This website is intended for healthcare professionals.
Subscriber log in
Trial log in

ADVANCING PRACTICE Reducing the risks of obesity

Emma Rigby

Clinic Lead Midwife

Louise Perkins

Consultant Midwife Trainee at Health Education Thames Valley

Cheryl Keeble

Clinic Lead Midwife


 (July 2017)

Obesity is an increasing health problem among childbearing women. Worldwide rates of obesity have more than doubled in the past 35 years and over 1.9 billion adults in Britain are now considered overweight (World Health Organization [WHO] 2016). Costs associated with obesity are projected to reach £9.7 billion per annum by the year 2050 (Public Health England [PHE] 2016). Approximately half of all women of childbearing age in England are either overweight or obese. Maternal obesity is associated with increasing health risks for both mother and baby during and after pregnancy. In Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the newly developed and midwife-led ‘Lifestyle clinic’ has achieved popularity with women and improved maternal and newborn outcomes for pregnant women with a raised body mass index (BMI).

ADVANCING PRACTICE Paranoid or persecuted? The stigmatisation of pregnant drug users: a literature review

Claire Hooks, Senior lecturer in midwifery and bank midwife at Anglia Ruskin University

 (June 2016)

Substance misuse is a complex issue, fraught with many challenges and inequalities for those affected; most of these are as a result not of the substances themselves, but of the underlying web of socioeconomic problems associated. Whilst the literature suggests that pregnancy may be a 'window of opportunity' for substance misusing women, it also suggests that there are several barriers to women engaging with health care. One of these is the fear of being judged and stigmatised by healthcare professionals. This literature review looks at research in the field of substance misuse in pregnancy, focusing on the 'stigmatisation' of pregnant drug users by healthcare professionals, illustrating the potential impact of this upon care, and explains how midwives can support drug-using clients in managing their childbirth experience.

Advancing the public health role of midwives and maternity support workers

Elizabeth Gomez

Professional Adviser in Public Health at the RCM and Senior Lecturer in Midwifery at the University of Central Lancashire

 (June 2016)

Midwives are crucial to enhancing public health and wellbeing. Caring for families throughout the childbearing continuum offers midwives the perfect opportunity to address many public health agendas. All aspects of midwifery care can influence health outcomes and, as such, it is essential that all midwives embrace their public health role. In this article you will be encouraged to advance your public health role by exploring key midwifery directives regarding public health agendas; examining the outcomes of recent surveys and work conducted by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), in the United Kingdom (UK); and reviewing ways to develop our public health role from a range of perspectives within maternity services.

ADVANCING PRACTICE FGM and midwifery practice

Marianne Mitchell

Senior lecturer in midwifery at University of Hertfordshire

 (April 2016)

Midwives in the UK should have appropriate education in order to provide optimum care for women with female genital mutilation (FGM) and know how to safeguard any children who could be at risk. In addition to this, women with FGM have a right to progress though their pregnancy and beyond, safely and confidently, in a supportive environment, and must be empowered to do so. Efforts are being strengthened by the government to tackle the issue of FGM and prevent further cases; therefore all those working in maternity care need to ensure they are equipped to deal with this issue. This article focuses on some of the factors that should be considered in the identification and referral of women with FGM, the planning of their maternity care and related safeguarding issues.