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
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