Midwifery in Ireland: Opening the dialogue for a unified voice

Summary of Proceedings: “Midwifery in Ireland: Opening a dialogue for a unified voice”

Midwifery in Ireland: Opening the dialogue for a unified voice


On Friday 29th June 2018, a forum was hosted by the Midwives Association of Ireland (MAI) titled ‘Midwifery in Ireland: Opening the Dialogue for a Unified Voice’. It was held at the Elbow Room in Smithfield, Dublin 7, the forum was attended by over 40 midwives and student midwives from around the country. They discussed:
1) the need for a midwifery association;
2) how midwives can present a unified voice;
3) provision and evaluation of maternity services to women and their families in Ireland;
4) shaping the future of Irish maternity services;
5) supporting each other;
6) growing as a profession.

To download our full publication summarising the day and the key themes, please click here.

3 thoughts on “Summary of Proceedings: “Midwifery in Ireland: Opening a dialogue for a unified voice”

  1. I was hoping to attend the day, but unfortunately could not.
    What an inspiring read and looking forward to a change in the status quo.

    Only thing I would not support however is the concept of advanced midwife practitioner in normal birth without some clarifications and role refinement. The concept of advanced practice was one initially brought in for nursing and is now copied and pasted for midwifery without due consideration to the differences between the professions. Do we need advanced practice status for normal midwifery? – we shouldn’t according to our autonomous status however I do acknowledge that AMP in normal may have a significant role to play in terms of leadership in the context of our current maternity system, but is this the answer? The question is what is the difference between what an AMP in normal birth does and what a community midwife in NMH does for example, specifically in terms of what they are “allowed” do clinically? This needs clarification. I’ve heard that some AMP’s in normal are seeing complex women as part of their role which sounds like a contradiction.
    We should push for all midwives to have the opportunity to fulfill their professional role as outlined by NMBI/Nurses and Midwives Act/EU directives etc. I would be concerned about a situation developing where midwives need advanced practice status to be “allowed” provide midwife-led services.

    • Hi Ciara
      I totally agree with your comment about midwife expertise and autonomy in providing a complete episode of care for normality. Unfortunately in Ireland most midwives are not the lead professional for the supported care pathway. There are wonderful pockets around the country where they are but the majority of midwives are not practising in this way. However this is changing and driven by the national maternity strategy. I just wanted to add a few comments about advanced practice in midwifery from my own role to try give a wee insight into the difference in the role. I am clinically answerable to the cons obstetricians and professionally accountable to the DOM. I provide care from booking to postnatal discharge (not 1:1 intrapartum care) so long as they women still meet the robust inclusion criteria that was agreed locally and includes women with stable medical conditions, GDM diet controlled, BMI up to 37, postdates women from midwife led care & women hoping for a VBAC. This opens up midwifery led care to women on the assisted care pathway who do not meet the criteria for midwifery led care. I have referral pathways to different specialities and support services and I plan care in partnership with the woman for all aspects of her pregnancy journey including induction if needed. With my medication prescribing i can undertake a full physical assessment and prescribe/refer as required. I also am the the clinical lead expert/resource for midwifery led care where traditionally these women would have had to be reviewed by an obstetrician or at the consultant clinic. Sometimes these women become part of my caseload and depending on the issue may need to be cons led but on the whole, they may need a few investigations or medication prescription and they continue on the supported care pathway.
      I hope this makes sense and helps differentiates AMP and midwife roles as well as trying to show that I am not trying to be a doctor but that my extra skills facilitates decision making and my extended scope of practice enables me to provide care for my caseload yet remaining true to what I love…being a midwife.
      Roisin Lennon

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