Midwifery Standards Review

The New Zealand College of Midwives' Standards Review is the audit process that midwives are required to undergo every two years in order to maintain their APC:

Midwifery Standards Review 2010

Midwifery Standards Review 2009

Midwifery Standards Review 2006

Midwifery Standards Review 2004

Midwifery Standards Review 2003

Midwifery Standards Review 2001

Midwifery Standards Review 2000

Personal philosophy of midwifery practice - revised January 2009

I believe childbirth is a natural life event.

Midwifery is a profession of women supporting women and their families through a normal life process (men may also be midwives but I think they are likely to have a different type of relationship with a woman than a female midwife).

Continuity of care facilitates a relationship to develop between the midwife and woman, each woman bringing knowledge and life experience to the relationship. From the relationship that evolves, each woman's care is individualized and delivered in a manner that is both holistic, safe and culturally appropriate, incorporating the family and significant others as requested by the woman. I have thought long and hard about the relationship, as to whether it is a true partnership. However, I do not believe that true partnership can be achieved with women, because of the inequality of power in the relationship. Nevertheless, I am totally committed to supporting and respecting women's decisions. If the decisions made by a woman are outside my scope of practice, I will inform the woman and refer her to the appropriate health professional. At the same time, I work with women in a way that fosters trust - so they know that there are times when I am the 'expert' and will need to act in a way that safe guards their life and that of their baby. I will be the one making the decisions, but will support women in every way as I can in those situations ie emergency situations.

It is the right of every woman to make an informed choice. Therefore, as a midwife I believe it is my role to ensure that women are provided with all the information required to make that choice throughout pregnancy and childbirth. Information is the catalyst that gives birth to informed choice. However, I also believe that 'informed choice' can some times be a cop-out for midwives and an excuse not to practice with a midwifery philosophy. Some things should not be a choice but rather be routine midwifery practice eg if a woman has had a physiological labor and birth, it is not a choice to have an ecbolic (injection to make the placenta and membranes birth a lot quicker) unless there is a clear indication for it such as a heavy blood loss at the time of birth.

I believe childbirth is a normal life event and requires no intervention if progressing normally. Birth is best in a home environment if everything is normal. However, in order to maintain safety, it is my responsibility to refer to other health professionals when I have reached the limit of my expertise.

Key References

Davis, D. (2005). Choice in the Maternity Market. In S. Wickham (Ed.), Midwifery Best Practice Volume 3. Elsevier: Edinburgh.
New Zealand College of Midwives. (2002). Midwives Handbook for Practice. NZCOM:Christchurch.
Pairman, S. (2006). Midwifery partnership: working with women. In L.Page & R.McCandlish (Eds.), The New Midwifery (2nd Edition). Elsevier: Philadelphia.
Stewart, S. (2008). Women, midwives, partnership and power. Midwifery Best Practice Volume 5 (pp2-6)-. Ed: Sara Wickham. Edinburgh: Elsevier.

Further reflections on midwifery

Am I a fearful midwife?

Midwifery and sustainability

What makes a competent midwife?

Blaming the midwife

Midwifery: a job for life?