BMidwif Midwifery

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Parenting for early years (including optimal infant feeding)

Unit code NURS31320
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Nursing & Midwifery
Available as a free choice unit? No


During this course unit the student will be studying public health and exploring this in the broader health services, as well as the maternity services. This course unit will build on the students' previous learning from year 1 (Tackling health inequalities and Midwifery care - following birth and infant feeding) course units. Students will develop skills to critically review public health strategies that they encounter in practice, and be innovative in planning, developing, implementing public health strategies that promote health in families in the early years after birth. Students will critically evaluate the childbearing continuum to develop public health strategies that are appropriate for reducing health inequalities and supporting parenting in the early years. There will be an emphasis on infant feeding in line with the Baby Friendly Initiative requirements, building on previous learning during year 1 (Midwifery care - following birth and infant feeding), and year 2 (Midwifery care for complex needs postnatal and neonatal care).


  • Build upon the students’ knowledge of public health strategies and develop skills to critically analyse and develop appropriate strategies.
  • Build upon the students’ knowledge and skills of the role of the midwife as a health promoter especially in preparing and supporting new parents during the antenatal, intranatal and postnatal periods with an emphasis on infant feeding.

Teaching and learning methods

The unit will be taught over semester one in the third year of the BMidwif (Hons) programme. Different teaching/learning approaches will be utilised such as key note lectures, group tutorials, role play, observed structured clinical exams related to breast feeding, online resources, group work, enquiry/problem based learning, directed reading and learning in practice.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Critically examine the history, context, politics, philosophies and theories of health promotion and public health within the UK and the differences within geographical regions.
  • Critically evaluate the range of evidence that underpins innovative health promotion and public health theory and practice, and informs strategy planning.
  • Critically review parent education strategies.
  • Critically evaluate the effectiveness of community-based support for breastfeeding and parenting as an example of a PH strategy.
  • Critically evaluate the evidence-base, acceptability and effectiveness of the BFI best practice standards, and accreditation process as a world-wide and UK public health strategy.
  • Critically analyse the main differences between the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant UK legislation, and critically appraise the significance of the Code for mothers and babies, themselves, their own and other’s work situations.

Intellectual skills

  • Critically appraise evidence in order to construct an argument for current priorities for public health and health promotion in their geographical area.
  • Critically review the potential challenges that may occur when developing new practices and policies for promoting health in their geographical area from appropriate perspectives, such as ethical, cultural, political and professional.
  • Select, from the range of theories of health, health behaviour change, and health promotion and public health, appropriate strategies to generate innovative public health oriented practice.
  • Develop an approach to promoting public health that is culturally sensitive, ethical, collaborative, participative, and adaptable, respects other professionals and lay groups, and is based on shared goal setting.
  • Select, analyse and critically evaluate information from a wide range of sources, and synthesis this information to develop new insights relating to public health issues and strategies.

Practical skills

  • Plan and design a health promoting strategy that is appropriate for a selected population, including critical review of health needs and evaluation of the strategy.
  • Critically review own skills for supporting women to initiate and continue breastfeeding and form a responsive relationship with their baby and develop a learning action plan to ensure they are able to demonstrate effective skills, in line with BFI recommendations.
  • Draw on their knowledge and understanding of the wider social, cultural and political influences which undermine breastfeeding, to promote, support and protect breastfeeding within their sphere of practice.
  • Design, plan and critically review a parent education programme.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Review the principles of effective communication required for meaningful public health engagement and evaluate and enhance their one-to-one communications skills to enable meaningful, person-centred empowering conversations about health choices.
  • Demonstrate professional accountability and reflect on their own academic and practice performance and utilise a range of strategies to improve these and overcome any particular difficulties.
  • Utilise systematic and creative approaches to problem-solving and decision-making in relation to complex issues
  • Develop and enhance skills in effective communication to a range of audiences in a variety of settings.
  • Demonstrate skills in working collegiately and effectively with others as a member of a team.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 20%
Written assignment (inc essay) 50%
Practical skills assessment 30%

OSCE – related to supporting women with breastfeeding challenges

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 postgraduate 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 7
Practical classes & workshops 1
Seminars 5
Tutorials 23
Placement hours
Placement 142.5
Independent study hours
Independent study 114

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Margaret Walsh Unit coordinator

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