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Knowledge and Use of the ICM Global Standards for Midwifery Education

A skilled professional midwifery workforce has been promoted as a way to improve maternal and child health worldwide and decrease the rates of maternal mortality and morbidity (United Nations, 2015; World Health Organization (WHO), 2015; WHO, 2019). Where midwives are educated and regulated to international standards, it is estimated that they can provide 87% of the essential sexual and reproductive health services for women and neonates (United Nations Population Fund, 2014; Renfrew et al, 2014), “could avert over 80% of all maternal deaths, stillbirths and neonatal deaths” (Homer et al, 2014), as well as provide safe high-quality, culturally appropriate care to women and neonates.

Perceived threats, benefits and barriers of e-cigarette use during pregnancy. A qualitative analysis of risk perception within existing threads in online discussion forums

Previous studies have shown that e-cigarettes are perceived as being less harmful than tobacco cigarettes by pregnant women and might be used to quit smoking during pregnancy. Our aim was to further explore and characterise perceived threats, benefits and barriers of e-cigarette use during pregnancy.

“Nobody knows, or seems to know how rheumatology and breastfeeding works”: Women's experiences of breastfeeding whilst managing a long-term limiting condition – A qualitative visual methods study

Only around 1% of babies in the UK are breastfed exclusively until six months of age as recommended by the World Health Organisation. One in ten women who have recently given birth in the UK have a long-term illness and they are at increased risk of stopping breastfeeding early. We considered women with autoimmune rheumatic diseases as an exemplar group of long term illnesses, to explore the barriers and enablers to breastfeeding

Perineal pain the first year after childbirth and uptake of post-partum check-up- A Swedish cohort study

The aim of this prospective cohort study was to investigate the prevalence of perineal pain related to the perineal injury within the first year after childbirth. The study further explored the rates of postpartum check-up attendance, and whether they had undergone a vaginal examination, pelvic floor assessment and exercise advice.

Effect of health education on birth preparedness and complication readiness on the use of maternal health services: A propensity score-matched analysis

At 789 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, South Sudan has one of the worst maternal mortality indicators in the world. Utilization of maternal health services namely antenatal care (ANC), skilled birth attendance (SBA), and early postnatal care (EPNC) is critical in reducing these deaths. We evaluated whether health education on birth preparedness and complication readiness (BPCR) has an impact on the utilization of skilled birth attendance and early postnatal care in Mundri East County, South Sudan.

A qualitative exploration of breastfeeding support groups in Ireland from the women's perspectives

Volunteer breastfeeding support groups are deemed effective in promoting breastfeeding initiation and duration, but women's views are not well reported. The aim of this study was to explore women's experiences of Breastfeeding Support Groups in Ireland from their perspective.

A Romanian experience of syphilis in pregnancy and childbirth

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that, left untreated, leads to systemic complications. It has chronic development and multiple clinical manifestations, mimicking many dermatological conditions (Oswal and Lyons, 2008; Manolescu et al., 2017). Syphilis is caused by Treponema pallidum, which only affects humans and some primates and is usually transmitted through sexual contact (Oswal and Lyons, 2008; Manolescu et al., 2017). Other possible transmission routes are by blood or from mother to fetus during pregnancy (Oswal and Lyons, 2008).

Monounsaturated fat intake is associated with improved sleep quality in pregnancy

Maternal dietary intake is important to support a healthy pregnancy (World Health Organisation, 2016). It is well established that broad malnutrition in pregnancy increases the risk of pregnancy complications including intrauterine growth restriction (Moore and Davies, 2005), small for gestational age (SGA) and preterm birth (Goldstein et al., 2017). Whereas, overnutrition during pregnancy, as evidenced by excessive gestational weight gain and obesity, increases the risk of pre-eclampsia, caesarean section, gestational diabetes and stillbirth (Goldstein et al., 2017; Guelinckx et al., 2008).

Management of the second stage of labour in women with epidural analgesia: A qualitative study exploring Midwives’ experiences in Northern Italy

Since the 1960s epidural analgesia had been widely introduced as pain relief in labour in developed countries, changing the approach to pain management strategies and intrapartum midwifery care. Currently, epidural represents a very popular and acceptable pain relief method, being considered the most effective technique for reducing labour pain (Anim-Somuah et al., 2018; Fraser et al., 2000). However, there are concerns about the potential cascade of unnecessary medical interventions and unintended adverse effects on the mother and newborn (Anim-Somuah et al., 2018; Petersen et al., 2013).

