This assignment aims to identify the roles and responsibilities of a midwife. It will include how a midwife assists preconceptually as well as during the antenatal period. It will also show what women should receive from their antenatal care and how interpersonal skills and attitudes of their midwives may impact women’s experiences of pregnancy, explaining the importance of antenatal education and midwives roles in providing this. It will not only focus on the midwives roles on a physical basis but that on an emotional level too. It will also indentify the information needed to be obtained by the midwife at a booking history.
The Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology estimate that 10-20% of known pregnancies result in spontaneous abortions (RCOG 2006). This statistic alone highlights the importance of the roles of midwives preconceptually and during the antenatal period, essentially being just as important as those in the intapartum and postnatal period.
Support and counselling pre-conceptually should be provided for all women with the intention of childbearing that suffer from pre-existing medical conditions; whether they are physical or psychological conditions which may be irritated by a pregnancy (CEMACH 2007). The role of the midwife preconceptually is to guarantee both parents are at the most favourable state physically and emotionally to manage pregnancy safely and happily (Wallace and Hurwitz 1998 PG 3).
The role of the midwife in the pre-conceptual state is to obtain a history from the prospective parents and determine if any issues could affect the reproductive health of a woman/couple. They may also assess the holistic factors that may affect a pregnancy. The midwife is to advice where necessary; this must be handled with sensitivity to the individuals’ needs (Henderson and Macdonald 2004).
During an initial assessment there are a number of health issues that a Midwife must concern themselves with, including pre-existing medical conditions, environment and life style and maternal body weight, the optimal Body Mass Index (BMI) between 19.8 and 26 for highest fertility and positive pregnancy outcomes (Fraser and Cooper 2009). It is the midwifes role to advice with maternal dietary requirements and advise for pregnant women to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, eat more starchy food and less fat, increase folic acid and folate intake and lower caffeine intake (Ramsay 2006, WHO 2009).A midwife must also inform parents about the dangers of smoking and alcoho