Editor's Blog

Parent education and midwives’ self-efficacy

I was recently running a workshop with a group of student midwives who were close to qualification. Between them, they had gathered an enormous amount of experience during their three years in college. Most had been present when a baby had been stillborn, and had been actively involved in comforting and protecting the bereaved parents. All had cared for women whose pregnancies had ended in early or late miscarriage. Several had undertaken elective placements in far-away countries in Africa, South America and Asia. They were familiar with maternity care delivered in high resource contexts and in low resource contexts. They were all able to talk critically about the part played in keeping women, their babies and their families safe by excellent clinical care and technology, as well as the part played by professionals’ ‘coming alongside’ families to try to understand their needs, expectations, fears and hopes.

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Teacher - leave those kids alone!

I was more shocked than I believed I could still be at my age by a story recounted to me recently by a close friend. This friend, in her middle years, having brought up three children of her own, decided to adopt a sibling group of five brothers and sisters - the youngest only a baby and the oldest just five. My friend and her brilliant partner did an amazing job of providing a loving, nurturing home for these five little ones, who had come from a profoundly impoverished background, while at the same time battling the doubtless well-intentioned, but highly intrusive, attentions of social services. (Let me say at this point that my friend doesn’t live in the UK.)

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