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
Midwifery Today Conference Eugene, Oregon • April 5–9, 2017 “The Heart and Science of Birth” Archived Conference Program PDF Welcome to Eugene! [Letter in event program to participants] We are so thrilled to welcome you to our conference. We will spend the next five days learning, sharing, networking and loving each other! Our teachers and… Read more…. Eugene Conference 2017
Midwifery Today Conference Helsinki, Finland • 4–8 October 2017 “Trust, Intimacy and Love—The Chemistry of Connection” Photo by Lynsey Stone—dfwbirthphotographer.com Preregistration for this conference is closed, however walk-ins are welcome. For easy registration, fill out this form, print it out and bring the form, proof of full-time student status if applicable, and your payment to… Read more…. Finland Conference 2017
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 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
Jan discusses how midwives can help with a problem that is rarely discussed: the impact of becoming a father on men who were abused. Read more…. Fathers Who Were Abused
I found out I was pregnant in June of ’94 and suddenly everything was different for me. It was as if I had a gun to my head; I had to get better RIGHT NOW. I was convinced that if I didn’t I was going to be the worst mother on the planet. – from Shakta’s story Read more…. Listening to Survivor Moms
One of my most important roles in my midwifery life is that of encourager. My desire is that you carry out the dreams given to you – and I know you have them. I delight in telling about people carrying out their dreams as a way, hopefully, to inspire you. Read more…. Birth Change
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
Photos by April Hallwood
Women who have been abused and traumatized may experience a variety of issues related to pregnancy and birth. Maryl Smith discusses developing awareness of signs and triggers, as well as how to work with such women and help them feel safe. Read more…. Creating the Space for Healing: Antepartum Care in Women with Trauma History