Virtual International Day of the Midwife 2019 was held on or about 05 May, depending upon global location.

Recordings are at the Virtual Midwives YouTube channel.

Thanks to Frontier Nursing University for providing VIDM with access to their video conferencing system: Big Blue Button.

  1.  Keynote :: Barbara Harper

Waterbirth and midwifery: 35 years changing birth  around the world 

Keynote Speaker: Barbara Harper

Facilitator: Jane Houston

Barbara Harper will share insights from her 35 years as a water birth practitioner.


  1.  Have we thrown the baby out with the bath water?

Speaker: Fiona Marlow

Facilitators: Megan Koontz  & Conny Krebs

Have we thrown the baby out with the bath water? In the 1990’s the training of traditional midwives (TBA) in western practices constituted one development intervention undertaken to reduce maternal mortality in developing countries throughout Africa and South Asia (WHO, 1990 ). This strategy was largely abandoned, based on limited evidence of a reduction in maternal mortality (Saravanan, Johnson, Turrell, & Fraser, 2009). Over 50% of women in the developing world receive their care from a TBA, one who is known to her, trusted and provides continuity of care. However the involvement of the TBA in maternity care continues to be framed as a problem from a biomedical perspective rather than a benefit as it is seen by many women (Niehof, 2014). Can a better understanding of the practices of traditional midwives support the care women receive in remote and rural areas where there is no or limited access to emergency obstetric care?


  1. Lactancia materna: Pilar de vida en el siglo XXI  (Spanish)

Speaker: Sandra Marcela Rodriguez

Facilitators: Susana Ku & Raquel Justiniano

The presentation will resume the latest research discoveries about the long and short term benefits of human milk and it´s effect in gene expression. Breastfeeding as an effective way to reduce poverty and disease and enhance neurodevelopment. The leading role of midwives in breastfeeding support and promotion. The impact of birth in the initiation of breastfeeding. The advantages of continuity of care for both, mothers and midwives, and the impact of their culturally competent support for the meeting of women´s breastfeeding goals. How midwives can benefit and learn from traditional medicine to offer a good quality service to their clients. The importance of learning about breastfeeding at school and in the first years of university to grasp the concept of how deeply the lactation period can influence present and future health


  1. Wellbeing at Work for Midwives

Speaker: Felicity Finn

Facilitators: Catherine Salam & Ndinda Mutua

Midwives are amazing at empowering women to birth naturally but forget to empower themselves to take care of their own wellbeing. Recent research done in a busy maternity unit in the UK shows how simply midwives can care for themselves effectively in very busy work environments. Simple effective strategies can be used to look after our bodies all through the shift to strengthen, restore, rehydrate and support the body. Also vitally important is the prioritising of personal wellbeing due to its impact on the quality of care provided. Ultimately women benefit from how we care for ourselves, hence its importance needs to be emphasised.


  1. Midwives, post-traumatic stress and burnout: Exploring solution

Speaker: Lianne Schwartz

Facilitators: Hazel Keedle & Marcela Mendoza

Recent studies have highlighted high rates of post-traumatic stress (PTS) symptoms amongst midwives, with potentially severe impacts on the care provided to women. In fact, one of the cornerstones of midwifery care, empathy – is diminished with exposure to trauma. Trauma and PTS may also contribute to burnout, and midwives leaving the profession. While the key strategy for prevention of PTSD in midwives is to reduce the prevalence of traumatic childbirth, midwives still need skills and tools to cope with PTS symptoms when they arise. Accessible and effective tools such as heart-centred breathing and energy psychology modalities may give midwives access to pathways that can help clear traumas and rediscover present moment awareness. This workshop educates midwives on PTS and the importance of finding ways to address PTS symptoms. It also offers participants some take-home tools to manage the cumulative stressors and traumas that lead to post traumatic stress.


  1. Physiology needs wisdom!

Speaker: Celine Lemay

Facilitator: Cindy Nelly

There is a contrast between the context often seen in midwifery practice with the will to favor physiological birth. In many places midwives’ practice is institutionally and medically oriented with routinized, standardized care and risk intolerance. In contrast, physiology is recognized as being unique, varied and by endogenous competencies of the mother and the baby. Working in such a context and wanting to augment physiological birth is a big challenge because physiology is asking to tolerate uncertainty, give time for the processes and trust the mother and the baby’s processes. This is why physiology needs wisdom i.e. the utilization of deliberation, judgement, reflective reasoning, taking in account the context as well of each situation at a particular moment. Wisdom is needed to practice in a medically oriented context and meeting the challenges of a genuine trust and will to promote physiological childbirth.


