Baby Care

In today’s society, the midwife has more roles and responsibilities than ever before. A midwife is someone who has to be able to provide women with the essential care, supervision and advice during their pregnancy, labour and postpartum period, and to care for both mother and child (International Confederation for Midwives 2011). As autonomous practitioners, they act as an advocate for the woman by supporting her and encouraging her to make her own independent decisions (Royal College of Midwives 2008). Midwives care for families from different social, psychological and physical backgrounds and work as part of a multi-professional team so excellent communication is vital.Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

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I have always enjoyed working with different people, as a result of this, when I looked into midwifery and discovered that it would give me the opportunity to demonstrate this, it appealed to me enormously. I became fascinated with all aspects of pregnancy at the age of 7 when my mother became pregnant with my brother. I helped my mother all through her pregnancy until minutes before she gave birth. I am extremely drawn to the fact that the role of a midwife is not only to provide care for a woman throughout their pre-natal period, labour and the post-natal period but a midwife also builds a relationship with the woman and their family by becoming the first point of contact for them. A midwife is essential in preparing a woman for motherhood. A midwife provides the woman with relevant, unbiased information which allows the woman to make informed choices about their care and their baby’s care. The midwife also gives the woman unlimited support. A midwife has a great influence on a woman’s experience of childbirth, and an imitation of this positive guidance and care  Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

A nurse can work in many different medical areas, while a midwife works only in labor and delivery. Nurses are required to receive formal education and certification, while midwives are not. Nurse-midwives have the formal education of a nurse and the hands-on experience of a midwife.
A midwife is trained to help pregnant women deliver their babies. Midwives have been around for centuries, though formal training for midwives is relatively recent. A certified midwife (CM) typically receives a license to practice midwifery. A lay midwife performs the duties of a CM but is not formally licensed. Finally, a certified professional midwife (CPM) is certified by the North American Registry of Midwives. All midwives help women during labor and delivery. They also evaluate the mother and baby postpartum. If either patient requires further medical attention, they must go to a hospital, since a midwife does not have professional medical training to handle such cases.Baby Care And Midwifery Essay
A nurse, on the other hand, can work in a wide variety of medical specialties–not just labor and delivery. A labor and delivery nurse works in the same medical field as a midwife; however, a nurse can only assist the obstetrician. A nurse is not authorized to perform the entire delivery, except in emergency situations.
Required Training Nurses must attend either nursing school or a regular university and receive a degree in nursing. Nurses must also pass licensing exams to become a registered nurse (RN). CMs must meet minimum requirements to receive a midwifery license. CPMs must pass exams and must log sufficient hands-on hours to receive this more advanced certification. Lay midwives receive no formal training at all.
Some nurses opt to become nurse-midwives. A nurse-midwife is a RN with specialized training in labor and delivery. Unlike a regular nurse, a nurse-midwife is authorized perform an entire delivery. Unlike a regular midwife, a nurse-midwife has formal medical training and is a RN. Nurse-midwives can provide much necessary prenatal and postnatal care for pregnant mothers.
Nurse-Midwife vs. Obstetrician Largely, the choice between a midwife and a doctor is a personal one. Opting for a midwife typically means the woman will give birth at home or in another nonmedical setting. Many nurse-midwives also perform home deliveries but have access to hospitals, too. Obstetricians solely perform deliveries in hospitals. Some women argue that the home environment is a more comfortable and natural place to give birth. Other women argue that access to a hospital’s onsite medical technology and medical professionals should not be sacrificed for comfort.Baby Care And Midwifery Essay
It is important to note that seeing a midwife exclusively is not recommended for high-risk pregnancies. Women who have had a previous cesarean section, are having multiples or have preeclampsia are all examples of high-risk pregnancies. Nurse-midwives often work with doctors, but midwives who work alone might not. It is best for women to see a doctor early in their pregnancies to determine whether they are high-risk.

The Role Of The Midwife Essay
This essay examines and outlines the roles and responsibilities of Practising Midwives in the United Kingdom, as well as exploring the role that the midwife plays in association with other Healthcare providers.

The basis that underpins the midwifery profession is that women should be at the forefront of their maternity care and valued as individuals with distinct and specific needs (Midris, 2012).

Practising midwives in the UK must follow and abide to a certain set of rules and guidelines set out by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) known as ‘The Code, Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics for Nurses and Midwives’ (NMC, 2008) (Baston et al., 2009).Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

Midwives are able to be the sole carer of a mother and baby from early pregnancy to around 28 days after the birth and attend over 75% of births in the UK (Baston et al., 2009) and generally view care from a holistic perspective and consider the care they offer from a psychological, emotional, spiritual, social and cultural context (Baston et a., 2009).

