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This content is taken from the Griffith University's online course, Maternity Care: Building Relationships Really Does Save Lives. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds Hi, I’m Jenny. We’re at the end of week 1. This week, we’ve learned about maternity services globally and how they’re failing women, midwives, and communities everywhere. We met Janet and heard about her birth experience. Women consistently report that care was heavily-medicalized, disrupted, rude. Sometimes, inhumane. And there was a lack of consideration and collaboration. Then, we flipped the perspective And we looked at how fragmented maternity services affect midwives, too. Stress and burn-out are rife. Midwives report that they’re prevented from providing the best care possible with health systems that focus on managing risk for the service rather than focusing on connection and relationships. Clearly, there’s a need for reform. And we looked more deeply at the case for change.

Skip to 1 minute and 1 second The evidence is provided in “The Lancet Series on Midwifery,” which shows us that relationship-based care is the way forward. Next, week we look into relationship-based care in more detail. We’ll explore why relationships matter and what makes up a strong relationship in any context, and in maternity care specifically. We’ll look at different types of relationships making up the maternity care system, between women, midwives, doctors, and other health professionals. We’ll show you how to implement relationship-based care using the integrality model. There’s a case study, so you can see what it looks like in practise. I look forward to working through the course with you next week.

Week 1 summary

This week

You heard how the maternity system affected one woman - Janet - and saw how her experience is not uncommon, with women facing increased medicalisation, disrupted, rude or inhumane care, and a lack of consideration and collaboration.

Then we looked at the issues that midwives encounter, and how they’re affected by the fragmented maternity system too. Midwives want to provide the best care possible, but are prevented from doing so due to overwork and a system which values managing risk for the health service more than connection and relationships. No wonder stress and burnout are rife, and midwives and other health professionals are leaving the profession at an unsustainable rate.

Clearly, there’s a need for reform, so we looked more deeply at the case for change, and then specifically how that change might look. The Lancet Series on Midwifery provides solid evidence that relationship-based care is the way forward as we work together to come up with a solution to these problems.

Next week

Join us next week to look at relationships in more detail, and start learning about the framework that can be used to implement a relationship-based culture in any maternity care setting around the world.

Over to you

What did you find most interesting or useful this week? Did something stand out to you?

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This video is from the free online course:

Maternity Care: Building Relationships Really Does Save Lives

Griffith University