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Call the student midwife: experiencing home birth

Andrea Lawrie

Midwife at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen

Anne Marie Rennie

Infant Feeding Co-ordinator at NHS Grampian

 (September 2016)

Midwives should be competent in caring for women experiencing home birth. Home birth is influenced by exposure during midwifery education. In the UK not all student midwives experience home birth, and this paper discusses the barriers that currently exist to women achieving a home birth, the consequent paucity of opportunities for students to experience home birth and it goes on to make recommendations as to how we can help midwives to feel confident and competent in supporting women to make this choice.  

Emergency home birth skills for paramedics and community midwives

Lorna Louise Dow

Labour Ward Co-ordinator at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust

 (September 2016)

Interprofessional learning (IPL) has global recognition for improving education and health care quality and is defined as ‘occurring when two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes’ (Barr and Low 2013: 4). It is widely believed that IPL can contribute to breaking down barriers and resolving misconceptions between professions (Seabrook 1998; Atkins 1998). It is surprising, therefore, that whilst IPL appears such a positive educational concept, its practical application to pre- and post-registration courses remains limited, with sparse examples of IPL in clinical practice (McLelland et al 2013; Williams and Webb 2015). This was certainly true when I developed an educational strategy for our home birth service, where I discovered not only an educational need, but no local provision for ambulance crew to maintain emergency home birth skills.

Why won't Polish women birth at home? 

John Pendleton

Lecturer in midwifery at University of Northampton

 (September 2015)

Polish women living in the United Kingdom (UK) are statistically more likely to have normal births than their British counterparts, yet anecdotally, do not choose to birth their babies at home. A medicalised approach to birth in their country of origin means women are unaware of the benefits of midwifery-led care, which they often perceive as sub-standard. Affordable travel means Polish women can access care in both countries and this compounds the difficulties in acclimatising to UK maternity services. Online discussion groups and Internet forums represent an opportunity for midwives to engage with women to promote their services. This is increasingly important with rising numbers of both Polish migrants to the UK and Polish residents applying for British citizenship.