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1 in 20 pregnancies affected by hypermobile #EhlersDanlosSyndrome & Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders

If you’re interested in childbearing with hypermobile #EhlersDanlos syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders our new article is out now…

👉 Understanding hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders in the context of childbearing: An international qualitative study

Co-authors include Gemma Pearce & Emma Reinhold 🙌🏻

🎓💓

Hypermobile #EhlersDanlos Syndrome (hEDS) and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD) have profound and life-threatening consequences in childbearing, and it is now estimated that hEDS/HSD affect 6 million (4.6%) pregnancies globally per year..rounded up, this equates to almost 1 in 20 pregnancies!

 

grayscale photo of woman wearing ring

What did participants describe?

  • A worsening of symptoms during pregnancy
  • Postnatal complications
  • Ineffective anaesthesia
  • Long latent phases of labour quickly developing into rapidly progressing active labours and births (precipitate labour/precipitate birth)
  • Maternity staff panicked by unexpected outcomes
  • Healthcare professionals  lacking  knowledge and understanding
  • Poor maternity care resulting in a disengagement from services
  • Birth Trauma
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • An avoidance of future childbearing
  • Difficulties in holding, caring for, bonding with and breastfeeding their babies

Image may contain: text that says "Understanding hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders in the context of childbearing: An international qualitative study"

person in white pants showing left hand

The blog page for this work can be accessed here

How can you help?

  • maternity tool has been co-create to support both professionals and pregnant people in decision making. It is freely available for download and wider use

download maternity tool

hEDSTogether.com is also available to keep everyone up to date with this work via @hEDStogether

If you are using this tool to create an impact in the world, please tell us about it via the contact pages hosted at hEDSTogether.com.

Thanks to everyone who participated in and supported this research!…Let’s keep putting our #hEDSTogether via research!

Follow me via @SallyPezaroThe Academic MidwifeThis blog

Until next time…Look after yourselves and each other 💚💙💜❤

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Exploring the narratives and experiences of Healthcare staff working through the COVID-19 Pandemic – Could you contribute?

“Don’t clap for me” “The health service is not staffed by heroes” and “’We are fragile, tearful, afraid, and we are human” are recent accounts voiced by healthcare workers, working through the COVID-19 pandemic (Anonymous 2020; Watson 2020).

clapping

In contrast to the common portrayal as invincible “heroes” or “saints”, it is increasingly recognised that healthcare workers (HCWs) working through the COVID-19 pandemic may be experiencing negative emotions and moral distress related to certain situations (Williamson et al. 2020). These situations may include: Being redeployed, witnessing the suffering of patients or colleagues, ethical decisions related to care, delivering bad news or making the decision to distance oneself from family or children. The wellbeing of HCWs, as well as having an impact on individuals and families, is intrinsically linked to the quality and safety of healthcare services so there is a pressing need to understand more, including how we can help (Pezaro et al. 2015; The Royal College of Physicians, 2015).

compassion-857748_1280

We know that even the smallest demonstrations of compassion can make a difference to individual HCWs: Small acts of kindness, caring language or the opportunity to be listened to for example (Clyne et al. 2018).  Williamson et al. (2020) state the importance of informal support and opportunities for discussion of events that may have caused moral distress to allow HCWs to process and make sense of events.

We are commencing a research study to explore the real narratives and experiences of HCWs working through the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as where HCWs have experienced self and workplace compassion, using an arts-based research approach which includes creative writing, storytelling & theatre. Participants will contribute to the script for a piece of audio art-work that will creatively depict the emotions and experiences of healthcare professionals contrasted against the social celebration of them as ‘heroes’ during this Covid-19 pandemic. The recording aims to both give a truthful account of the HCW narrative during this crisis, whilst also being relatable, hopeful and human. It is hoped that it will be a point of stimuli for discussion for the general public and inform the development of additional resources to help HCWs debrief and recover.

Aspects of the arts-based research process itself, such as the opportunity to make sense of experiences through creativity, reflection and commonality with other participants, have been noted as “transformative” (Beltran and Begun 2014). Lennette et al. (2019) describe this type of research as an ongoing reflective process, in which the researcher and participants collaborate to expand the meaning of each individuals’ story and find links and common themes with those of other participants.