  1. Integrated maternity care: Innovating change in China

Speakers: Meng Xue and Irene Chain Kalinowski

Facilitator: Hazel Keedle

China is developing rapidly. Modern Maternity Service System (MMSS) has several projects in China. Meng Xue will present the latest project from BaMa Guanxi Province. The place of longevity yet there is still great poverty here.  We will talk about the changes (design,  classroom  training, and face to face training), we have implemented, are implementing, and the challenges of removing fear and instilling confidence  in the midwives and obstetricians.  Promoting midwifery autonomy in which was an obstetric led unit.


  1. Keynote :: Manavi Handa

Caring for the world’s most vulnerable populations: Midwifery care for Syrian refugees – Reflections on a Canadian experience

Keynote Speaker: Manavi Handa

Facilitator: Cecilia Jevitt

In this presentation Manavi Handa will talk about care for marginalized pregnant people. In particular – new immigrants, refugees and those without legal immigration status or access to publicly funded health care. Working as a midwife for 20 years, Manavi will draw on her experiences of working with Syrian refugees and pregnant people without legal immigration to demonstrate the unique issues facing these populations in Canada and many high immigrant receiving countries. Manavi will also outline how midwives in Ontario, Canada were successful in receiving funding to care for these populations, as an example of successful social justice advocacy within midwifery.


  1. Pregnancy care quality measurements in Indonesia

Speaker: Astri Nurdiana

Facilitator: Robyn Maude

The incidence of bleeding, preeclampsia and heart disease has always been the 3 biggest causes of maternal death in the Indonesia, pathophysiologically the incidence of bleeding, preeclampsia and heart disease are can be avoided, because it

can be detected as early as possible during prenatal care by health workers before the occurrence become more severe conditions in pregnant women.

This study aims to identify the implementation of pregnancy care carried out by midwives in Indonesia based on 10T antenatal care standards. The standard of pregnancy care that has been implemented at this time is the standard 10T care which consists of measuring body weight and height, checking blood pressure, examining the height of the fundus uterus, screening TT immunization status, Fe supplementation, determining nutritional status, laboratory tests, determination of presentation and fetal heart rate, risk management and health education.

This research is a quantitative descriptive study using a blind observation research method in which midwives do not know that they are being the subject of research, this is conducted to maintain the objectivity of the implementation of pregnancy care carried out by midwives.

Sample of this study are 70 midwives in Indonesia, Data collection was conducted by 1 midwifery student as an observer, who had been trained in how to assess midwifery care. The research was carried out for 6 months with consideration of ethical research under the Department of research and community empowerment of Singaperbangsa Karawang University (Unsika), this research fully funded by Unsika.


  1. Why, what and how paradigms of transforming midwifery education in India

Speaker: Ritu Agarwal

Facilitator: Chris Woodhouse

Midwife-led continuity model of maternal and newborn care is a well recognized model globally. There are many evidences highlighting how midwives can provide efficient, cost-effective and compassionate care, even in low resource settings. The earlier government initiatives relating to midwifery did not produce the desired results due to lack in clarity of roles, poor legal and regulatory framework and ill-defined career progression pathways for the midwives. The new operational guidelines in 2018 for midwifery addresses all the earlier failures and subscribes to the rules laid down by the International confederation. However, the translation of policy into expected outcomes will depend on right selection, and training of midwifery educators; post-training deployment, and use of innovative adult learning and relearning methods and most importantly how swiftly the task shifting, redistribution of duties and good team work between doctors and midwives happen. The guidelines also specifies quality assurance and monitoring mechanisms.


