BMidwif Midwifery

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Midwifery Care - following birth and infant feeding

Unit code NURS13142
Credit rating 30
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Nursing & Midwifery
Available as a free choice unit? No


During this course unit students will explore the role of the midwife in relation to care of the woman, her baby, her partner and their wider family during the puerperium. There will be an in-depth exploration of infant feeding issues ranging from physiology of lactation, cultural and societal factors affecting feeding decisions, essential support for breast feeding and how to support women who choose to formula feed. Students will learn how to care for women and their babies during the puerperium with an application to normal physiology and an understanding of adaptation to parenthood during this time. There will be an introduction to some common problems during the puerperium and to the role of the midwife in identifying and responding to these problems. In this unit, students will also be introduced to the Baby Friendly Initiative.


       Explore with the student the role of the midwife in relation to the care of women, their families and newborn infants during the post natal period and puerperium.

       Enable the students to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to provide high quality midwifery care for mothers and babies during the puerperium with particular reference to supporting infant feeding.

Teaching and learning methods

The unit will be taught over semester two in the first year of the BMidwif (Hons) programme. Different teaching/learning approaches will be utilised such as key note lectures, group tutorials, role play, online resources, group work, enquiry/problem based learning, simulation (Observed Structured Clinical Exams (OSCE), directed reading, and learning in practice.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate awareness of how the psycho-social and cultural context of the family impacts on parental experience, choices and needs with particular emphasis on infant feeding
  • Demonstrate sound knowledge and understanding of midwifery theory in relation to assessment of the wellbeing of the mother and baby during the puerperium, incorporating knowledge gained previously related to anatomy & physiology, microbiology and pharmacology
  • Explain straightforward health promoting strategies for parents that promote maternal, infant and family wellbeing, including family planning and safe sex options for parents.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and insight into the experiences and support needs of both mothers and fathers and of strategies to build their knowledge, skills and confidence in caring for their baby.
The learning outcomes below relate to the unicef baby friendly initiative:
  • Understand the importance of breastfeeding and the consequences of not breastfeeding, in terms of health and developmental outcomes and develop effective ways of sharing this information with families.
  • Develop an in-depth knowledge of the physiology of lactation and be able to apply this in practice situations.
  • Begin to understand the potential impact of delivery room practices on the well-being of mother & baby and on the establishment of breastfeeding in particular.
  • Understand why it is important for mothers to keep their babies near them in relation to physiological health, psychological wellbeing and establishing successful breastfeeding.
  • Know about common complications of breastfeeding, how these arise, and know how women may be helped to overcome them.
  • Be thoroughly conversant with the baby friendly initiative best practice standards, understand the rationale behind them and what the BFI seeks to achieve through them, and be equipped to implement them in their own workplace, with appropriate support from colleagues.
  • Understand the principle of demand feeding in relation to the establishment and maintenance of lactation and be able to explain its importance to parents and colleagues.

Intellectual skills

       Drawing on a model of midwifery, to demonstrate understanding of care, describe best practice in postnatal and neonatal care and explain the rationale for this with some reference to the evidence.

       Clearly communicate their understanding of concepts relevant to postnatal care, through discussion and written work.

       Through reflective thinking, develop self-awareness, recognise the limitations of their own knowledge & skill and identify personal learning needs.

       Identify the learning needs of others and be able to provide parents with accurate, evidenced-based information about activities that may have an impact on breastfeeding & the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.

Practical skills

  • Under direct supervision, conduct a comprehensive postnatal assessment of the mother and baby, identifying their needs, recognising deviations from the norm and responding appropriately – planning appropriate strategies to help the family prevent or overcome these concerns including referral to an appropriate person when a deviation from the norm is detected.
  • Under direct supervision, administer commonly used medications to mothers and baby’s using safe administration techniques.
  • Demonstrate appropriate infection control measures at all times.
  • Make up breast milk substitutes safely, and be able to demonstrate this process to parents who have decided to formula feed their infant.
The learning outcomes below relate to the UNICEF baby friendly initiative:
  • Under direct supervision, recognise effective positioning, attachment and suckling and empower mothers to develop the skills necessary for them to achieve these for themselves.
  • Understand the limited number of situations in which exclusive breastfeeding is not possible and be able to support mothers in partial breastfeeding or artificial feeding in these circumstances.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of hand expression and have the ability to teach these skills to mothers.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of alternative methods of infant feeding (eg via cup or syringe) and under direct supervision, provide appropriate care that may be used where breastfeeding is not possible, and that will enhance the likelihood of a later transition to breastfeeding.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

D1 Communicate effectively with clients and colleagues, demonstrating self-awareness, and an understanding of the many factors influencing communication and relationships between clients and peers

D2 Reflect upon their own attitudes and beliefs in relation to parental choices and recognise how these may affect the care they provide.

D3 Demonstrate effective study skills, including literature searching, essay writing and correct referencing techniques.

D4 Signpost service users to other relevant services, facilities and sources of support in their area.communicate effectively with clients and colleagues,

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 50%
Practical skills assessment 50%

Feedback methods

Students will normally have the opportunity to receive feedback on formative work submitted prior to the summative assessment. Other feedback opportunities will also be available in class and online discussion boards. Online feedback is provided in Grademark. Provisional feedback based on internal marking will be made available prior to the Exam Board on the basis that these marks are yet to be ratified at the Exam Board and therefore may be subject to change. A standard feedback mechanism in Grademark is utilised across all undergraduate programmes within the School which provides detailed and constructive feedback on each component and aspect of assessment and identifies areas of strength and those aspects which could be enhanced.

Student feedback is obtained through open discussion forums on blackboard, in class discussions, via formal University unit evaluation forms and also qualitative, in house evaluations at the end of the unit.

Recommended reading

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 23
Practical classes & workshops 1
Seminars 3
Tutorials 9
Placement hours
Placement 277.5
Independent study hours
Independent study 65.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Susan Thornber Unit coordinator

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