Midwifery students’ confidence to support physiological birth: an international study
Authors: Wood, J. et al.
Conference: International Confederation of Midwives 2023
Dates: 11-15 June 2023
Place of Publication: ICM ConferneceAbstract:
Background Learning to support physiological labour and birth takes place in complex clinical contexts, requiring students to deal with motivational, systemic, emotional, and social barriers to the application of knowledge. Many physical and mental health benefits are derived from a positive physiological childbirth experience. However, in the context of relatively high intervention rates, physiological labour and birth are inevitably less commonly seen, which can impact midwives’ skills and commitment to both promoting and supporting women’s physiological labours and birth.
Objectives This research collaboration with midwifery academics from five countries explored and described midwifery students’ confidence for supporting physiologic birth and facilitators and barriers to this confidence in five countries. Methods A 13- item survey with both likert-type and open-ended questions was initially created by Bournemouth University midwifery lecturers and then modified slightly to fit each country’s unique midwifery educational program and practice structure. Quantitative data collected and then summarized and inductive analysis of qualitative data using thematic analysis was used to identify recurrent themes. The data was then summarised and compared across countries.
Results Preliminary data will be shared from this collaborative study that describe midwifery students’ confidence for supporting physiologic birth and facilitators and barriers to this confidence in five countries. Conclusions In an environment of increased intervention, current midwifery practice affects the extent to which midwifery students can learn how to support physiological labour and birth. The results of this project will be used to address relevant gaps in current midwifery education.
Key message Understanding midwifery students’ confidence for supporting physiologic labour and birth will help address relevant gaps in current midwifery education.
Ethics and conflicts of interest No conflicts of interest and ethical approval for this study was approved through each country’s human rights and ethics review process.