Public health is emerging as one of the most important drivers
in midwifery, and yet there are few textbooks that address the
midwife’s role in public health.
This book summarises the important developments in public
health over recent years and will relate the recommendations to
midwifery practice in a clear and easily understood manner. It
highlights issues around health inequalities pertinent to maternity
services and promotes individualised, non-judgmental approaches
The absorption of midwifery into medical practice is a recent process, a
development linked in many western countries with the diminishing role of
midwives, the increased involvement of the man-midwife, the general
practitioner and the obstetrician in the birthing process and, in the twentieth
century, the increased hospitalization of childbirth.
The care of a woman and her baby in the immediate hours, days and
weeks following birth can make an enormous difference to their longterm
health and well-being. The content and timing of postnatal care
led by midwives was formalised in the United Kingdom following a
statutory legislation that was first introduced in England in 1902. Then
there were concerns that too many women were dying following birth.
This is an exciting and timely book. It describes how nurses are pioneering
complementary therapies within the medical system to give comfort and healing to
their patients. It is 40 years since I graduated from general nursing training at Prince
Henry’s Hospital Melbourne with deep disappointment about the medical model of
1960. Perhaps my greatest concern was that nurses had insufficient opportunity and
resources to give true caring to their patients.
What can we build on and what should be developed so
that the midwifery profession can fulﬁl its mission to meet
women and families’ needs in 2020?
In this section we examine how midwives can continue to
meet women’s changing needs; how to make sure we are
developing a midwifery workforce for the future; the public
health role of the midwife; the importance of measuring the
contribution of midwifery care; the support that midwives
need to deliver quality care; and conclude with an
examination of the image of midwifery, and the education
and career pathways that are necessary
Third, the findings reveal that frequent midwifery care users are more likely to consult
acupuncturists and doulas. This finding supports previous research identifying midwives as a
popular source of CAM information for pregnant women  and often encouraging CAM use
for women in their care .
Improving the skills of the clinical and public health workforces as well as the quality of care in the facilities where they work is essential to improving the health status of Indonesians. For this reason, much of the work supported by the USG cuts across the GHI targets, though often in the context of HIV, TB and MCH. In addition, at the heart of the GHI/Indonesia strategy is increased integration across all components of the portfolio.
I would like to start by saying how pleased I am that Health Promotion in
Midwifery has reached a second edition, the first having been more popular than my
editors at Arnold or I had ever dreamed possible. The development of the principles
and practices laid out in this second edition will enable midwives and other health
professionals to keep health promotion at the forefront of their midwifery practice.
The popularity of this, and other publications, demonstrates that midwifery and
health promotion are very comfortable partners in the minds and hearts of
The past five years have seen an acceleration in the development of competencies in
different health professional fields, including medicine, nursing, midwifery, and public health.
Many of these efforts have been driven by the professional organizations themselves, in an
attempt to define expected knowledge, skills and behaviors of graduate practitioners. While
making important contributions, many fall short of a fully implemented CBE model often
because of a focus on learning objectives that do not align with how a true competency is
In response to such changes we need a multifaceted, multi-agency
approach based on strengthening individuals, families and
communities, while at the same time improving the infrastructure and
access to services. Midwives and midwifery services have a particular
part to play in this. We could go a long way to achieving improvements
in health and social outcomes by giving more people, particularly
women and children, better life chances8.
Midwives’ unique contribution to public health is that they work
with women and their partners and families throughout pregnancy,
birth and the postnatal period to provide safe, holistic care. For
optimum effect, midwifery needs to be ﬁrmly rooted in the
community where women and their partners live their lives.
Significant progress has been made in recent years in increasing the production of health workers and in
producing a multi-purpose nursing cadre that is able to perform both nursing and midwifery tasks.
Availability of data on the public sector health workforce has also improved. A comprehensive HRH
policy and strategy to address priority HRH constraints is in place, although its implementation needs to
improve. Another encouraging development is the recognition of the need for human resource
management and leadership training.