  1. Evaluation of the first phase of the Bangladesh Midwifery Twinning Project

Speakers: Joy Kemp; Sharmin Shobnum Joyya (Project Manager, Bangladesh Midwifery Society); and Mahfuja Jhamu (Vice President, Bangladesh Midwifery Society)

Facilitators: Linda Wylie & Astri Nurdiana

The International Confederation of Midwives promotes twinning between midwives associations for mutual strengthening and reciprocal learning (ICM, 2014). The Bangladesh Midwifery Society (BMS) and the Royal College of Midwives UK have been twinned since July 2017. At VIDM 2018 we presented about the first steps in our twinning relationship. In November 2018 the first phase of the twinning project was evaluated using a mixed methods approach. In our 2019 presentation we will share the results of this evaluation and outline how we have used innovations and technologies to continue transforming BMS and bringing reciprocal learning back to the UK. We will explore the successes and challenges of trying to create a mainly virtual midwifery association and outline plans for the next 3 years of the project. This will be of interest to other midwifery associations wishing to develop their organisational capacity or increase the use of technology and innovation.


  1. Dads at the birth by c/s under g/a?

Speaker: Ian Kemp

Facilitator: Ally Anderson

Most fathers in the UK are present at the birth of their baby. Fathers whose babies are birthed by cesarean section under general anesthetic are prohibited from the birth. Reasons for this exclusion include; women don’t want them there, men don’t want to be there, they would hinder medics from doing their job, if he fainted they would sue and he cannot support her as she is unconscious. My qualitative research looked at whether these women and men wanted Dads present at such births. Women have a missing piece of their birth and therefore don’t think it’s their baby, less likely to bond with and breastfeed and more likely to develop depression. Men also develop depression and PTSD and feel at the end of their rope when abandoned during such emergency births. This will share the voices of the parents experience, the problems caused by excluding men and research findings.


  1. Student Cafe: World’s midwifery: Shaping our future as student midwives

    Speakers: Serena Nicolaci; Agnese Lecis;  Astrid Pedranzini; Caterina Pozzoni;  Giulia Toffolo; and Valentina Volpi

Facilitator: Marina Randich

Student midwives’ clinical practice is crucial during the midwifery education, in order to develop midwifery skills and to provide a high standard of care during the childbearing continuum and within the obstetric, neonatal and gynecological areas. The experience placements during the midwifery training, in Italy and abroad, shaped the idea of this project. The aim is to make visible the professional values learned during the workplace training. The project will be a video addressed to students midwives showing interviews and pictures taken during the learning experiences of previous students. The video will last 20 minutes. Following this, an interactive discussion on the topics covered into the video, will start. This will provide opportunities to encourage active learning between students midwives from different European countries Therefore, the internship experiences all over the World, could be an important occasion for “world student Midwives” to share different values, cultures and visions.


  1. Why study resilience among Nigerian midwives? A preliminary report of a grounded theory study

Speaker: Halima Musa Abdul; B Hunter; L Warren; and D Sakellariou

Facilitator: Catherine Shimechero

Shortage of midwifery workforce has become a global issue, including Nigeria with negative effects on quality of care. This has resulted in workplace adversity and increased stress for midwives, which is thought to be one of the primary reasons midwives fail to thrive in their workplace, and hence leave the profession. A distinct gap in literature about Nigerian midwives’ experiences of workplace adversity and resilience formed the motivation of this study. Thus, this study aimed to construct a grounded theory to explain how midwives in Nigeria who are experiencing workplace adversity develop resilience.

Methods The study used a constructionist-grounded theory approach. A total of thirty interviews were conducted with purposive and theoretical samples of midwives across two tertiary institutions. The study design and methods will be described in the presentation. Results Data analysis is ongoing. Categories generated include: Experiencing adversity and perceived effects and four key resilient responses. Preliminary findings will be presented.

Conclusions This is the first study to explicitly examine workplace adversity and resilience among Nigerian midwives. It is hoped that this study will provide new insights which will inform education and practice and equip midwives with various resilient responses to adversity


  1. Birth plans: The good and the less good

Speaker: Irene Gonzales

Facilitator: Linda Wylie

Using a birth plan enhance women’s empowerment regarding their labours and, consequently, improves birth experience in terms of satisfaction. It also appears to be associate with more control over the childbirth process. However, submitting a birth plan not always guarantee a better birth experience; it could be due to women’s expectations are not always respected, health professionals’ reluctance towards the birth plan, the sense of failure that women experiences if they do not achieve their expectations or even because of the poor delivery outcomes as a result of following a birth plan. In conclusion, after reviewing the literature available, it is unclear whether there are benefits when using a birth plan. In this review, the good and the less good aspects of written birth plans will be discussed.


