For maternity and midwifery services in the UK the pandemic seemed to make time stand still, if not go backwards.
Home births cancelled, water births restricted, limited visitors (fathers were never allowed in when I was born).
But time did not stand still. Maternity and midwifery is going through its most transformational time (to use the NHS plan terminology) since the 1970s and many of the drivers of change are coming from outside the professions or the health service. Changes in science and the understanding of childbirth, changes in technology, supplies, testing and pressure of social change and expectation.
We know the UK demographics of women having children older and being more obese with more co- morbidities. Along with that comes new expectations from women of choice and transparency. Choice of caesarean, more prenatal tests, better prenatal monitoring and postnatal follow up. New insight, like the Tommy’s research on predicting risk of premature birth, or new genetic tests available over the counter. Microbiome research changing what we thought we knew about the processes taking place during and around childbirth – its not just hair colour, eyes and teeth. In addition there are the challenges from enquiries, failures and scandals that have rocked confidence in services and are bringing new procedures and processes into the working lives of maternity and midwifery staff.
With the move online during the pandemic of our year round festivals, many subscribers commented on how hard it was to keep up with new developments, new products, new ideas and insights when the exhibitions and seminar presentations were limited.
To meet this demand the Maternity and Midwifery Forum is launching the first open directory for maternity and midwifery services, educational institutions, courses, charities and new products and equipment. Everything from new tests, new online applications and supplies to career development and opportunities in international work.
As the professional world pivots to greater online access and information the Maternity and Midwifery Forum will be there keeping midwives and maternity professionals up to date with access to all that is new and all the best places to get reliable information and advice.
The new directory will be launched on 15th September to coincide with the Wales and South West England Maternity and Midwifery Festival which you can register for here.
If you are a charity, a school of midwifery, a supplier or campaign group join the 80 organisations already signed up – get your free entry here and explore the new online world of the Maternity and Midwifery Forum.