Friday, 27 June 2014

Four go mad in Prague?

Professor Julie Jomeen, Catriona Jones, Lynda Bateman and Olanma Ogbuehi, four midwifery academics from the University of Hull, Faculty of Health and Social Care, recently attended the International Confederation of Midwives 30th Triennial Congress in Prague: 1st and 5th June 2014.

More than 3000 midwives from around the world attended, from developed and developing economies, representing Northern and Southern hemispheres, Eastern and Western countries, climates and cultures. Researchers and practitioners from other professions were also among the delegates. Speakers were academics or clinical practitioners who demonstrated significant commitment and tenacity in fighting to protect and enhance pregnancy and childbirth for women and babies. It felt good to be a midwife among midwives.  The research presented was clearly driven by clinical practice.
Catriona's presentation
Catriona presenting

One of many highlights of the conference was Professor Cecily Begley, Chair of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity College Dublin, giving a keynote address on, “Education: the bridge to midwifery and women’s autonomy.” She urged and challenged midwives to deliberately engage with research, either by doing it or by obtaining and acting on its findings.  Failure to do so, she warned, would cause future generations of mothers and midwives to accuse us of wilful ignorance and complicity with unjustifiable practices.

On Monday 2nd June 2014:  Olanma Ogbuehi presented a paper, “Midwives’ Guardianship of Normal Birth”: impact of conflicting discourses of birth in the United Kingdom; a metasynthensis conducted with Julie Jomeen. This paper presented themes from qualitative research published in the 20 years since the publication of the seminal report “Changing Childbirth” on what factors influence UK midwives to either support of negate normality in childbirth.
Catriona & Ola

On Wednesday 4 June 2014:
·         Professor Julie Jomeen facilitated a symposium on, “Perinatal Mental Health: a continuum module of perinatal mental health: implications for midwives” representing the Society for Reproductive and Infant Psychology.
·         Catriona Jones presented a paper, “The impact of peer support in the context of perinatal mental health: a meta-ethnography”: a study conducted with Professors Julie Jomeen and Mark Hayter, published in Midwifery, 30 (5), 491–498         DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2013.08.003 (Jones, Hayter, and Jomeen, 2013).  This paper is a report of a systematic review and meta-ethnography of women’s experiences of peer support for perinatal mental health problems.

On Thursday 5th June 2014: Lynda Bateman presented as part of a satellite symposium sponsored by Kellogg’s All Bran on, “Motivating women to change dietary habits in pregnancy: practical tips.”  The presentation comprised contrasting videos of midwifery team members Julie Flint and Louise Lewis demonstrating the importance of clear, accurate communication when giving information in respect of diet. It also discussed the role of the midwife in inculcating good dietary habits in pregnancy and beyond.

 We all felt privileged to have been part of this congress and have designs on the next, in Toronto 2017. 
The congress organisers have produced a short montage of highlights which can be accessed here: ICM 30th triennial Congress highlights.
Lynda presenting

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