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

Stand up and deliver: enhancing your presentation skills

Anna Byrom

Midwife, Lecturer in Midwifery at University of Central Lancashire; Editor, The Practising Midwife


 (June 2017)

In this article I discuss the value and importance of presentation skills for midwives and offer recommendations for how to enhance these skills in practice. My aim is to support your development and confidence in delivering presentations. I include a series of practical tips to help you improve your preparation, content and delivery of future presentations, for greater personal confidence and impact.

THE RESILIENT MIDWIFE 2. The self-compassionate midwife

Rebecca Knapp

Midwife, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

2017;20(5): ePub 1 May 2017 

 (May 2017)

Midwifery is one of the most emotional and emotive of all the health care professions. In order to be ‘with woman’, we give a part of ourselves to every woman that we care for, to create a relationship that will maximise a woman’s birth experience (Hunter 2006). This relationship is considered to be key to job satisfaction, as it encapsulates the very essence of being with woman. In order to meet the emotional needs of a woman, the emotional involvement of the midwife is needed (Rothschild 2006); thus there is a potential emotional cost associated with care provision. This, the second in a series of six articles looking at the maintenance and promotion of midwives’ own wellbeing and resilience, examines the concept of self-compassion.

Resilience, midwifery and professional identity: changing the script of midwifery culture through narrative, Part 2

Dr Alys Einion

Associate Professor in Midwifery at Swansea University

 (November 2016)

This article discusses in detail the findings of the study of student midwives' learning journals previously introduced in part 1 of this article (Einion 2016). Seven learning journals were studied, completed as part of the practice modules within an undergraduate Bachelor of Midwifery. These were subject to thematic analysis and narrative analysis, and it is this narrative analysis that will be discussed in more detail here. The main emergent issue was that of professional identity development of student midwives as they negotiate the process of ‘becoming’ that signifies their midwifery education.

Finding your style

Shelly Jones

Lead Midwife at South Powys Public Health Powys Teaching Health Board

 (September 2016)

An understanding of learning styles can aid in assessing the best methods for studying, teaching and facilitation. Consideration should be given to this, when planning activities for students in university or the placement setting, although learning styles may alter according to the environment where a student is placed. It would be advantageous for students to be aware of their preferred style, to enable them to benefit in the best way from their training. Midwifery mentors may feel confident in teaching skills to students within the practice setting on an individual basis but, if faced with teaching a group of students or parents-to-be, it can prove a challenge deciding which approach is best to take, given that learners will have varying styles and needs.

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.

LAST WORD Being prepared for placement

Alison Brindle

Second year Student Midwife at University of Central Lancashire

 (September 2016)

Before going out into my first placement, I remember feeling very nervous, I had no expectations and no idea what I would need. I worried about collecting European Directives (EUs) and understanding clinical documentation, and I worried about silly things, such as what I should take for lunch. There really is no right or wrong way to adapt to life on placement, but one thing that runs true for every student is the importance of preparation. Of course each placement is different and preparation for each will be different, too. Preparation is key to reducing the anxieties that all students feel heading into placement. The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) (2016) recently launched its Caring for you campaign, which aims to improve health, safety and wellbeing at work, and this is important for students, too. Improving your wellbeing with some simple preparation techniques can make for the optimal placement experience.  

VIEWPOINT Midwifery leadership development

Anita Fleming

Assistant Chief Nurse and Head of Midwifery at Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

 (September 2016)

In my Trust, I am currently working with midwives on leadership, and particularly on the behaviours displayed by effective and transformational leaders. Kouzes and Posner identified five practices of exemplary leadership, which I use as the basis for the leadership values and behaviours that we need to aspire to throughout our organisation, to nurture and develop our staff and future leaders. 

Resilience, midwifery and professional identity: changing the script of midwifery culture through narrative, Part 1

Dr Alys Einion

Associate Professor in Midwifery at Swansea University

 (June 2016)

Midwives can and should create their own culture through self-development, which fosters both positivity and resilience. One means of cultural and identity re-construction is through developing a critical and conscious awareness of the stories that we tell ourselves, each other and others, understanding how we co-create our identities through interactive narrative sharing. A small, narrative study of student midwives' learning journals shows a number of themes appearing. Characterisation of self and of clients raises questions about midwifery practice and resilience and how to change midwifery culture for the better.