The word ‘midwife’ simply means ‘with women’ (Alberta Association of Midwives 2012). According to the International Confederation of Midwives Council (2005) the midwife is a conscientious and accountable trained specialist in ‘normal’ pregnancy and birth. They work in ’partnership’ with the woman, her partner and family to offer the vital care, support and advice required during the prenatal, interpartum and postpartum period to independently guide the women through the pregnancy and birthing process and provide care for both the new born and infant. The scope of the midwife includes the support and encouragement of normal birth, identifying complications with the pregnancy and performing emergency procedures. Midwives play a significant and critical role in the delivery of health counselling and education which should include antenatal education not only with the women but with the family and network and wider community.Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

Pregnancy and antenatal care are essential parts of midwifery care. A vital part of this care is carrying out assessments of well being which is not only a process to measure the woman’s and child’s health but is also effective in testing whether the wellbeing of the woman and child is at risk. In order to accurately assess wellbeing the midwife must have relevant practical skills such as, taking and recording blood pressure to screen for hypertension, listening to the foetal heartbeat, taking bloods which can for example determine her rubella immunity status, measuring the growth of the foetus, dating the pregnancy and administering medication (Mander, 2009).Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

The midwife is equipped with extensive knowledge and dexterity of the female anatomy, how the body works and the changes and processes in pregnancy as well as the ability to examine this competently. The midwife is expected to have comprehensive knowledge of the normal progression and different stages of pregnancy, the bodily and psychological changes and common discomforts women experience and has the ability to interpret results of basic screening laboratory tests, for example, urine tests which look for the presence of protein or glucose in the urine which can be an indicator of infection or diabetes (Mander and Fleming, 2009, Medford, 2011).Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

Midwifery is a vital profession in the world. Since its inception as a program run to assist medical practitioners in early 1970s, it has grown to become one of the most recognized medical practices in hospitals (Page & McCandlish, 2006).There are various factors that affect midwifery and hence midwife-woman partnerships. Some of them include the political and socio-cultural factors as shall be discussed in this essay. The cultural factors involve the relations of the woman and the society’s constructions of the ways of life of the people and the overall policy in the conception and delivery of babies. Every region has their own cultures and social grasping that they grapple with, and therefore the effects faced are of a multifaceted approach. Though this is the approach adopted in this paper, there is an angling towards a global look onto the effects affecting and influencing the deliveries made by midwives and the overall field (Marta, 2009; Talbot & Verinder, 2005; Rosemary, 2012).Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

As expostulated above, some of the factors affecting midwifery include: poor communication culture, lifestyles of the people involved, and demographic anticipations by the government in population control, belief in personalized care in delivery in hospitals, poverty and uncanny beliefs in delivery modes. Page and McCandlish (2006), assert that poor communication is responsible for a number of issues in the delivery and midwifery professions. Many women who were interviewed about the delivery and the guidance accorded during the prenatal stages of delivery revealed that communication was the best way in making them fully understand and adhere to the best practices and eventual delivery. While some people have found improper communication with regard to the pregnancy and delivery others have often sought information before the eventual day. This has led to better delivery and guided parentage during the initial stages of baby care (Marta, 2009). Most parents agree that proper care is accorded when communication is well channelled leading to a better information bank by the relevant authorities. Women are also informed of what to do and how to behave, thus leading to a smooth delivery process and eventual bonding with the midwives (Rosemary, 2012). This therefore augurs well with the midwife-woman partnership leading to a boost in the relations.Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

Another factor that influences midwifery and delivery in the society include the lifestyle and early childhood experience of the mother. While observing the effects of cultural influence on midwifery, Willis, Reynolds and Keleher (2009) observe that the lifestyle of many young mothers determines the level of entry and complication in the delivery process. Women who are obese for instance find it very hard to deliver (Willis et al., 2009). This puts the chances of survival of the baby into greater risks as most babies may fail to survive the delivery due to the logistics involved, lifestyle therefore plays a lot of influenced on the overall delivery.

