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Week 2 summary

Watch Mary Sidebotham sum up what was covered in Week 2 of the Maternity Care course, and outline what will be explored in Week 3.
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Hi, everybody. It’s Mary again. Here we are at the end of week two. Hopefully, you’ve really enjoyed this week, and you can see now how you can actually move forward into next week and begin making some changes. So just to summarise what we’ve gone through this week. We’ve actually looked in more detail about relationships, and we’ve seen how relationships in maternity care can really enhance the experience of women as they move through their pregnancy journey.
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We looked particularly at the value of continuity of midwifery care and how the midwife can be the person that wraps the care around the woman and makes sure that the woman actually engages with and works with all of those other health care professionals who can enhance her journey too. We saw that really well through the case study of Amani where she had quite a complex pregnancy. And you can just imagine in a system that wasn’t focused on relationships just how disconnected and lost she may have felt in the system. But by having her own midwife who worked with those other professionals using that integrality framework, we can see how the outcome was much better for everybody concerned.
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So now that you can see that there is a solution, that we can make things better, what I’m hoping is that you can also be thinking, what can I do? How can I contribute to changing the way things are? And that’s what we’re going to focus on next week. Next week, we’re actually going to look at how you can contribute. So whether you’re a midwife, whether you’re a new mum, whether you’re a policy maker, what can you actually do to move us from the system we looked at last week of disconnected maternity care to a system that we want to see formed around relationships, using that Lancet series framework. How can you be part of that?
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And that’s exactly what we’re going to look at next week. Working on how things can be made different. And we’re going to show you some examples using different services, different countries of where relationship-based care can work. And then we’re going to introduce you to the tools to enable you to make a plan, to make a contribution wherever you are. So looking forward to working with you again next week.

This week

It’s often the simplest things that make the difference. This week, we went back to basics and explored why relationships matter. Although their importance is often overlooked, relationships are integral to human connection. Almost everything we do comes back to interacting with people. We talked about what makes up a strong relationship with a shared power balance – in any context, and in maternity care specifically.

We looked at the different types of relationships making up the maternity care system, between women, midwives, doctors, management and other healthcare professionals. Think back to what the key messages were in each case – what do we need to do to improve the relationships between the different types of people providing care for women and babies? How is the system helping or hindering, and what can we do to change things?

You saw how relationship-based care can be implemented using the Integrality Framework. In Amani’s case, for example, even though she didn’t have much support from family or friends, and her pregnancy was medically complex, with her midwife wrapping care around her – maintaining a continuous relationship and facilitating relationships with other professionals – she and her baby experienced a good outcome.

Next week

Join us next week as we put what you’ve learned into practice. We’ll show you what relationship-based care looks like in real settings around the world, and guide you through creating your own action plan to effect change.

Over to you

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

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Maternity Care: Building Relationships Really Does Save Lives

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