The aim of this unit is to develop student's knowledge and skills in the promotion of maternal mental health and wellbeing. The unit will comprise of two modules. Module 1 will explore the psychosocial factors and psychiatric conditions that may impact on the woman's pregnancy, childbirth and transition to motherhood. Module 2 will focus on the midwives' role in supporting mothers with a health condition to establish and maintain lactation with consideration of prescribed medication, complementary therapy and/or illicit substances, to promote maternal-infant attachment and wellness. The role of immunisation and medications to protect the mother and foetus during pregnancy, childbirth and lactation will also be explored.

Unit details

VU Sunshine Clinical School
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HMB3201 - Complications of the Newborn

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Examine a range of psychosocial and mental health problems that may impact on women during the perinatal period;  
  2. Critically examine therapeutic models and strategies to promote maternal mental health and wellbeing on women during the perinatal period;  
  3. Critically review the impact of pharmaceuticals and complementary therapy on pregnancy, childbirth, lactation and the newborn;  
  4. Discuss drugs of abuse and their effects on pregnancy, breastfeeding and the newborn; and  
  5. Analyse the impact of immunisation and medications for protecting the foetus during pregnancy, childbirth and lactation.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Written assessment (1000) words 25%
Test Written topic test (1 hour) 25%
Examination Written examination (2 hours) 50%
To gain an overall pass in this unit, students must attend 85% of all practical and clinical simulation. Any absences must be supported with documentation to the unit convenor. The assessment tasks focus on case based activities. The first task examines the influence of the nurse-midwife in caring for women with complex mental health issues. The topic test provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate how they would approach women in a given scenario. The written examination again requires students to draw on knowledge developed in multiple streams of the unit to respond to various cases and scenarios. Exam conditions are used to ensure students develop confidence and immediacy in their application of knowledge.

Where to next?

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