Women's empowerment in pregnancy and childbirth: A concept analysis

Women's health during pregnancy and childbirth is recognised internationally as the cornerstone to a populations’ health (WHO, 2015). Worldwide, an estimated 139 million births take place per year with a maternal mortality of 216 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015 and a greater percentage of women will experience the death of her child through perinatal or neonatal death (UNFPA, 2015). These figures demonstrate the serious health issues for women and infants during this period, further underlined by the devastation of acute and chronic physical and psychological morbidity.

Assessing the determinants of antenatal care adherence for Indigenous and non-Indigenous women in southwestern Uganda

Antenatal care (ANC) provides an essential intervention opportunity to promote the safety and well-being of mothers and their newborns (Benova et al., 2018; WHO, 2016); however, to what extent ANC is able to achieve this may not be consistent. While the model of ANC delivery may vary, most programs consist of components of health education, promotion of appropriate health service utilization, and prevention, identification, and treatment of pregnancy-related complications (WHO, 2016). Traditionally, individualized care, or “focused” or “routine” antenatal care as termed by the WHO, was recommended in low-income countries (WHO, 2011); a systematic review highlighted the benefits of this approach for low-income countries where Western models were not realistic or feasible (Carroli et al., 2001b).


A global epidemic of caesarean section has been observed in the last decades, characterized by the high growth of rates internationally (Boerma et al., 2018). When analyzing the Brazilian situation, the evolution of caesarean rates shows an upward growth, in addition to presenting one of the highest caesarean rates found in the world (Betrán et al., 2016). In the 1970s, the first records in Brazil showed a rate of 15.0%, which rose to 40.2% in the 90s and reached the apex in 2014, with 57.0% of births by caesarean (Brasil, 2014a; Victora et al., 2011).

“What am I thinking? Is this normal?” A Cross-sectional Study Investigating the Nature of Negative Thoughts, Parental Self-efficacy and Psychological Distress in New Fathers

For a new father, perceptions about what it means to be a ‘good’ father and the development of personal expectations about fatherhood are often derived from societal ideals (Bolzan, Gale, & Dudley, 2005), which have changed significantly over the past three decades (Carlson, 2006). Increasing economic demands on families and greater occupational equality has facilitated a cultural shift in the division of childcare and financial responsibilities between parents (Hauari & Hollingworth, 2012). ‘Good fathering’ is no longer defined by a man's ability to protect, provide and implement discipline within the family (Dunlop & Mletzko, 2011; Fischer & Anderson, 2012).

‘I'm having a baby not a labour’: Sense of coherence and women's attitudes towards labour and birth

In Western countries, caesarean section rates are increasing and spontaneous vaginal birth rates are decreasing at a rapid rate. This trend has implications for childbearing women's health and calls into question the use of pathogenesis to frame maternity services. The theory and practice of salutogenesis offers a viable alternative as it emphasises health rather than illness. Sense of coherence and generalized resistant resources (GRRs) are the cornerstones of salutogenesis and sense of coherence is a predictive indicator of health.

Referral Linkage among Public Health Facilities in Ethiopia: A Qualitative Explanatory Study of Facilitators and Barriers for Emergency Obstetric Referral in Addis Ababa City Administration

In developing countries including Ethiopia, maternal mortality ratio remains unacceptably high. During pregnancy and childbirth, a woman may acquire one or more of obstetric complications including hemorrhage, sepsis, hypertension and obstructed labor. Early diagnosed and referral of women who experienced obstetric complications to a specialty center can save the life of women and babies. However, several factors might affect the referral procedures of these women. Therefore, this study was aimed at assessing the facilitators and barriers of obstetric referral in selected public health facilities of Addis Ababa city administration, Ethiopia.

Midwives in the United Kingdom: Levels of burnout, depression, anxiety and stress and associated predictors

Supporting the emotional wellbeing of midwives is important not only for ensuring childbearing women receive quality care but also for retaining a healthy and motivated workforce (Royal College of Midwives RCM, 2016a). This applies not only to midwifery in the United Kingdom (UK), but also to midwifery globally (Filby et al., 2016).