This unit focuses on the socio-cultural context of childbearing through a feminist lens. Students will explore how women’s experiences of birth around world, and then in Australia, are impacted by gender roles and power differentials. Students will critically examine the human rights of women in maternity care and birth, comparing Australian and global perspectives. Students will review the evidence available to explore how interventions that commonly occur in professional practice directly impact on the midwife’s capacity to provide woman-centred care and health outcomes for women and their babies. Students will engage with maternity consumer advocates to interrogate the issues impacting maternity care provision and resilience of the midwife as a health professional. Sustainability of the midwife’s role within the midwifery workforce will also be investigated. This knowledge will provide opportunities for students to reflect on their professional self-development and their perspectives about the role of the midwife across the spectrum of women’s maternity care in Australia.
On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
The assessment tasks align with the learning outcomes and graduate capabilities. The first assessment is a written critique and synopsis of two peer reviewed journal articles exploring a socio-cultural issue that students identify from practice. For assessment two, students will generate and submit questions for an interactive conversation with a maternity consumer advocate. The aim of this assessment task is to explore women’s understandings of their birthing rights and any issues that may have arisen in their maternity care. For the third assessment, students will work in groups to further explore a contemporary maternity socio-cultural issue and ways in which the identified issue can be addressed. Findings will be presented to peers as a poster. The Continuity of Care report details evidence-based reflective learning of student’s individual learning of childbearing from a woman’s experience which is critical to locating developing practice in a philosophy of woman-centred care.
Required readings will be made available on VU Collaborate.
This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):