We are recruiting a small group of 4-6 healthcare workers to explore their experiences and narratives of COVID-19, within a 1-hour online workshop, taking place at the end of June. The group of HCWs will discuss their experiences and work with a writer, Nick Walker and theatre professionals from China Plate Theatre Company to create a piece of creative writing and a script for the audio artwork, which will be exhibited at a digital exhibition for Coventry City of Culture 2021. If you wish to take part, your information will be kept anonymous & confidential. You are under no obligation to take part.

China Plate are independent contemporary theatre producers of adventurous and imaginative new work with popular appeal and a social purpose. Their mission is to challenge the way performance is made, who it’s made by and who gets to experience it. Lead artist, Nick Walker is a Coventry-based writer, producer, and director. He was co-founder of theatre company, Talking Birds whose work has been presented across the UK, Europe, and the USA. He has worked with some of the country’s leading new work theatre companies including Stan’s Cafe, Insomniac, Action Hero and Theatre Absolute. His plays and short stories are regularly featured on BBC Radio 4, including 3 series of The First King of Mars (starring Peter Capaldi), and 6 series of Annika Stranded with Nicola Walker. He has a great deal of experience in writing plays and stories that are based on conversations/workshops with people around their real-life experiences, for example, exploring stories of male suicide with Coventry Men’s Shed. His writing has successfully fictionalised these experiences and made them relevant to a wider audience without losing their essence and truthfulness.

Date/time for workshop confirmed as: Wednesday 17th June 19:30

To request a Participant Information Sheet please email Kerry Wykes: ad3078@coventry.ac.uk.

HumansNotHeroes Flyer

References

Anonymous (2020) I’m an NHS Doctor and I’ve had enough of people clapping for me. The Guardian. [Online] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/may/21/nhs-doctor-enough-people-clapping

Beltran, R., & Begun, S. (2014). “It is medicine”: Narratives of healing from the Aotearoa Digital Storytelling as Indigenous Media Project (ADSIMP). Psychology and Developing Societies, 26, 155-179.

Clyne, W., Pezaro, S., Deeny, K., & Kneafsey, R. (2018). Using social media to generate and collect primary data: The #ShowsWorkplaceCompassion twitter research campaign. JMIR Public Health and Surveillance, 4(2), e41.

Pezaro, S., Clyne, W., Turner, A., Fulton, E. A., & Gerada, C. (2015). ‘Midwives overboard!’ inside their hearts are breaking, their makeup may be flaking but their smile still stays on. Women and Birth: Journal of the Australian College of Midwives, 29(3), 59-66

The Royal College of Physicians. (2015). Work and wellbeing in the NHS: Why staff health matters to patient care.

Lenette C, Brough M, Schweitzer R et al. (2019) ‘Better than a pill’: digital storytelling as a narrative process for refugee women, Media Practice and Education, 20:1, 67-86, DOI: 10.1080/25741136.2018.1464740

Williamson, V., Murphy, D., Greenberg, N (2020) COVID-19 and experiences of moral injury in front-line key workers, Occupational Medicine,  kqaa052, https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqaa052

Further reading…

Watson, C (2020) Nurses are no heroes – they’re just finally beginning to be recognised as they should. The Telegraph.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/nurses-no-heroes-just-finally-beginning-recognised-should/

http://talkingbirds.co.uk/pages/sitespecific.asp

http://saveourstories.co.uk/

 

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New Educational Tools Launched to Support Childbearing with Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders

Lactation Conference

On the 5th of May (International Day of the Midwife – #IDM2020) 2020 – The year of the nurse and the midwife, the @hEDStogether team launched new educational tools to support childbearing with hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD). Co-incidentally, May is also Ehlers Danlos Syndromes and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders awareness month. You can view the online launch of these tools along with our other @GOLDMidwifery presentations here at the GOLD Online Education Midwifery Conference 2019/2020.

Image

Citation: Pezaro, S., Pearce, G., & Magee, P. (2020). New Educational Tools to Support Childbearing With hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders. GOLD Online Midwifery Conference. May 5th.https://www.goldlearning.com/ce-library/all-lectures/new-educational-tools-detail

The final tools comprised:

  • An i-learn module launched by the Royal College of Midwives to their members (search under the letter ‘H’ for hypermobility in the online library)
  • maternity tool freely available for download and wider use
  • An infomercial to raise awareness and mobilise knowledge in relation childbearing with hEDS/HSD

download maternity tool

We were also able to launch our own website – hEDSTogether.com and keep everyone up to date with the project via @hEDStogether

We have made these tools freely available where possible. You can visit the project page to learn moreIf you are using them to create an impact in the world, please tell us about it via the contact pages hosted at hEDSTogether.com.

