Monday, November 12, 2012

RCM annual conference starts tomorrow...

The 'Midwives Calling' conference and exhibition in Brighton, which will last two days, bills itself as an event for "everyone with an interest in maternity services today". Well, that includes me, but while I'd hoped to watch some of the presentations online, the £49 price tag means that unfortunately, I will likely miss out.

In fact, during ongoing email correspondence with the RCM over the summer, I volunteered to speak at the conference in person - especially since the publication of updated NICE guidance on maternal request cesareans is not fully understood (and is not being properly implemented) by all midwives - but unfortunately, I haven't receive a response to my offer. Maybe next year...
As for tomorrow, there promises to be some interesting talks and workshops, but the heavy focus on normal birth, while unsurprising, is nevertheless a very concerning one. The words 'caesarean' and 'c-section' don't appear anywhere on the conference schedule, despite the fact that this is how one quarter of women in the UK give birth, and the same goes for 'instrumental delivery', which affects more than one in ten women.
On a positive note, these presentations appear to address birth choice and risk:
S21. Autonomy of Women and Families - Shared decision-making & Woman-centred care: the language of practice, policy and professional regulation
Session Six: Why love matters: postnatal care - Relationships, risks and repair
S22. Intelligent intermittent auscultation: increasing midwives skills in hearing fetal wellbeing during labour
But these are some examples of presentations, in their 'normal' context, that concern me:
S10. The Normality of Birth - Women’s use of complementary therapies in pregnancy and childbirth:
a journey to normal birth & My birth, my choice
2. Insight, issues and innovation in normal birth - Topics include: Insights and issues perceived to be
barriers to midwives when practising normality & “Innovation” in dissemination of information about the Campaign for Normal Birth
S22. The Normality of Normal Birth - A national data set for normal birth using Serenity Birth Centre clinical outcomes & The art of midwifery student project: promoting normality in birth through arts developments in midwifery education and midwifery led units
M2. Research into Practice Master Class: Implications of the Birth Place Study
S11. Missed targets for home birth: an investigation into maternity practice
S13. Campaigns: Making a Difference
S20. Midwives in Control of their Education


auntbea said...

"The normality of normal birth"? Really?

Hmmthinkingaboutit said...

Whats wrong with being abnormal if thats in your best interest?

Just feels like the RCM are missing the entire point with the use of the word normal.

The focus is on the method of birth in terms of it being part of a production line, rather than focusing on the individual needs of each and every woman. Which may mean 'abnormal' births.

Judgment related terminology is being pushed more and more, and does think about the psychological impact of doing so which in this day and age is unforgivable.

I've read countless stories from woman who say this doesn't help them deal with an experience which hasn't fitted into the nice neat 'normal' box, even when thats what they wanted. They are left with guilt and a sense of failure.

And for women who want a CS for whatever reason? They are just left to face a gauntlet of ideology which is constantly pushed in their face and reinforced at every opportunity.

How about a seminar on the psychological impact of terminology in midwifery? That would be an interesting one to sit in on...