Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"Midwifery" standing independently in WA

The profile of Midwifery has been given a great boost, in Western Australia (WA). This has been a long time coming and a dream come true for many midwives. As you will be aware in 2006 WA introduced the new Nurses and Midwives Act & the Regulations. Also the Nurses Board has changed its name to the Nurses and Midwives Board of WA (NMBWA). You might say so what? but this had made an enormous difference to the Midwifery Profession in Australia particularly in WA and world wide. This is because now you can be a midwife in WA without having to be a nurse first. You might of heard the terms Direct Entry Midwifery? what is this? this is the term predominately used in the UK, NZ or Eastern States. This is a midwife who is not a nurse first, a midwife who has completed 3 or 4 years education / preparation in the art of midwifery. The education for this midwife is as comprehensive as that of nursing but specialising in women, midwifery. We must remember that women who are pregnant are predominately healthy and pregnancy is not an illness. Now Direct Entry Midwives from the UK, NZ, and Canada can register directly in WA and work as a midwife, whereas before they had to register through the Mutual Recognition Act.
In WA we are fortunate to be conducting one of the first Bachelor of Science Midwifery courses at Curtin University starting in February 2008. This course is for people who want to be midwives not nurses. All student midwives will receive a wide range of clinical experience in both the hospital and community setting, together with and intergration of evidence based theory units. The course will be 3 years full time comprising of 50% theory and 50% clinical. The course has been designed to meet the NMBWA & the Australian College of Midwives regulations and standards. At the completion of the Bachelor of Science Midwifery, the student will demonstrate competency at a begininning level in accordance with the ANMC national competency Standard for the Midwife (2006).
I am very excited about this program commencing and being a great success. This is the way forward for midwifery, to be "with woman" and empower women about their "birth choices".

My Experience of Direct Entry Midwifery:

I am a nurse and a midwife, however when I completed my midwifery in the UK and I soon learned what the difference was between the to professions. Midwifery is a force to be reckoned with in the UK, it is emensely powerful. I guess here in WA I never really understood that there was a difference, because the culture here was / is? that you did your nursing first and then you added midwifery, for some, if you wanted to climb up the corporate ladder it was an essential. There really was never a real distinction between the two professions. I must admit when I was a student midwife (postgraduate degree Midwifery) in the UK, I was very negative about Direct Entry Midwives for the first 6 months because of my ideals or perceptions. I was ingnorant about what their course entailed, when I took the time to find out I found that it was more than adequate. It was only when I stopped being so high and mighty about being a A&E nurse, I really began to see the benifits of the Direct Entry Midwives and learn from them. I began to see that their out look on their women was from a normal healthy perspective as opposed to mine that was 'sick' 'high risk intervention', always looking for the abnormal rather than starting from the normal then progressing to the abnormal. I had to learn to be 'with woman' to ask before 'I did' to be still and 'listen to what the woman wanted' as opposed to jumping in and taking over, being paternalist, doing what we think is right, disempowering women. Once I learned this I knew, what it is to be a midwife providing a safe environement for women to be!
I respect and value both professions of nursing and midwifery, I am proud to be both, there is more than enough room for mutual collaboation, respect and embrace the change.
We need to embrace change, because change is good - ïf you always do what you've always done how can things be different"

Be daring embrace life! do something different!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Definition of Midwife

I thought it would be good to post a definition of what a midwife is on this blog, as I am called infomidwife. There are many definitions of a midwife, if you look in the dictionary you will find some variations. The Collins dictionary; midwife "a woman trained to help women in childbirth", this seems rather limiting and does not really define what a midwife is. Interestingly when parliament is formulating or deciding on legislation and they cannot determine what a word means or should mean one of the ways they determine this is to look the word up in the dictionary - this explains the limited meaning of the word midwife in our legislation in Australia. The WA Nurses and Midwives Act 2006 defines a midwife as " a person registered as a midwife" & midwifery as "means the practice of assisting a woman in childbirth".

The definition that I feel really incorporates all we do as midwives and should be adopted by parliament in our legislation, is that determined by the Internationl Condfederation of Midwives (ICM) & World Health Organisation (WHO).

"A midwife is a person who, having been regularly admitted to a midwifery educational programme, duly recognised in the country in which it is located, has successfully completed the prescribed course of studies in midwifery and has acquired the requisite qualifications to be registered and/or legally licensed to practise midwifery.

She must be able to give the necessary supervision, care and advice to women during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period, to conduct deliveries on her own responsibility and to care for the newborn and the infant. This care includes preventative measures, the detection of abnormal conditions in mother and child, the procurement of medical assistance and the execution of emergency measures in the absence of medical help. She has an important task in health counselling and education, not only for the women, but also within the family and the community. The work should involve antenatal education and preparation for parenthood and extends to certain areas of gynaecology, family planning and child care. She may practise in hospitals, clinics, health units, domiciliary conditions or in any other service"

Jointly developed by the International Confederation of Midwives
and the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics.
Adopted by the International Confederation of Midwives Council 1972.
Adopted by the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics 1973.
Later adopted by the World Health Organization.
Amended by the International Confederation of Midwives Council, Kobe October 1990.
Amendment ratified by the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics 1991
and the World Health Organization 1992.

I welcome your thoughts on this subject, what do you think?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Katie 29/40

Katie was born in NSW at 29 weeks. Mum (Nat) developed high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia), she just did not feel well, a bit dizzy, headaches, bloated, generalised swelling and very tired. On arrvial at the hospital Nat's blood pressure was very high and her blood tests were all abnormal. It was very clear that Nat's baby needed to be delivered sooner than later.
Fact: Most clinicans agree that a blood pressure of 140/90mmHg or more or an increase in diastolic pressure (the bottom number) of 20mmHg from the booking blood pressure needs further investigations.

Little Katie was born by caesarean section weighing 750gms - Katie is doing very well and is now 18mths old, with no current health issues.
Katie can be seen in the bath with her cousins Bradley & Monique, all these babies were premature and their mothers are all sisters.
Monique weighted 1750gms, I am holding her in the formal picture, as she was being discharged from hospital.
Aren't they doing so well now
Share your story!

Welcome to infomidwife 2008


I am taking a step into the unknown, surfing the net or the blogger if you can do that. This site is a work in progress. My aim is to generate information, you might ask what information?

My focus is to empower women by generating information so that women can make infomed choices about their health care. The information may be anything woman centered, pregnancy related, antenatal issues, pre and post term, low & high risk preganancy questions, even general knowledge.

I will endeavour to share my experiences of being a midwife and a nurse. I have a particular interest in professional issues and will be discussing them in due course.

It would be great if you have any stories or experiences you would like to share about any health care issues. When we discuss and share knowledge and experiences we learn, correct and therefore improve health care services.

This site is also for the health professional who want to share information or create a discussion on any topic of interest.

thats it for now until next time - remember "plan for a miracle"

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