The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street’s Community Midwifery Team has won first prize for innovation in practice at the British Journal of Midwifery Practice Awards.
The BJM Awards recognise outstanding achievements in midwifery practice each year.
The winners are chosen by a prominent panel of expert judges that is representative of the diversity of disciplines and organisations that make up the midwifery sector.
Teresa Mc Creery, CMM3, Community Midwifery Team, NMH said that in response to the increased numbers of interventions reported in the annual hospital audit reports, the community midwifery team in Holles Street developed a “back to basics” initiative. This was a threefold project to assist women and midwives to highlight the importance of mobility in labour and promote physiological birthing. The three complimenting parts of the project were pregnancy and birthing booklets; a hopscotch birthing tool and the introduction of mobile monitoring in the labour ward.
Writing in the IEHG magazine Fusion, she said “The threefold nature of the project allowed the information and promotion of normalising birth to be transferred seamlessly from antenatal through to the birthing environment. A key factor of the project is midwives report greater satisfaction in their work as they feel they are going back to the roots of “being with women”.
“Midwifery practice needs to look back for the future, back to basics initiative has highlighted this. Providing women with knowledge through the booklets and a simple tool for labour promotes normal birth. This encourages midwives to practice being ‘with women’ in a time where interventions in birth are all too common. The main aim is to increase normal physiological births which lead to faster recovery time for women, reduced hospital stays and overall costs for the hospital.
“Both booklets which include the hopscotch are available to download from the hospital website. Many of the hospitals nationally have requested permission for the use of these booklets and plan to adapt them to their local needs.
“Tutorials on labour hopscotch are on-going to student and qualified midwives nationally. In conjunction with University College Dublin, the hopscotch framework is currently being evaluated in a research project. The team are confident the results of this study will assist in the promotion of physiological birth.
“Three mobile foetal monitors were also purchased to facilitate this initiative for women who required monitoring in labour. The mobile foetal monitors broke down the barriers that women who needed monitoring had to be confined to a small space or bed for both women and midwives.”