considerable concern has been expressed about the state of the UK maternity services, by mothers, midwives, doctors, service providers and government.
The Impact of “Call the Midwife” on the Public’s View of Midwifery
Maternity care needs to change to reflect consumer demands, and there needs to be a concerted effort to facilitate a return to the normality of childbirth. The Maternity Matters report DoH aimed to ensure that all women have the opportunity to choose where to give birth, and the Birthplace Cohort Study NPEU favourably compared risk factors for women giving birth in midwife-led units or at home with those for birth in consultant-led obstetric units.
There is also an urgent need to reduce obstetric interventions in order to minimize long-term morbidity and to rationalize expenditure at a time of limited resources. Many viewers have been inspired by these programmes to consider midwifery as a career.
This is very timely, since there is currently a shortage of almost midwives across the country RCM , compounded by the ever-increasing birth rate, with , babies born in Office for National Statistics , and the fact that the midwifery profession has an ageing workforce approaching retirement.
However, despite the increase in the number of applications for midwifery training from 31, in to 37, in UCAS , the majority of people still do not fully understand the role of the midwife.
The International Confederation of Midwives ICM stresses that birth is a normal physiological process, and midwifery practice is identified as being both. This care includes preventative measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in mother and child, the accessing of medical care or other appropriate assistance and the carrying out of emergency measures.
The midwife has an important task in health counselling and education, not only for the woman, but also within the family and the community. ICM No-one, other than a midwife or doctor, or one in training under supervision, is legally permitted to practise midwifery or to be the sole provider of care for a woman during pregnancy, labour or the postnatal period.
In the s, it was still necessary to train as a nurse first and then to undertake a post-registration course to become a midwife. Since the s midwifery has been classified as a completely separate profession and a nursing qualification is not a pre-requisite.
Midwifery is not nursing, although it includes some aspects of nursing care, for example, during labour or after a Caesarean. Whilst Call the Midwife is an accurate reflection of midwifery at that time, it does nothing to convince the public that modern midwifery is a discrete profession and that midwives are autonomous practitioners.
It is heartening to see the increase in the number of applications for midwifery, but applicants have about a chance of obtaining a university place for midwifery. Viewed online at www.
Excellence in Maternity Services: maternity improvement programmes viewed online at www. National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit.
The Birthplace Cohort Study Viewed online at www. Expectancy offers a Preparation for Midwifery Studies course for aspiring midwives to help them prepare for interview and as an introduction to midwifery education and practice.
Public approval of midwives book
See www. Denise has written several professional textbooks and over 40 journal papers, as well as two books for expectant mothers. She is regularly consulted by the Royal Colleges of Midwives and of Nursing on complementary medicine. She has recently been appointed Chair of the Education and Standards Committee of the Federation of Antenatal Educators and its Consultant on maternity complementary therapies.
She may be contacted via info expectancy. Fine quality flower essences international ranges to help promote vitality and emotional well-being. Massage, sports injury, holistic, healthcare and specialists books written by leaders in their field. Migra-Cap - a unique migraine cure also offering pain relief during pregnancy.
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The culture war between doctors and midwives, explained
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