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‘Keeping Birth Normal’: Exploratory evaluation of a training package for midwives in an inner-city, alongside midwifery unit

Walker, S., Batinelli, L., Rocca-Ihenacho, L. & McCourt, C. (2018). ‘Keeping Birth Normal’: Exploratory evaluation of a training package for midwives in an inner-city, alongside midwifery unit. Midwifery, 60, pp. 1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2018.01.011


to gain understanding about how participants perceived the value and effectiveness of ‘Keeping Birth Normal’ training, barriers to implementing it in an along-side midwifery unit, and how the training might be enhanced in future iterations.

exploratory interpretive.

inner-city maternity service.

31 midwives attending a one-day training package on one of three occasions.

data were collected using semi-structured observation of the training, a short feedback form (23/31 participants), and focus groups (28/31 participants). Feedback form data were analysed using summative content analysis, following which all data sets were pooled and thematically analysed using a template agreed by the researchers.

We identified six themes contributing to the workshop's effectiveness as perceived by participants. Three related to the workshop design: (1) balanced content, (2) sharing stories and strategies and (3) ‘less is more.’ And three related to the workshop leaders: (4) inspiration and influence, (5) cultural safety and (6) managing expectations. Cultural focus on risk and low prioritisation of normal birth were identified as barriers to implementing evidence-based practice supporting normal birth. Building a community of practice and the role of consultant midwives were identified as potential opportunities.

Key conclusions and implications for practice
a review of evidence, local statistics and practical skills using active educational approaches was important to this training. Two factors not directly related to content appeared equally important: catalysing a community of practice and the perceived power of workshop leaders to influence organisational systems limiting the agency of individual midwives. Cyclic, interactive training involving consultant midwives, senior midwives and the multidisciplinary team may be recommended to be most effective.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2018, Elsevier. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Birth centres, Consultant midwives, Evaluation, Models of care, Normal birth, Training
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
SWORD Depositor:
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Text - Accepted Version
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