The unit of study builds on the content of 'HMB2201 Complex Midwifery 1' and introduces students to the more complex health problems that women may experience during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postpartum period. Emphasis is given to the collaborative role of the midwife, referral mechanisms, medication management, use of technology and intervention, and the implications of these for the woman, her baby and midwifery care. Specifically the content will cover unexpected complications during labour and birth, including in-coordinate uterine action, the intervention cascade, foetal distress and birth asphyxia, primary postpartum haemorrhage, shoulder dystocia, and recognising the acutely deteriorating woman.

Unit details

VU Sunshine Clinical School
Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


HMB2201 - Complex Midwifery 1

HMB2202 - Midwifery Professional Practice 1

RBM2202 - Pathophysiology & Quality Use of Medicines 2

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Apply pathophysiological knowledge to women experiencing complications during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postpartum period.  
  2. Analyse specific medical and obstetric conditions that affect labour, birth and the postpartum period.  
  3. Critically examine the use of medications and technology (ultrasound, cardiotocography) and obstetric procedures (epidural analgesia, forceps, ventouse and caesarean birth) in midwifery and obstetric practice.  
  4. Explain the assessment and management of maternal health complications in the first week of the postpartum period including infection, secondary postpartum haemorrhage, haematomas and deep vein thrombosis.  
  5. Articulate knowledge of medication administration, haemodynamic monitoring, perineal suturing, and the assessment and management of maternity emergencies.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Written test (online) (30mins) 20%
Assignment Written assessment - critical essay using evidence to analyse a specific area of labour management (1000 words) 30%
Assignment Written assessment - case studies and MCQ which covers all content in the unit (2000 words) 50%
To pass this unit, students must attend 100% of all nursing and simulation laboratory classes, students submit all assessment items (to align to ANMAC accreditation requirements of the course) and achieve an aggregate score of 50%.

Required reading

Midwifery: Preparation for practice 4th ed.
Pairman, S., Tracy, S. K., Dahlen, H. G., Lesley Dixon, L. (2019)
Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier.

Skills for midwifery practice Australia & New Zealand ed.
De-Vitry Smith, S., Bayes, S., Johnson, R., & Taylor, W. (2019)
Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier.

Where to next?

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