  1. Breastfeeding: Non-pharmacological analgesia for reducing procedural pain in healthy full-term infants

Speakers: Giovanna Casella; Maria Pia De Carolis; and  Michelangela Danza

Facilitator: Elisa Segoni

All infants, even healthy full-terms, undergo routine diagnostic and therapeutic painful procedures as part of routine medical care and non-pharmacologic measures should be adopted to reduce the pain sensation. We have studied in 61 healthy full-term neonates the different analgesic effect of three non-pharmacologic interventions [Breastfeeding combined with Skin-to-Skin Contact (BF+SSC), Oral Glucose 10% (OG) and Maternal Holding plus Swaddling (MH+SW)] during heel prick for metabolic screening, evaluating both NIPS score and physiological parameters variations [Heart Rate (HR) and Oxygen Saturation (SpO2) by pulse oxymeter]. Our clinical and physiological data suggest that the combination of maternal-infant relationship with oral stimulation provides the deepest analgesia. BF is based on the unique primary relationship between the mother and her newborn and it provides a natural multisensorial stimulation, so it is possible to suppose that BF+SSC should be considered the optimal non-pharmacologic measure to manage the procedural pain in healthy full-term infants.


  1. What midwives need to know when caring for couples who are pregnant after stillbirth

Speaker: Margaret Murphy

Facilitator: Linda Wylie

Globally an estimated 2.6 million babies are stillborn each year at or before their birth. While the majority of these deaths occur in low and middle-income countries, stillbirth still affects 1:200 pregnancies in high-income countries. There are profound physical, psychological, social and economic effects of stillbirth that are often unrecognized. The majority of couples who experience stillbirth will progress to a subsequent pregnancy, often within a very short timeframe of their index loss. Perinatal death, the grief of these losses, and experiences of subsequent pregnancies all affect the couple dynamic with gender differences often apparent. Midwives need to be aware of the particular needs of women and men who are pregnant again after stillbirth. These include increased physical, psychological, and social needs in the aftermath of stillbirth and in the pregnancy that follows. Continuity of midwifery care can assist couples throughout their stillbirth and pregnancy after loss journey.


  1. Waking up to wireless: The stupid ‘Smart’ revolution

Speaker: Rebecca Blech

Facilitator: Catherine Shimechero

Ever-increasing electrosmog from mobile and wireless technologies is a global issue. Safety standards date back to 1996 and are woefully inadequate. A significant body of research shows adverse biological effects from Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) and other common sources of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR), with increased risk to children, babies and foetuses especially. Many doctors and scientists are ringing the alarm. Midwives are uniquely placed to disseminate guidance and mitigation strategies to pregnant women at the earliest possible moment in their pregnancy, thereby reducing the possibility of harm to the foetus in the short and long term.

This presentation will a) outline the risks of prenatal and postnatal exposure to RFR from mobile, wireless and “smart” technologies b) offer simple preventative strategies to reduce significantly a child’s prenatal and postnatal exposure to RFR and c) inform risk v benefit decision-making when considering new wireless technologies in midwifery care.


  1.  Reclaiming Midwifery: A modern day sustainable continuity of carer model

Speaker: Jill Darlington & Rachael Ward

Facilitator: Cindy Nelly

Continuity of carer is held as the gold standard for maternity care in the UK. Come and find out how One to One Midwives have developed a sustainable model of caseloading care for all risk pathways. Working outside, yet alongside, the National Health Service and working in collaboration with local Clinical Commissioning Groups, for over 8 years One to One Midwives have provided care for over 2200 clients each year across the North West of England and North East Essex. With strong leadership and governance, passionate staff, robust training and preceptorship, One to One improve outcomes for all clients regardless of risk or place of birth. Hear from midwifery leads and caseloading midwives how it feels to work in a caseloading model of care. The organisation has learnt, grown and evolved from a handful of midwives to over 90 following a vision for continuity for all.