Useful hashtags to follow on this topic include:

#EDSmaternity

 #hEDStogether 

#EhlersDanlosSyndrome

#myEDSchallenge

#myHSDchallenge

#EDSAwarenessMonth

#raisingawarenesstogether

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the launch and co-created these tools in partnership with us!…Let’s keep putting our #hEDSTogether via research!

Follow me via @SallyPezaroThe Academic MidwifeThis blog

Until next time…Look after yourselves and each other 💚💙💜❤

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EXPLORING PROBLEMATIC SUBSTANCE USE AMONG REGISTERED MIDWIVES – SURVEY

Due to #Coronavirus #COVID19 and this additional pressures this has placed on NHS staff, we have now closed this survey (earlier than planned). Thank you to all of those who responded. We hope to publish results as soon as we can.

recruitment poster PSU survey

There is a united level of concern for the health and wellbeing of midwives in the United Kingdom (UK), where recent research has shown that many experience work-related stress and burnout. Such experiences may lead to midwives being at particular risk of substance use/misuse. In fact, in a recent review of fitness to practise (FtP) cases, a number of those put before the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) related to alcohol (n=208) and drug misuse (n=131).

Such episodes of addiction, alcohol and drug use are classed as individual health concerns. Yet, whilst they can leave a variety of healthcare professionals depleted, and both workplace safety and the safety of care compromised, relevant literature has thus far been largely dominated by the experiences and care of physicians. Consequently, researchers from Coventry University are now conducting the first nationwide study of registered midwives in relation to this issue.

Project Team:

The aims of this study are:

  • To investigate substance use among midwives registered in the UK
  • To explore the perceptions of midwives registered in the UK in relation to midwifery impairment
  • To explore perceptions of midwives registered in the UK in relation to organisational support
  • To identify incidents of midwifery impairment
  • To explore the help seeking behaviours of midwives registered in the UK with problematic substance use (PSU)
  • To identify health risks among midwives registered in the UK with PSU

We are very grateful to the Royal College of Midwives for supporting recruitment to this study.

 

For further information, or if you have any queries, please contact me, the lead researcher, Dr Sally Pezaro (sally.pezaro@coventry.ac.uk).

Twitter handle: @SallyPezaro

We are also very grateful to UNISON for sharing this survey with their members

@unisontweets

If you would like to follow the progress of work going forward..

Follow me via @SallyPezaroThe Academic MidwifeThis blog

Until next time…Look after yourselves and each other 💚💙💜❤

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Have your say in designing future research on childbearing with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: VOTE NOW!

THESE POLLS ARE NOW CLOSED

YOU CAN SEE THE RESULTS OF THEM HERE..

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK PART! BELOW IS THE ORIGINAL POST:

As you may or may not know, we (@GemmaSPearce @DrEReinhold  and I, @SallyPezaro) have recently won funding to do further research and professional & public engagement on the topic of  & childbearing.

This will allow us to:

  1. Conduct two international surveys (one with women with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) or Hypermobile Spectrum Disorder (HSD) about childbearing, and the other with maternity staff)
  2. Spend some time with relevant people/organisations to develop ideas and co-produce great things together
  3. Host a public engagement event

But first we need your help!

We are currently designing how the two international surveys will look and what they will ask our participants about. Whilst we have largely relied on the current evidence base to develop the surveys so far, we would also like to involve YOU (the public) in telling us what topics we should prioritise.

Please indicate which topics matter most to you via the following short polls;

(bear in mind that the more answers you select, the longer our final survey will take to complete…)

Which tools would be most useful in helping maternity staff support childbearing women with hEDS/HSD?

What should we ask maternity staff about hEDS/HSD in the context of childbearing?

What complications should we ask childbearing women with hEDS/HSD about?

Thank You on wooden blocks

Many thanks for your responses and suggestions. Please share this blog post far and wide so that we can include as many voices as possible in the design of this work!

We will be using all responses submitted before the end of the 24th of February 2019.

🎓😁🙌❤

If you would like to follow the progress of work going forward..

Follow me via @SallyPezaroThe Academic MidwifeThis blog

Until next time…Look after yourselves and each other 💚💙💜❤

 

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19 Things That Show Workplace Compassion for Healthcare Staff

We are all well aware of how the wellbeing of healthcare staff can affect the quality and safety of care. I have also talked at length about the wellbeing of health care staff and the theories surrounding work-related psychological distress. But do we really have any concrete idea of what shows workplace compassion for healthcare staff?

