The Role of the Midwife

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Midwifery Role and Responsibilities in the Care of a Pregnant Woman

This essay examines and outlines the roles and responsibilities of Practising Midwives in the United Kingdom, as well as exploring the role that the midwife plays in association with other Healthcare providers.

The basis that underpins the midwifery profession is that women should be at the forefront of their maternity care and valued as individuals with distinct and specific needs (Midris, 2012).

Practising midwives in the UK must follow and abide to a certain set of rules and guidelines set out by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) known as ‘The Code, Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics for Nurses and Midwives’ (NMC, 2008) (Baston et al., 2009).

Midwives are able to be the sole carer of a mother and baby from early pregnancy to around 28 days after the birth and attend over 75% of births in the UK (Baston et al., 2009) and generally view care from a holistic perspective and consider the care they offer from a psychological, emotional, spiritual, social and cultural context (Baston et a., 2009).

The word ‘midwife’ simply means ‘with women’ (Alberta Association of Midwives 2012). According to the International Confederation of Midwives Council (2005) the midwife is a conscientious and accountable trained specialist in ‘normal’ pregnancy and birth. They work in ’partnership’ with the woman, her partner and family to offer the vital care, support and advice required during the prenatal, interpartum and postpartum period to independently guide the women through the pregnancy and birthing process and provide care for both the new born and infant. The scope of the midwife includes the support and encouragement of normal birth, identifying complications with the pregnancy and performing emergency procedures. Midwives play a significant and critical role in the delivery of health counselling and education which should include antenatal education not only with the women but...
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