  1. Student Cafe: The journeys we make: Women bravely facing adversity

Speakers: Sarah Scarlett and Lauren O’Neill

Facilitators: Ally Anderson & Linda Wylie

Our talk will cover journeys women make to get to Europe and the perils associated with that, what the Greek maternity services provide to women and what charitable organisations do to plug the gap in accessible services. We will focus particularly on our experiences of volunteering with Amurtel, a charitable organisation run by women for women. Amurtel not only provide maternity care and excellent infant feeding support but most vitally a safe space for women to come together, make friends, and build a support network for themselves and their families.


  1. Sickle cell management in pregnancy: The role of the midwife in a teaching hospital, Kumasi

Speaker: Mabel Kissiwah Asafo

Facilitator: Heather Brigance

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic disorder affecting 2% of the population with 20 to 25% being carriers. Women with SCD are high-risk during pregnancy. This study aimed at exploring the knowledge and practices of midwives in managing SCD in pregnancy and made recommendations that informed policy development and competency building.  Seventeen (17) midwives with working experiences ranging from 6 to 37 years were interviewed and content analysis was done to generate themes. In all, ten (10) themes were generated. Findings: The study findings revealed that midwives had knowledge gaps in the management of women with SCD, they were limited in playing their coordinator roles in SCD management.


  1. Peri-conception care service delivery through midwives using mHealth tool: Case study from India

Speaker: Shantanu Sharma

Facilitator: Chris Woodhouse

Midwifery-led care is an important focal point for promoting quality and continuous delivery of services through a women-centric approach. The project aimed at harnessing the knowledge, skills, and compassionate care of midwives during peri-conception period, the intervention was conducted in four districts of India. Integrated voice response system (IVRS) was used as an aid for counselling of community health workers, newly married, and pregnant women by midwives. Around 6000 Midwives were trained on pre-conception, maternal and newborn care. The project witnessed an increment in knowledge score of midwives by 63% from the baseline. In addition, they received over 24000 calls from workers and community in 15-month period of implementation. IVRS has also enabled a 24X7 availability and accessibility of key reproductive health information/expert advice to young couples at zero cost, from their homes. mHealth has the potential to provide real time mentoring, counselling support and reaching the unreached.


  1. Modelo de Parto planificado enel hogar Argentina (Spanish)

Speakers: Silvia Malena Corso; Vivana Andini; Ana Becu; Carla Veleda; and Natalia Idiart Facilitators: Susana Ku & Raquel Justiniano

Homebirths assisted by Professional Regulated Midwives is becoming more popular in Argentina. The current challenges are: the need for more Regulated Midwives who can provide homebirths, a law legislation and a formal partnership with the health system. From the Argentinian Association of Independent Midwives, we work on training, empower and gather together all Midwives from different parties. The Model of Care is interesting, as there are good outcomes regardless of not being formally integrated within the Health System. This model challenges the actual Medical system and is the expression of sexual and reproductive rights of women and their families,based on informed choice.


  1. Improving standards around birth for mother and baby at a health centre in rural Ethiopia

Speaker: Anna Cannon and midwives@ethiopia

Facilitator: Elisa Segoni

midwives@ethiopia works in partnership with Ethiopian midwives and Healthcare workers strengthening rural health systems. One of the projects aims to address the maternal mortality rate through improving knowledge at all levels and for all involved. The project encourages collaborative community participation to discuss barriers to women accessing the local Health Facility for birth. Through FGDs, observation and outreach a number of standards have been jointly developed to address a number of issues identified at community level by women and men, by community health workers, and by the staff at the health centre. The standards have given a focus to main gaps and areas for improvement in service and have enabled staff to feel more accountable and committed to their roles and professions. The community have consequently found the health centre a more pleasant and welcoming place to give birth, most significantly; due to the Maternity Waiting Home, the respectful care standard and the opportunity to birth in any position as she would at home.