Mothers can also advance their own choice and preferences with regard to pregnancy issues. Some mothers would want independent delivery where they only seek medical attention when it is only inevitable or during complications. Mothers who prefer self-delivery may lead to a detachment from the relationship that is being built between the midwife and the mother (ANMC, 2008). In these cases, mothers will find the role of the midwife unworthy it eventually strangling the relationship in question. As O ‘Luanaigh and Carlson (2005) posit that this will eventually lead to a constrained relationship between them and the mother; something which is not healthy for the mother to be and the child.Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

Poverty is yet another factor that continues to influence midwifery and woman partnerships in the whole delivery process (Marta, 2009). This is evidenced through the way mothers who cannot afford quality medical attention indulge in dangerous delivery processes. Some people even try to delivery on their own without assistance, thus putting the life of the infant in danger. If people do not afford medical attention, they will more often seek cheap midwifery services in the neighbourhood. This will in most cases lead to a distracted attention between the midwifes and the mother as they are not properly trained to handle the mothers in terms of offering advice, care giving and assistance in the delivery process (Willis et al., 2009).Baby Care And Midwifery Essay


Cultural practice in the health facilities may also influence the relationship between the mother and the midwifery services accorded to the mother. Some hospitals and health facilities have predetermined rules and norms of operation which may be limiting to the extent of interaction and scope of assistance offered to the patients (O ‘Luanaigh & Carlson, 2005). For instance the work ethics may be culturally determined in the levels of handling. Decisions may be made based on a social norm, for example which nurse or midwife should attend to a patient of a particular type. Here considerations are made sometimes based on the level of complexity or medical level of the nurse of midwife. When this happens most the relationship may also be sabotaged.
Fatalism may also be a factor that affects the relationship of midwives and the mothers to be. Marta (2009) defines fatalism in terms of the pre-eminence accorded to a particular norm to such extent that nothing can be done by the midwives in the work place. They will often fall back and say that is the procedure to be followed hence service based on established norms that may hinder proper understanding and good relations with the patients in the maternity. When the mothers are fatally told to follow some established procedures in the whole process in accessing the service, (especially when under duress) it will hinder the interaction hence the bonding may be broken on such levels (ANMC, 2008).Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC) (2008) acknowledge that some cultures do not appreciate reporting of statistics and patient information. This therefore may lead to a conflict or withdrawal from the services offered by the midwives by women who come from such cultures. This therefore means that women who consider the counting of children at birth and the recording of information as a taboo or some kind of bad practice will likely to develop wrong views about the midwives. This will eventually culminate into a bigger problem where they will lack to draw identity with them (Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2008). Eventually there will be falling out of place with the practice hence interference with midwife-women partnership in boosting the whole process of delivery and antenatal care.

The socio-political factors include micro and macro-politics in the choice of healthy workers or community workers to deal with the problem of midwifery, the globalization that affects local worlds and demographic anticipations in population control. Wentworth (1996) argues that some health facilities are affected by the political indecisiveness in the midwifery procedures, usually in the manner relating to who and when the medic chosen to attend to the patient does so. Some medics are appointed on special occasions depending on different factors. There is also the problem of globalization.Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

The health fraternity is one of the professions that have overseen the problem of globalization in terms of practice and political culture of the countries of operation. This can be attributed to a number of reasons such as poor governance and infrastructural reforms in the medical fraternity (Wentworth, 1996). Most midwives complain of operating in poor backgrounds and often fail to be officially recognized by governments as part and parcel of the medical schemes. These problems lead to a number of problems which include ,poor remunerations, poor working conditions and the overall relationship between women and midwives in the legal partnership as developed by the group perspective described above is placed under a sabotage leading to bad influence on the overall functioning and effect of the working.Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

Political systems of the health facilities may also hinder or influence the relationships in this essay. Governance and political processes in the running of the affairs will normally influence the way relationships are shaped in the overall interaction in the hospitals. For instance, the governance and running of health facilities influence the acquisition of services in the level ground in the communities involved (Talbot & Verinder, 2005).Political positioning will normally influence who gets the services and at what levels of delivery. Talbot and Verinder (2005) note that the political rubric of a country or system of governance is the steering wheel in terms of amalgamating the overall relationship of the factors of interaction. In this case, the women patient and the midwives involved will often be influenced by the political stand in the country or health facility. This is so because the overall determination of the social (rules of relations and levels of interaction), the economic empowerment in terms of facility, and the cultural effects are shaped by the political policy adopted in the country (Marta, 2009). These therefore manifest the pertinence of a country adopting a sound legal and political system to boost the interaction and relationship of the parties involved.Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

