Steen, Mary; Jones, Alun(Redactive Publishers: Royal College of Midwives, 2014-03-01)
It is not only women who experience shame and stigma because of their circumstances, it can affect midwives too. Shame and stigma can have a significant impact on both parents and midwife. Expectant parents who are experiencing difficulties with childbirth may become self absorbed. Critical ruminations are likely to ensue and this can lead to these parents failing to care for themselves appropriately. Meanwhile, midwives’ professional practice may also become compromised because of shameful ruminations.
Mental health is an integral part of health and a state of wellbeing. The concept of ‘parity of esteem’ increases awareness that mental health needs to be treated as seriously as physical health. During the childbirth continuum, women and their partners can be at increased risk of mental health problems; therefore it is important to embrace the ‘parity of esteem’ concept. This article highlights links between mental and physical health problems and discusses the vital role that midwives can play in promoting better maternal mental health. It considers the challenges this can present to midwives and maternity services.
Continence in women during pregnancy and following childbirth is an important issue that needs to be managed appropriately. Urinary and bowel problems can have numerous negative physical and psychological consequences, and women may be too embarrassed to seek help. Healthcare professionals need to encourage and support women to identify any changes in their normal bowel and bladder habits. They also need to have knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the urinary, reproductive and digestive systems to understand how continence may be affected during pregnancy and following childbirth.
This presentation explores the evidence from a meta synthesis undertaken as part of a programme of work entitled, Engaging Fathers in Childbirth (EPIC). There is growing evidence that active involvement of fathers in maternity care is associated with many health and social benefits for the mother and baby. However, maternity care expectations and experiences of expectant and new fathers have received little attention from policy makers and maternity service providers. Twenty three papers were included in the meta-synthesis and studies where undertaken in 9 countries (7 UK, 5 Australia, 4 Sweden, 2 USA, 1 Japan, 1 Taiwan, 1 South Africa, 1 Finland, 1 New Zealand). Ten of these focused on the prenatal period (prenatal diagnosis, A/N education & care), 5 focused on the intrapartum period (place of birth, premature birth & experiences),8 focussed on the postnatal period (transition to fatherhood & post-traumatic stress disorder). Six themes emerged from the included studies: risk and uncertainty,exclusion, fear and frustration, the ideal and the reality, issues of support, experiencing transition. 'As Partner and Parent’ fathers experience as not-patient and not-visitor situates them in an interstitial and undefined space with the consequence that many feel excluded and fearful. They cannot support their partner effectively unless they are themselves supported, included, and prepared for the reality of risk and uncertainty in pregnancy, labour and parenthood and for their role in this context.
Calvert, Jan; Steen, Mary(Mark Allen Publishing, 2007-03)
The first of two articles. This article discusses a study that assessed the usage and impact of providing a self-administered kit of homeopathic remedies at the end of pregnancy, childbirth, and post-childbirth. The study was undertaken at the hospital and at home. Nineteen women in south Leeds participated in this study between September 2005 and February 2006.
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