Connecting for compassion

Diane Ménage

Midwife at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and supervisor of midwives for West Midlands LSA

 (March 2015)

On a mission to promote compassion in midwifery practice I was looking for effective methods of sharing and developing my ideas. I recognised the benefits of networking through more traditional methods but was not really utilising social media. Then another midwife encouraged me to use Twitter. Although not particularly confident with social media and unsure about how it could support me professionally, I decided to try it. Six months later I have some new skills and I am part of a dynamic and stimulating online community. This article is a personal account of that learning journey in which I reflect on some of the benefits that I have discovered so far.

Your feet were made for walking

Gareth Hicks

Sales manager and podiatrist for an insoles/orthotics company

 (December 2014)

Our feet are made up of 52 bones: around a quarter of all the bones in the human body. At the bottom of each foot there are four layers of muscle designed to carry our weight and to help us run, jump, walk and skip. As a rule, we tend to ignore our feet; that is, until they hurt. A straw poll of midwives during the Primary Care 2014 conference in May revealed the majority to have foot pain. The aim of this short article is to outline the basics of foot function and to provide midwives with practical tips on foot care, which ought to help relieve some of that foot pain.

Looking after your health 1. Avoiding back injury

Sara Randall

Midwife at Watford General Hospital, osteopath and lactation consultant

 (December 2014)

This article looks at healthcare professionals, in particular midwives, and considers how to maintain back health and prevent injury through principles of good practice. Knowledge of back pain, mindfulness in working conditions and modifications of current practice will reduce the risk of repetitive injury, and present management options in the short- and long term. Considerations on improving the ‘working lifestyle’ rather than quick fixes are ultimately the long-term goal.

The impact of post-registration education on midwifery practice

Frances Webster-Benwell

Faculty senior educator and midwifery lead at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust

 (September 2014)

National guidelines require midwives to undertake effective post-registration education which is relevant to practice. However, there is minimal research investigating the impact of education on practice, most of which originates from nursing and allied professions. A small-scale phenomenological pilot study, involving four experienced midwives, was undertaken to explore their experiences and opinions regarding the impact of midwifery post-registration educational courses upon practice. The research highlighted two key areas: practical engagement in continuing professional development (CPD) and midwives’ reasons for their educational choices. The midwives valued the practical relevance and applicability of CPD to practice and the use of interprofessional learning in narrowing the theory-practice gap; educational choices were affected by accessibility, flexibility, mandatory attendance, cost and conflict with employers’ objectives. The study suggests further research into the impact of CPD upon midwifery practice and what factors would better engage and motivate midwives to undertake more clinically effective post-registration education.

Presenting qualitative data through the co-construction of a model

Sam Chenery-Morris

Senior lecturer in midwifery at University Campus Suffolk

 (September 2014)

Research skills are developed in pre-registration midwifery curricula to enhance student midwives’ appreciation and appropriate application of evidence within their midwifery practice. A spontaneous, innovative session was facilitated based on student experiences of non-midwifery placements, which helped demonstrate how qualitative data are analysed and can then be presented. By listening to each other’s varied experiences, the students were able to relate their research knowledge to date with their collective ‘empirical data’ to enhance their understanding of presenting qualitative research. The paper reports on the learning process. It is an evaluation of the session, with student permission for publication gained; it is not research.

Virtual day of the midwife: a global ‘pyjama party’

Sarah Stewart

E-learning and social media consultant

 (June 2014)

The Virtual International Day of the Midwife (VIDM) ( is an annual online conference designed to break down traditional barriers to continuing professional development (CPD); provide online opportunities for international midwifery networking; and model open access communication and collaboration practices. Whilst the VIDM is designed to reach midwives all around the world, issues of access to the Internet, language and cultural differences prevent some midwives from attending, especially those who live in resource-poor countries. Nevertheless, the VIDM has successfully demonstrated how CPD can be delivered to midwives in a flexible and cost-effective way, as well as bring them together in a truly global open and collaborative environment.