All VIDM 2023 Conference sessions are recorded. Links to the recordings are available on our @VirtualMidwives YouTube channel and linked below in each session listing.

Use the Search CATEGORIES and KEYWORDS (ie. Spanish, Students, or Keynotes) to find sessions of interest.

VIDM 2023 Conference sessions were presented and recorded using Big Blue Button mobile friendly webconferencing technology, thanks to our colleagues at Frontier Nursing University

15 The lived maternity experience of having a baby with Down syndrome
May 5 @ 12:00 – 12:50
15  The lived maternity experience of having a baby with Down syndrome @ Room C

Speaker: Nicola Enoch

Facilitator: Adebukunola Olajumoke Afolabi 

Down Syndrome UK is a charity fully immersed in supporting expectant and new parents of babies with Down syndrome.  We are passionate about ensuring parents have access to contemporary information about the reality of living with Down syndrome and relevant compassionate ongoing support.

We have been conducting research since 2018 in order that the findings of the research can translate into effective inclusive practice to improve outcomes for patients.  

We are currently undertaking collaborative research with University of Warwick as a follow up to the report Sharing the news: the maternity experience of having a baby with Down syndrome. and will share preliminary findings. 

Our previous report published the findings of a survey of 1,410 women which sadly highlighted systemic discrimination towards those with Down syndrome.  It revealed an assumption by medical professionals that an expectant woman will terminate when discovering their baby has Down syndrome. It also highlights the pressure put on women to undergo further tests in addition to a lack of information and of support.  We have also undertaken research and will share findings around breastfeeding babies with Down syndrome.

As experts by experience, we are passionate about sharing the findings of our research with the aim to empower all by promoting best practice ensuring the voices of parents are heard to improve the maternity experiences of future parents.


23 Mindfulness in breastfeeding preparation: A missed opportunity to optimize breastfeeding duration and mental health
May 5 @ 20:00 – 20:50
23 Mindfulness in breastfeeding preparation: A missed opportunity to optimize breastfeeding duration and mental health @ Room A

Speaker: Tracy Donegan

Facilitator: Portia Shanduka

80 – 90% of women who stop breastfeeding in the first six weeks are not ready to do so. Initiatives to improve breastfeeding rates have traditionally focused mainly on social policies, support and health promotion activities. In recent years therapeutic interventions such as mindfulness and self-compassion practices are emerging as an effective tool to increase breastfeeding self-efficacy while reducing mental health complications. Traditional antenatal breastfeeding preparation overlooks the influence of a dysregulated emotional state on breastfeeding outcomes. Antenatal breastfeeding classes are a prime opportunity for midwives to provide parents with evidence-based tools to manage psychological distress during this intense transition.

Mindfulness practices support parents to manage emotional turmoil and overwhelm including those who may experience breastfeeding grief. A mindful breastfeeding class can prepare parents with more than position, latch and newborn nursing information. This hybrid approach facilitates the development of cognitive skills to cultivate mental flexibility and emotional resilience to meet common challenges of early breastfeeding with self-compassion and self-kindness. This is critically important for parents with a baby in NICU who are at increased risk of developing mental health complications due to high stress levels. Recent primary evidence suggests that a mindfulness based approach to breastfeeding and postpartum is associated with an increase in breastfeeding initiation, duration, self-efficacy, parenting confidence and improved relationship quality. Infant mental health is also impacted positively.

Recording –