My research published in collaboration with Dr. Wendy Clyne, Dr. Karen Deeny and Dr. Rosie Kneafsey asked Twitter users to contribute their views about what activities, actions, policies, philosophies or approaches demonstrate workplace compassion in healthcare using the hashtag #ShowsWorkplaceCompassion. It can be cited as follows:

Clyne W, Pezaro S, Deeny K, Kneafsey R. Using Social Media to Generate and Collect Primary Data: The #ShowsWorkplaceCompassion Twitter Research Campaign. JMIR Public Health Surveill 2018;4(2):e41. DOI: 10.2196/publichealth.7686. PMID: 29685866

Image result for compassion

The results of this study outlined 19 things or ‘Themes’ in relation to what shows workplace compassion for healthcare staff as follows…

  Leadership and Management
1 Embedded organizational culture of caring for one another
2 Speaking openly to learn from mistakes
3 No blame/no bullying management
4 Inspiring leaders and collective leadership
5 Financial investment in staff
6 Recognize humanity and diversity
  Values and Culture
7 Common purpose in a team
8 Feeling valued
9 Being heard
10 Enjoying work
11 Being Engaged at work
12 Use of caring language
  Personalized Policies and Procedures
13 Recognition of the emotional and physical impact of healthcare work
14 Recognition of non-work personal context
15 Work/life balance is respected
16 Respecting the right to breaks
17 Being treated well when unwell
  Activities and Actions
18 Small gestures of kindness
19 Provision of emotional support

How will you implement these things within your healthcare workplace? I would love to hear your thoughts on this…

If you would like to follow the progress of my work going forward..

Follow me via @SallyPezaroThe Academic MidwifeThis blog

Until next time…Look after yourselves and each other 💚💙💜❤

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10 Top tips for caring for women with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in pregnancy for International Day of the Midwife #IDM2018 & #EDS awareness month

 or ‘International Day of the Midwife’ falls on May the 5th of every year. The theme for 2018 in three languages is…

  • Midwives leading the way with quality care
  • Sages-femmes, ouvrons la voie avec la qualité des soins
  • Matronas liderando el camino con un cuidado de calidad 

Also… Every May is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) awareness month around the world.

As such….for , and EDS awareness month… I shared 10 top tips for caring for women with hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) during pregnancy birth and beyond. These tips come from my latest paper, authored in partnership with Dr. Gemma Pearce (@GemmaSPearce) and Dr. Emma Reinhold (@DrEReinhold ), entitled …

Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome during pregnancy, birth and beyond

Here, we present care considerations for midwives and the multidisciplinary team caring for this unique subgroup of childbearing women. However, we hope that women with hEDS will also benefit from this paper, as they make decisions in partnership with their professional health care teams. You can read the press release from this paper here.

I would personally like to thank the board members of the British Journal of Midwifery for making this article FREE for all to read. I would also like to thank the Royal college of Midwives for sharing news of the article here…and the Nursing Times for sharing further news here.

So what can midwives do to maximize the quality of care given to women with hEDS throughout pregnancy birth and beyond?…First of all….Know the facts…

  • There have been no prevalence studies since EDS received a major reclassification in 2017
  • Earlier estimates from 2006 suggest a prevalence rate of 0.75-2% for hyper mobile EDS
  • hEDS is the most common form of EDS
  • Up to 78% of women with hEDS could also have a diagnosis of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
  • POTS predominantly occurs in women of childbearing age
  • EDS is considered to remain largely under diagnosed.

Tips for midwives

  1. Discuss individual needs with women, as no two cases will be the same. Do this early, and always in partnership with the woman and the wider multidisciplinary healthcare team.
  2. Consider early referral to obstetric, physiotherapy and anaesthetic teams in partnership with the woman.
  3. Consider the need for alternate maternal positioning during pregnancy, birth and beyond. To minimise the risk of injury, positioning should be led by the mother.
  4. As wound healing can be problematic, the use of non-tension, non-dissolvable, deep double sutures, left in for at least 14 days is advisable.
  5. Wait longer for local anaesthetics to take effect and consider giving maximum dosage. Always be led by the mother on whether pain relief is sufficient
  6. Always consider the significance of a routine observation in light of existing POTS and/or EDS symptoms
  7. Promote spontaneous pushing rather than directed pushing during birth
  8. Promote effective pain management and the use of therapeutic birthing environments to promote reductions in stress
  9. Consider additional joint support for newborns suspected of having hEDS
  10. Document all joint dislocations and bruising marks on the newborn from birth to avoid misdiagnosis and/or wrongful accusations of mistreatment.