The maternal health care in the Australian country needs a thorough revisiting in terms of policies and measures taken to oversee a well-balanced healthy society. Some of the issues that need to be addressed in midwifery and boosting maternal care include the adoption of a policy that supports better education for midwives, sensitization of the society (especially mothers) of the roles and merits of being attended to by a midwife, funding of health centres to acquire better resources for improved health practice et cetera. Primary Health Care Reform in Australia (2009) notes that supported patient-centred health literacy, self-management and individual preference in the maternal midwifery processes will lead to a better relationship between midwives and women in the whole delivery process. There should also be a well-integrated, coordinated provision of care, particularly for pregnant women. An adoption of an accessible, clinically and culturally appropriate, timely and affordable health inclination is pertinent in ensuring proper relations in the overall interaction of the parties concerned. This will ensure that patients from all walks of life, and without regard to any factor (whether poverty, race or origin) are assisted in the best practice available (Marta, 2009).Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

In promoting the relationship between women and midwives, it is important for midwives to implement three strategies which are: forming alliances with other practitioners, alliances with other midwives, and alliances with women (Willis et al., 2009). Relationships are developed through networking with the three stakeholders. Therefore according to Willis et al., (2009), midwives can achieve the maximum relationship status through: maximum utilization of midwife skills; regular training and attending seminars on latest; putting women with particular needs in touch with each other; joining campaign groups advocating for financing maternity services; and offering supervision, care, and education to expectant mothers.

In conclusion, midwife-women partnership in the process of delivery and antenatal care is a pertinent issue in the health sector especially in the baby care levels of birth. Women who indulge in poor lifestyles such as drug use, unhealthy eating habits and overall indulgence in activities that may lead to a complication at birth constrain the levels of partnership. The cultural and socio-political factors established in this essay may lead to adoption of a very poor model of midwifery care. When the relationship between the mothers (women) and midwives is based on cordiality, then the interaction and model of care is going to be better. Women prefer a partnership with their healthcare givers in a friendly and approachable manner thus boosting the partnership as entailed in the exposition above.Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

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The midwife works jointly with other health care professionals to provide multidisciplinary care to the woman, these health care professionals include, obstetricians, general practitioners, paediatricians, health visitors and physiotherapists. The midwife is obligated to seek advice or turn to the appropriate professional if there is a complication within the pregnancy that falls outside the midwife’s scope of practice (ICM 2002, 2005). The clear and concise record keeping is an important aspect and legal requirement of midwifery practise and is a vital tool that supplements the care process, which include consultations and sometimes referrals by improving communication between the care providers and the clients, for example information that should be included if this is a full assessment and care plan that should be followed by the woman and child (Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), cited Medforth et al., 2011).Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

Midwives are only able to care for women for are deemed as experiencing a ‘normal’ healthy and physiological pregnancy although a midwife would be

aware and have knowledge of abnormal and pathological aspects of pregnancy. If a complication arises that is deem outside a midwife scope of practise the midwife would no longer be able to be the woman’s primary care provider and the care would be transferred over to an obstetrician. An obstetrician is a trained specialist in the foetal abnormalities and complications of pregnancies and childbirth and who are also legally allowed to deliver babies. Although the woman’s care has been transferred to the obstetrician the midwife still participates in her care to act as the woman’s avocate and offer her support (Mander and Fleming (2009).

The midwife can also expect to be in contact with the Health Visitor to discuss newly booked clients and at some point after the birth and to hand over the care of the woman and the child, the midwife will give the Health Visitor an extensive amount of information on the family during the pregnancy and birth experience so that the they can offer direct individual support. Modern midwifery sees midwives also working with social services as some women and their families have additional needs separate to those from the pregnancy.Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

Midwives may seek advice from a social workers for example, surrounding child protection issues, housing and benefit queries in order to offer the women adequate social support and to signpost them to appropriate services or work in partnership with the social services because the women belongs to a vulnerable group, for instance teenage mothers or disabled mothers or women at risk of domestic violence. It is common for a midwife to also work closely with GP’s, and in the community may be based within the GP surgery, woman may be referred to the GP from an antenatal clinic for minor problems, for example to symptomatic occurrence of urinary infection. (Peate and Hamilton, 2008).

In conclusion, this essay looked into the roles and responsibilities of the midwife and the role they play in association to other health providers, the reoccurring theme upheld by this essay is that midwifery has to be a diverse and ever changing profession in order to meet the needs of modern society. Modern midwifery is not just about ‘delivering babies’ but encompasses so much more. Midwifes are often the primary care provider from early pregnancy and into the postnatal period. Midwives act as advocates for women to help them make informed choices and prepare for birth and parenthood. (Medford et al., 2011). Baby Care And Midwifery Essay

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