Recording: Not Available

  1. Breastfeeding wires society for connection

Speaker: Roma Norriss

Facilitator: Linda Wylie

We tend to think of the value of breastfeeding as centred around various health outcomes for mother and baby, but what is arguably a much more significant impact is how the breastfeeding relationship forms the foundation for social development. Learn why connection is so important for humans to thrive and function well as a society and how we can either support or undermine our natural propensity for connection through our early experiences of motherhood. If breastfeeding wires society for connection, what are the social implications of interrupting our biological expectation for infant feeding? Discover more about how connection is physiologically unavoidable in the breastfeeding dyad and what can be done to replicate this when breastfeeding is not possible. What are the practice implications of a connection centric perspective on breastfeeding support? Drawing on attachment theory, neuroscience and social research, this session will be informative and thought provoking.


  1. Student Cafe: Eating for two: The intersection of food, culture, and childbearing

Speakers: 8 midwife students – Jennifer Glorioso, Tristen Holloway, Heather Hass, Katie Etherington, Liliana Correa, Amy White, Blythe Eberle, Kristal Velazquez – and  Professor Jeanne Jacobwitz, CNM, MPH, MSN and Dr. Cindy Farley, CNM, PhD, FACNM

Facilitator: Lorraine Mockford

Eight students and two faculty in the Nurse-Midwifery/WHNP program at Georgetown University will present a brief summary of the culture they selected to explore, the dish they prepared, and their learning about the intersection of food, culture, and the childbearing year. Professor Jacobwitz will introduce this session and Dr. Cindy Farley will close; they will share the importance of experiential learning assignments that engage midwifery students and faculty in collaborative projects.

Food is an important aspect of culture, as unique to a culture as its language. In order to give nutritional advice that is sound and acceptable, students need to understand a woman’s dietary preferences, access to food, and ability to store and prepare food. Exploring cuisines and cooking techniques of various cultures can inform a provider’s dietary counseling with practical and palatable suggestions designed to nourish women’s bodies in the childbearing year when nutrition is critical to positive health outcomes. A learning activity, called “Celebrating Cultural Diversity in Childbearing”, included an experiential component. Students selected a specific cultural group, and described food prescriptions for childbearing women of this culture, identified a recipe related to this belief, cooked and photographed the finished dish, and contributed their recipe to a self-published cookbook.


  1. Birthing on country: Evidence for Indigenous midwifery

Speaker: Janelle Komorowski

Facilitator: Tanya Belcheff

Recent reductions in infant mortality rates among indigenous women of Alaska are attributed to a policy of requiring women in remote areas relocate to hospitals to await labor. Despite the stress this causes, indigenous women of Alaska are increasingly subjected to healthcare policies that purport to know what is best for them and their infants. In contrast, midwives in areas such as Canada and Australia have helped return birth back to the traditional communities. For indigenous peoples, birth on country provides benefits a hospital setting cannot: elimination of stress from forced separation of families at the time of birth, connection between the land and the people, and preservation of traditional birth wisdom. Equally important are the efforts of Australia and Canada to educate indigenous women to provide midwifery care in their own communities. Similar efforts are needed for the indigenous women of Alaska.

Recording: Not Available

  1. Determinants of obstetrical violence in the central hospital maternity of Yaounda (French)

Speaker: Laetitia Bissai

Facilitator: Cecilia Jevitt

Our study aimed at the identification of the determinants of obstetrical violence and the understanding of the way the new mother perceived the care given to them during that delicate stage of their lives in that maternity. The place of study was chosen because it is a place that receives a lot of students (physician, midwives, nurse, etc) and is a referral hospital. We realised a quantitative analysis from the data collected among the 30 health workers and a qualitative analysis from the data collected through the 18 observations (done with the RMC chart) and the 7 interviews conducted with the new mothers. From the results we discovered that institutional determinants are the first impacting the manifestation of obstetrical violence but we also have psychological, sociocultural and educational determinants. In a context like ours, it is almost taboo to talk about this topic.


  1. Psychological wellbeing following miscarriage from a salutogenic perspective

Speaker: Anne Marie Rennie

Facilitator: Pandora Hardtman

Miscarriage is a common occurrence and midwives are often there to support women and their partners. Previous research into the psychological impact of miscarriage has taken a pathogenic approach, with limited research examining the factors that relate to enhanced psychological wellbeing i.e. factors that help women cope with miscarriage. As a result, it is difficult to understand what predicts lower anxiety, depression and higher wellbeing. In order to address such gaps, this presentation will share my PhD findings which took a mixed methods approach, to identify factors related to enhanced psychological wellbeing over time. Midwives can support women who experience miscarriage better, when they understand the impact of miscarriage and what helps enhance the psychological wellbeing of women.