Research into EDS and childbearing is in it’s very early stages. We hope to build on this work to make a difference for all women with hEDS during pregnancy, birth and beyond.

pregnant belly

If you would like to follow the progress of this work going forward..

Follow me via @SallyPezaroThe Academic MidwifeThis blog

Until next time…Look after yourselves and each other 💚💙💜❤

 

 

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Highlights from the 31st ICM Triennial Congress in Toronto, Canada #ICM2017 #ICMLive

toronto

My vacation is now over following a visit to the 31st International Confederation of Midwives Triennial Congress in Toronto, Canada (ICM). I think we would all agree that this was an emotional occasion, as thousands of midwives came together from all over the world to both celebrate our wonderful profession and share new research, knowledge and ideas about our exciting future.

I was personally in awe of our midwifery leaders, who certainly inspired a passion for change, strength and future thinking in midwifery practice. I would like to think that my work will go some way towards building a bright future for the profession, and one day I hope to stand beside those on the main stage of midwifery who are ultimately steering the ship. Yet for now, I am learning from a plethora of inspirational midwives about how to thrive and implement change. As I come to the end of my PhD, I reflect on how I might move forward in partnership with the most inspiring midwives I know. It was an honor to spend time with them in Canada….see all of those flags?…What a wealth of knowledge!

Naturally, we were flying the flag for the Brits…

Throughout the conference I naturally gravitated towards all of the midwifery workforce presentations, my favorite and most passionate area of workforce research…Here are some highlights from these sessions below:

I would like to thank all of these wonderful research groups for sharing their insights with me, and for helping my understanding of midwifery workplace wellbeing to grow. I would also like to thank those at Nottingham University and Elsevier for inviting me to their exclusive evening receptions. I felt very honored to be among the best academic midwives in the world!

Thank you also to those of you who came to see me present some of my own research (done in partnership with my wonderful colleagues at Coventry University and NHS England of course). It was really enlightening to hear your thoughts on the staff experience!…The best is yet to come!

Equally, I would like to thank the audience who came to discuss my PhD work following my presentation at this wonderful conference. Indeed, there was much interest in this work going forward, and whilst other interventions were presented for mothers and babies, it was clear that by following the MRC framework for developing complex interventions and by incorporating the Revised Transactional Model (RTM) of Occupational Stress and Coping, this intervention, being deeply rooted within an evidence base, is now ready for co-creation.

It was particularly interesting to hear the audience keen to invest in this project and disseminate it widely across the profession. As an online intervention designed to support midwives in work-related psychological distress, this intervention certainly has the potential to be widely adopted. This was music to the ears of a global midwifery audience, who may often see things developed in other countries, and yet be unavailable in their own area of practice.

Again, the theme arose here that midwives wanted a place to talk and seek help confidentially, away from traditional channels. I see such places growing organically in the online arena, yet none seem to be fit for purpose, evidence based or co-created on a large scale. To me this suggests that the next phase of my research (to build and test an evidence and theory based online intervention designed to support midwives in work-related psychological distress) will be well received by the midwifery community, especially if it has the support of larger healthcare organisations who can champion its implementation, dissemination and testing.

To spread and embed a large and complex intervention such as this across the midwifery profession would indeed be a legacy. Yet this work may also support excellence in maternity care, increase safety and support effective retention and recruitment strategies for maternity services around the world. As such, taking this work forward will indeed be crucial since it has been reported that reducing stress and fatigue among maternity staff is key to reducing baby deaths and brain injuries during childbirth, according to a detailed new analysis published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The challenge is to turn the vision for online support into practice.

icm

This was a wonderful, inspiring and thought provoking conference. To see a more detailed day by day summary, please see the wonderful blog by my dear friend @Dianethemidwife ….

Day One

Day two

Day three

Day four

Day five

Last day

It is sad that my time in Toronto is now over, but I have returned home with a new found sense of hope and enthusiasm for doing great things in the midwifery profession….

Until next time..🤚🇨🇦🇬🇧

 

If you would like to follow the progress of my work going forward..

