Midwifery Care 2: Women with Complex Childbearing Needs

    Unit code: HMB3001 | Study level: Undergraduate
    (Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
    VU Sunshine Clinical School
    HMB2001 - Pathophysiology and Medications for Midwives; and
    HMB2002 - Midwifery Care 1: Developing Midwifery Practice; and
    HMB2003 - Midwifery Practice Experience 1
    (Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


    The unit builds on the content of the Midwifery Care 1 and Pathophysiology and Medication in Midwifery units to extend students’ knowledge of the more complex midwifery care practices that women may experience during the intra- and post-partum periods. Childbearing complications and their impact on the woman’s and her baby’s health are examined. The implications of health complications are also explored in relation to midwifery decision-making and scope of practice. Students will analyse and investigate the collaborative role of the midwife and referral pathway when women are identified as experiencing higher-risk health issues. Medication management, the use of technology and birthing interventions and their impact on women’s and babies’ health are also explored. Specifically, the content will cover unexpected complications and deviations during women’s labour and birth, and the postpartum period, with an emphasis on students assessing and responding appropriately to health risks.

    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

    1. Apply pathophysiological knowledge to women experiencing complications during pregnancy, labour and birth, and the postpartum period;
    2. Analyse specific complex midwifery conditions that affect women’s and babies’ health during labour, birth and the postpartum period;
    3. Critically examine the use of interventions, technology and obstetric procedures in maternity care;
    4. Recognise and respond to obstetric emergencies utilising time critical care strategies; and
    5. Reflect on personal self and building resilience when faced with challenging complex care scenarios as midwifery students and the future practice role.


    For Melbourne campuses

    The assessment tasks align with the learning outcomes and graduate capabilities. In the first assessment, students submit a written reflection exploring a self-identified practice challenge. The aim is to facilitate reflective practice and help build resilience in responding to professional role challenges. For the second assessment, students will be tested on their clinical knowledge with a short answer case study question format. For the third assessment, students will be required to actively participate in a group skills test managing an obstetric emergency situation which includes a written reflection post-skills test. The last assessment is an online medication competency test in which students are required to achieve 100%.

    Assessment type: Assignment
    Grade: 20%
    Reflection on a midwifery practice challenge of concern in women’s care (750 words)
    Assessment type: Test
    Grade: 40%
    Short answer case study questions (1.5 hours)
    Assessment type: Practicum
    Grade: 40%
    Group skills test of 4 students to manage an obstetric emergency (1500 words equivalent)
    Assessment type: Test
    Grade: 0%
    Medication administration – open book self-directed learning (hurdle)

    Required reading

    Midwifery: Preparation for practice
    Pairman, S., Tracy, S. K., Dahlen, H. G., Lesley Dixon, L. (2019)| Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier.
    Skills for midwifery practice
    De-Vitry Smith, S., Bayes, S., Johnson, R., & Taylor, W. (2019)| Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier.

    As part of a course

    This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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