Role of health promoters: According to Tannahill (Naidoo and Willis, 2000) there are three different types of health promotion that all overlap: • Health education – this type of health promotion includes things like carrying out campaigns and official/formal health education programmes. It also includes advice, education, and information to people that is given by health practitioners (e. g. doctors, midwives, school nurses, health visitors, etc. ).
Health education is about giving people information to make them more informed about choices they take regurarding their health. Prevention – this type of health promotion includes things like preventative medical services or procedures. (e. g. screening, immunisations) •Health protection – Midwives A midwife is an expert in normal pregnancy and birth. Midwives are specially trained to care for mothers and babies throughout pregnancy, labour and after the birth. They provide care for most women at home or in hospital.
They are able to work in both hospitals and in the community (home visits) and the same midwife can provide the antenatal care and be present at the birth. The midwife will look after the mother during the labour rocess and if there are no complications, they will deliver the baby. Midwives should treat all women and their partners with respect, irrespective of class, creed, economic status, race, sexuality or age, seeing them as individuals and editing their care appropriately according to ones needs.
Roles and responsibilities of a Midwife: Midwives have different roles and responsibilities that come with their job. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) states that “A practising midwife is responsible for providing midwifery care in accordance with such standards as the Council may pecify from time to time to a woman and baby during the antenatal, intranatal and postnatal periods,”.
General responsibilities of a midwife: • to provide advice for mothers on subjects like family planning • to advise or carry out the examinations that are necessary to avoid dangers or risks during pregnancy • to prepare the mother for childbirth including advice on hygiene and nutrition • to assist and care for a mother during the labour process and monitor the birth using correct medical/technical means • to recognise signs of abnormality in the mother or the baby and if ecessary, refer to a doctor to help • to carry out deliveries of babies spontaneously and when needed
• to care for and examine the new born baby and take all initiatives needed if the baby is in danger (e. g. resuscitation) • to care for and monitor the progress of the mother in the prenatal and postnatal stages to give the necessary advice to the mother on how to take care of her infant • to carry out treatments that are prescribed by a doctor • to maintain all necessary records There are also other responsibilities that a midwife has to take as part of their job.
One responsibility is that they need to get nvolved before the baby is born. This means that they have to explain to them the importance of their health being maintained. As part of this, the midwife may need to form a bond with the mother so that she will feel more comfortable with what she is being told. Another responsibility of a midwife is to measure height and weight of the mother and to calculate their maternal BMI. Midwives must also measure blood pressure and test urine for anything abnormal and then this information must be recorded. Midwives also have a responsibility to determine the risk factors that may affect the pregnancy and its outcome.
This includes risks such as pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes or possibilities of a genetic condition. The midwife can then refer to the appropriate professionals such as doctors. It is also important for a midwife to obtain a mother’s personal and family medical history. This is to determine any particular risks the baby may have and how it may affect the mother. Another responsibility a midwife has is to offer screening for Down syndrome and early scans to find out the by’s age and also ultrasound screening for physical deformities. These sorts of tests can be an motional time for families, especially if they are aware of the different genetic disorders in their family.
Parents may also know that they are carriers of traits such as sickle cell anaemia which may put extra stress on family members. A midwife needs to be able to support the family during this process and know the correct and ethical advice to give the mother/family. Skills and Qualities of a Midwife Midwives also need certain skills and qualities in order to carry out their job effectively. A skill is something you can learn and perform or do and it is also something you can teach. A quality is more personal characteristics. (E. g. if you are trustworthy). This is something you cannot learn but can develop over time or inherit. Any role that involves care for another person will require kindness, intuition and empathy, as well as a certain degree of objectivity.
It is this objectivity that enables a midwife to act as an advocate for women, while also being flexible and adaptable to each woman’s individual circumstances and needs. One of the skills midwives need is communication. This is very important as they need to use their communication skills when uiding a mother through pregnancy and especially in birth. A midwife needs to be able to tell a mother advice in a way that will not offend her and so that she will take on and understand the information. Communication, when used correctly, can make a mother feel more comfortable and is able to tell her needs or worried to the midwife so she can carry out action where it is needed.
Communication is also important during the actual birth of the baby. This is because the mother may be very anxious and distressed and when she is in this state, it may cause difficulties or extend the labour time. A midwife would eed to reassure her that everything is going to be okay and guide her through the process. Another skill/quality that a midwife needs is empathy. This is where the midwife puts themselves in the mother’s shoes and tries to understand her situation. This may be important when the midwife has to give bad news (e. g. the baby is stillborn or that she has miscarried) or when the midwife is listening to the mother’s needs or worries.
This will help the mother to feel valued and supported as the midwife understands the big transition from being an individual to a mother. Some midwives can gain this quality through ndividual experience as they may have children themselves; whereas others may have to learn this skill. Another skill/quality that a midwife needs to have is an element of intelligence. This includes things like the anatomy of the body and how this differs from person to person as well as things like hormone imbalances. Midwives also need to know about things that may affect the growth of the baby (e. g. diabetes, height, age, weight, medical conditions) and what they can provide to prevent these things from happening.
Every mother is different and will experience pregnancy differently. Midwives also need to be practically capable in different situations and be adaptable. As not every mother will have a baby in a hospital, a midwife needs to be able to adapt herself and be flexible according to the mother’s needs or preferences. They need to have the skills to be able to birth a baby in the back of a car if necessary and with this comes an element of patience. This is because a mother may be in labour for many hours and it may be difficult for her. A midwife needs to know how to support her in this time and encourage her to do the necessary things at the right time.