  1. Supporting place of birth decision making: The active offer of planned home birth

Speaker: Jude Field

Facilitator: Cecilia Jevitt

Ensuring that women make informed decisions about where they wish to give birth is an increasingly recognised aspect of the midwife’s role. Findings of this PhD study suggest that a woman’s ability to make an informed decision about the option of planned home birth depends on her access to home birth social capital, beliefs about her ability to birth safely, and the receipt of a passive or active offer of planned home birth from her midwife. Where a passive offer is received, an uniformed decision may be made if a woman’s individual social circumstances do not compensate for this. The two-stage Active Offer of Planned Home Birth (AOPHB), consisting of Creating the Conditions and Positive Reinforcement stages, provides a flexible tool that has the potential for developing and supporting midwives to further understand, and effectively facilitate, women’s birth place decision-making in relation to planned home birth.

Recording: Not Available

  1. Diál ogos comunitarios para el fortalecimiento de la partería profesional en Guerrero, México (Spanish)

Speakers: Alexia Escobar, Martha Murdock and Aishling Thurow

Facilitators: Susana Ku & Raquel Justiniano

This presentation will discuss the impact of the Intercultural Community Dialogues initiative implemented by Management Sciences for Health and the Mexico National Safe Motherhood Committee . The methodology, previously validated among indigenous communities in Bolivia, was replicated in April 2018 in Acatepec, Guerrero, in a state hospital that offers maternity health services. Launched through five focus groups composed of diverse local midwifery stakeholders, a series of facilitated dialogues were held, resulting in commitments to: integrate traditional and professional midwives into the health team; develop standard protocols for maternity care that incorporate midwifery and intercultural health services; and increase demand and access to facility-based care for the community. As of October 2018, the hospital’s director has implemented concrete changes that reflect these commitments and that recognize the importance and role of indigenous midwives, put the mother at the center of labor and delivery, and ultimately increase respectful maternity care.


  1. Measurement of midwife clinical competency

Speaker: Kate Woeber

Facilitator: Janelle Komorowski

Based on a list of clinical skills from ACNM’s Core Competencies and ICM’s Essential Competencies for Basic Practice that is tailored for use in the U.S., the Midwifery Clinical Competency Assessment Tool (MCAT) and the Semester Summary Tool (SST) were designed to help midwifery educational programs ensure didactic coverage of important topics, evaluate and track student clinical progress, structure communication with preceptors, guide students’ clinical opportunities across semesters/terms, and assist with program revision. Using data from the MCAT, the SST is designed to give program directors “at a glance” summaries of the student cohort’s progress and of the program’s capacity. This discussion will review the use of these tools, and include discussion on integrating competency-based education to prepare midwives.


  1. Keynote :: Lesley Page

From medicalisation to humanisation of birth – the importance of midwifery

Speaker: Lesley Page

Facilitator: Lorraine Mockford

The fundamental meaning of humanization is to develop a more sustainable world and society. Humanization of birth is a process of moving away from a narrow view of birth as a medicalized event to a broader view. Humanized birth recognises the significance of birth to individuals, families and society, and includes care that will enhance the health and wellbeing of the baby, the woman becoming mother, the father or other parent, and the integrity of the family. This promotion of health and well being is concerned with both short and long-term health, and includes positive experience as well as optimal physical outcomes, and supporting a strong relationship between the baby and mother, and with the other parent and family. To develop a policy and practice of humanized maternity care we must draw on several scientific disciplines, including the physiology of birth and relationship formation, epigenetics, and epidemiology, as well as understanding the determinants of health and wellbeing.

Recording Not Available

24 b: Closing: Performance and end of conference slide show.

Speaker: Kati Edwards

Facilitator: Lorraine Mockford

Join us for the closing events! First a performance from spoken word artist Kati Edwards, then the closing slide show.

Kati Edwards is a doula, birth educator, and poet. She will present 2 of her poems that best represent the spirit of International Day of the Midwife.

    • The Being Midwife
    • It’s not Because

Kati Edwards recording not available.

Closing Slideshow recording: