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NU7010 Women Centred Maternity Care in Ireland (10 ECTS)

Learning Outcomes

Following completion of this module the student should be able to:

  • Critique the politics of health-care and the impact of politics on childbearing woman and the current and future practice of the midwife;
  • Challenge dominant or under-achieving models of maternity care;
  • Critically evaluate models of midwifery care in Ireland and other countries;
  • Differentiate the strengths and weaknesses of their development and implementation;
  • Critically analyse the professional issues impacting on midwifery care
  • Appraise, summarise and explain to others the advantages and disadvantages of one contemporary model of midwifery-led care.

Methods of Teaching and Student Learning:

Lecture, discussion, group work, private study, attendance at research conference, seminar presentation

Module Learning Aims & Rationale

Maternity care in Ireland is on the cusp of developing alternative, more women-centred models of care, in particular, midwife-led services. These developments are welcomed by women and midwives but are constantly being challenged by a number of major stakeholders. Practising midwives need to understand the rationale for introducing more women-centred care into their practice and should develop the skill of critically observing their own and others’ outcomes.

The aim of this module is to provide a challenging opportunity for midwives to examine and reflect on current and changing practice. Students will be facilitated to develop their skills of critiquing models of care so that they can facilitate and engage with the changing health service to support and develop innovative, women-centred maternity services.

Recommended Reading List

Indicative Resources

  • Begley, C. & Devane, D. (2003) The Invisible Woman: Maternity care in Ireland (1), The Practising Midwife 6(5):10-12.
  • Begley, C. & Devane, D. (2003) The Rebirth of Midwifery-led care in Ireland (2), The Practising Midwife 6(6):26-29.
  • Begley C., Devane D., Clarke M. (2009) An evaluation of midwifery-led care in the Health Service Executive North Eastern Area: the report of the MidU study. Health Service Executive, Dublin.
  • Birthplace UK (2011) Perinatal and maternal outcomes by planned place of birth for healthy women with low risk pregnancies: the Birthplace in England national prospective cohort study BMJ 2011;343:d7400
  • Campbell R. & Garcia J. (1997) The organization of maternity care : a guide to evaluation 2nd edition Hochland & Hochland, Hale.
  • Deery R Hughes D Kirkham M (2010) Tensions and Barriers in improving maternity care: the story of a birth centre Oxford Radcliffe
  • Devane D, Brennan M, Begley C, Clarke M, Walsh D, Sandall J, Ryan P, Revill P, Normand C. (2010) A systematic review, meta-analysis, meta-synthesis and economic analysis of midwife-led models of care. Royal College of Midwives: London
  • Freeman, L.M., Timperley, H. and Adair, V., (2004) Partnership in midwifery care in New Zealand. Midwifery. 20(1):2-14.
  • Harvey, S., Rach, D., Stainton, M.C., Jarrell, J. and Brant, R., (2002) Evaluation of satisfaction with midwifery care. Midwifery. 18(4):260-7.
  • Hundley, V., Penney, G., Fitzmaurice, A., van Teijlingen, E. and Graham, W. A., (2002) Comparison of data obtained from service providers and service users to assess the quality of maternity care. Midwifery. 18(2):126-35.
  • Hundley, V., Ryan, M., (2004) Are women's expectations and preferences for intrapartum care affected by the model of care on offer? BJOG. 111(6):550-60.
  • Johnson M, Stewart H, Langdon R, Kelly P, Yong L.(2005) A comparison of the outcomes of partnership caseload midwifery and standard hospital care in low risk mothers. Aust J Adv Nurs. 22(3):21-7.
  • Kirkham, M. (Ed) (2003) Birth centres : a social model for maternity care Oxford: Books for Midwives.
  • KPMG (2008) Independent review of maternity and gynaecology services in the Greater Dublin Area. KPMG /Independent_Review_of_Maternity_and_Gynaecology_Services_in_the_greater_Dublin_area_.pdf
  • Lavender, T. and Chapple, J., (2004) An exploration of midwives' views of the current system of maternity care in England. Midwifery 20(4):324-34.
  • Levy, V., (1999) Maintaining equilibrium: a grounded theory study of the processes involved when women make informed choices during pregnancy. Midwifery 15(2):109-19.
  • Mander R Murphy-Lawless J ((2013) The Politics of Maternity Routedge Oxon
  • McCourt C., Page L., Hewison J. (1998) Evaluation of one to one midwifery: women’s responses to care Birth 25(2), 73-80.
  • Pettersson, K.O., Svensson, M.L., and Christensson, K. (2001) The lived experiences of autonomous Angolan midwives working in midwifery-led, maternity units. Midwifery. 17(2):102-14.
  • Mary J Renfrew, Alison McFadden, Maria Helena Bastos, James Campbell, Andrew Amos Channon, Ngai Fen Cheung, Deborah Rachel Audebert Delage Silva, Soo Downe, Holly Powell Kennedy, Address Malata, Felicia McCormick, Laura Wick, Eugene Declercq (2014) Midwifery and quality care: findings from a new evidence-informed framework for maternal and newborn care The Lancet , 384, (9949) p1129–1145
  • Rogers J. (2002) Guidelines for intrapartum midwifery led care. British Journal of Midwifery 10(1), 8-10.
  • Sandall, J., Davies, J., Warwick, K . (2001). "Evaluation of the Albany Midwifery Practice, Final Report, March 2001 " Unpublished report. Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King’s College London
  • Saunders B., Boulton M., Chapple J., Tarcliffe J. & Levitan J. (2000) Evaluation of the Edgware Birth Centre. North Thames Perinatal Public Health, Middlesex.
  • Spiers, J.(2003) Patients, power and responsibility : the first principles of consumer-driven reform Abingdon :Radcliffe Medical
  • Spurgeon, P., Hicks, C. and Barwell, F., (2001) Antenatal, delivery and postnatal comparisons of maternal satisfaction with two pilot Changing Childbirth schemes compared with a traditional model of care. Midwifery 17(2):123-32
  • Stewart, M., (2001) Whose evidence counts? An exploration of health professionals' perceptions of evidence-based practice, focusing on the maternity services. Midwifery 17(4):279-88.
  • Petra ten Hoope-Bender, Luc de Bernis, James Campbell, Soo Downe, Vincent Fauveau, Helga Fogstad, Caroline S E Homer, Holly Powell Kennedy, Zoe Matthews, Alison McFadden, Mary J Renfrew, Wim Van Lerberghe (2014)
  • Improvement of maternal and newborn health through midwifery The Lancet , 384 , (9949), 1226 - 1235
  • Tew M (1998) Safer childbirth? : a critical history of maternity care, London; New York: Free association Books.
  • United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) (2014) The State of the World’s Midwifery 2014: A Universal Pathway. A Woman's Right to Health. UNFPA
  • Walsh, D. (1999) An ethnographic study of women's experience of partnership caseload midwifery practice: the professional as a friend. Midwifery 15(3):165- 76.
  • Wren, M. (2003) Unhealthy State – Anatomy of a sick society Dublin: New Island.

*Other readings will be provided by individual lecturers.