Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Midwifery Today, Issue 132, Winter 2019.Join Midwifery Today Online Membership Vulnerability during pregnancy has harmful consequences for the child in the first years of life. There are various initiatives in Flanders, and abroad, to more efficiently identify and support vulnerable pregnancies. Nevertheless, there are still many possibilities in Flanders to enhance the pre- and postnatal care path to meet the needs of vulnerable pregnant women. In this article, we present the results of the first phase of a project-based scientific research of the Artesis Plantijn (AP) University College Antwerp. The project developed a detection tool and a prenatal care pathway, tailored to the needs of vulnerable pregnant women. A crucial starting question was what vulnerability means in pregnancy. Because the literature is inconclusive, we asked experts in the field about the concept of vulnerability in pregnancy and the operational possibilities of using a detection tool by midwives. We organised focus groups and interviews with midwives and with representatives from the social services. The combination of both of these professional areas provides similar, but also dissonant, insights about the concept of vulnerability. Introduction A preventive approach, proper health monitoring, and appropriate care provision can deliver health benefits to vulnerable groups (Viergever 2013). The ways in which vulnerable pregnant women receive care was subject to several recent studies in neighbouring countries (De Groot et al. 2016; Barlow et al. 2016). In Flanders, too, in recent years, increasing attention has been given to the care process for vulnerable pregnant women and young mothers (Fobelets et al. 2014; Beeckman, Louckx, and Putman 2010). The practice does not fall behind, with projects such as Child and Family, Public Centre for Social Welfare, maternity care expertise centres and local networks such as the Perinataal Antwerps Netwerk Zwangerschap in Armoede… Read more…. Considerations for a Prenatal Detection Tool for Vulnerable Pregnant Women
Read more…. Considerations for a Prenatal Detection Tool for Vulnerable Pregnant Women
From her many years of experience, midwife Marlene Waechter shares her wisdom of premature birth and what she feels are its main causes.
Read more…. Malnutrition, Unhealthy Lifestyles and Scheduled Deliveries: The Causes of Prematurity
In honor of Midwifery Today’s 100th
We asked you, our readers and Facebook friends,
to share the midwifery-related people, places and things you love.
Read more…. We asked; you answered! – Issue 100
Photo by Tim Marshall
I was fortunate to be part of a conversation on networks at a Midwifery Today conference and wanted to elaborate on some of the discussion. When we initially began discussing networks, people were very excited and enthused; several people in the group had started successful birth networks for women in their communities.
Read more…. Midwifery Model of Care—Phase II: Networks in the Birth Community
Photo by Robina Weermeijer
Dystocia has not only physical causes, but emotional and psychological ones. This article identifies those causes and suggests some strategies that women and their carers can use to avoid or minimize this problem.
Read more…. Psychological and Emotional Dystocia
Photo by Luis Galvez
Frequent Midwifery Today contributor, Piper Martin, discusses the effect of sexual abuse on pregnancy and birth and suggests some homeopathic treatments.
Read more…. Sexual Abuse and Pregnancy—A Homeopath’s Perspective
Photos provided by the authors
Meredith Casella with postoperative fistula patients in Dubie, Democratic Republic of Congo (2007)
In compelling dispatches from the field, nurse-midwife Meredith Casella documents her experiences in Africa with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).
Read more…. Letters from the Field: From the Congo to Chad
Photos provided by the author
This bittersweet story demonstrates how two cultures clash on the issue of birth. Sokol describes the experience of attending a Ukrainian couple’s birth in a birth house as a doula-in-training. This piece is one of four articles in this issue describing different aspects of birth in Ukraine.
Read more…. My First Doula Birth in a Ukrainian Birth House
Photo by Larm Rmah
A companion article to “Creating a Safe Space for Healing,” this article gives tips on how to make essential medical procedures as non-threatening as possible for women trauma survivors.
Read more…. Modifying Medical Procedure for the Trauma Survivor
Photo by Maxime Caron
One of the authors of the new Motherbaby Press Book, Survivor Moms: Women’s Narratives of Birthing, Mothering and Healing after Sexual Abuse, provides a snapshot of types of trauma exposures reported by first-time mothers in the Midwest and how they relate to risk of PTSD.
Read more…. Survivor Moms: Multiple Trauma Exposures and the Development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Midwives work with a vast array of interesting, creative, amazing and thought-provoking women; it’s one gift of our work. We were drawn to the work to serve, support and be with childbearing women. Consequently, when we find ourselves inclined to ignore, admonish or run away from a particular client, we may experience conflicted feelings of guilt and inadequacy. In the worst circumstances we may develop a belief that the client is an adversary instead of a sincere person seeking our assistance.
Read more…. Determining Relational Needs in Challenging Clients