Follow me via @SallyPezaroThe Academic MidwifeThis blog

Until next time…Look after yourselves and each other 💚💙💜❤

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Midwives in distress: Working towards a consensus in the solution

Firstly, the reason that it has taken me a while to write here is that I have been buried in the most fascinating data from round one of my Delphi study to achieve consensus in the development of an online intervention designed to support midwives in work-related psychological distress. I won’t spoil the results for you, as I hope to be publishing the results in the new year, but suffice to say, there were many conflicted opinions, new ideas and strong voices within this expert panel.

I am very excited to move forward with this project in light of these responses!

This project now feels as if it is starting to belong to the people who have been a part of this so far. They are shaping the vision for this, and growing it with their support…. Its awesome!

Last month I was also finalising the revisions for my latest paper , ‘Midwives Overboard!’ Inside their hearts are breaking, their makeup may be flaking but their smile still stays on. This latest output was kindly co-authored by Wendy ClyneAndrew TurnerEmily A. Fulton, and Clare Gerada. I for one am very proud of this piece of work, as it shines a light upon the current situation, in which midwives all around the world are indeed suffering in psychological distress. Writing this piece not only became cathartic in resolving my own professional experiences, but it has also reinforced to me that there is a real need and desire to design an intervention to support midwives….and now I am a little closer to turning this vision into practice.

You can reach the 2nd round of the Delphi study here (This study is now invite only, but watch out for new opportunities to become involved in more research soon)!

I have been submitting papers to conference so that I may begin to share these results in person…but I will not have this opportunity until the ‘Great Minds Don’t Think Alike’ – Nursing and Midwifery Conference, in January 2016.

I hope to meet some of you there!

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What is the Future of Psychological Support for #NHS Midwives? My interview with @MidwifeDiaries

This blog was originally posted by Ellie from www.midwifediaries.com on June 2, 2015. We spoke in May 2015 about my research project and the issues surrounding midwives (and student midwives) in psychological distress.

What’s The Future Of Psychological Support For Midwives? Interview w/ Sally Pezaro
She wrote :”Who is this researcher?”

This was me, a few weeks ago stumbling across a blog. This woman was sharp, driven, and had all her energy focussed on supporting the mental health of midwives.

She really got how unchallenged the assumption is that midwives are ok to keep going 24/7/365.

Sally Pezaro is doing her PhD on supporting midwives in psychological distress. Her project is exciting, and if it gets launched, will be something we can all use to keep healthy.

In this interview, we talk about why it’s so important to look after midwives, bullying in midwifery, and some strategies for mental wellbeing.

Most awesome quote from this interview: ‘Don’t give everything you have until your batteries run out. Yep – must put that on twitter.

Here are the links we discussed, ’cause I bet you’ll ask!

What’s Sally’s doing is so brilliant because she’s noticed something that is wrong in midwifery – and is doing something about it. Her project reminds me of that quote:

“Be The Change You Want To See In The World”

It’s so good to know that we do have researchers on our side, trying to make things better.

Now, Sally and I would love to hear from you. What’s your answer to the question I posed at the end of the interview?

“What do you find most challenging in looking after your mental health as a midwife, and what do you think could be changed to help with this, both on an organisational trust level, and on a personal level?”

Thanks so much in advance for all the kind, insightful and inspiring comments that are left. I’m excited to hear what you find hardest, and what could help you look after your mental health better.

As always, thank you for your time and attention, sharing and being so brilliant. MidwifeDiaries is turning into an incredible, supportive place for midwives, and I’m so grateful.

Ellie xxx

-> I would also like to add a link to the newest NMC Code (2015) as midwives can now use the power of the code to challenge psychologically unsafe professional behaviour in the workplace. The code now states that midwives must be supportive of colleagues who are encountering health or performance problems. Midwives also have a duty to care for themselves under this new code, so please do not feel guilty for giving self care. We must all work to create therapeutic working environments….

Five experiences are judged necessary for health. Primary emotional development, attachment, containment, communication, inclusion and agency. These can be deliberately recreated in therapeutic environments to form a structure for ‘secondary emotional development’. Failure to recognise the importance of these qualities of an environment can cause unhealthy, or frankly toxic, psychosocial environments in various settings (Haigh, 2013).

Haigh, R. (2013) ‘The quintessence of a therapeutic environment’, Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, 34 (1): 6 – 15.