In community birth, midwives take care of two patients; the mom AND the baby. Learn or refresh the skill necessary to assess fetal wellbeing

Approximately 140 million births occur every year worldwide. The majority of these are vaginal births among pregnant people with no identified risk factors for complications, either for themselves or their babies, at the onset of labor. Although midwives can risk assess clients in pregnancy, they may still experience a complication in labor. (Danilack V, Nunes A, & Phipps M, 2015). Because even in low risk populations, approximately half of all stillbirths and a quarter of neonatal deaths result from complications during labour and childbirth, all midwives need to be skilled at fetal heart rate assessments (Lawn JE, Blencowe H, Waiswa P, Amouzou A, Mathers C, Hogan D, et al., 2016).

Over the last two decades, the WHO has encouraged all countries to entice women to give birth in health care facilities to ensure access to skilled health care professionals and timely referral should the need for additional care arise. However, accessing labor and childbirth care in medically managed health care facilities and hospitals may not guarantee good quality care. Disrespectful and undignified care is prevalent in many facility settings globally, particularly for underprivileged populations, and this not only violates their human rights but is also a significant barrier to accessing intrapartum care services (Bohren M, Hunter E, Munthe-Kaas H, Souza J, Vogel J, & Gülmezoglu A, 2014). In addition, the prevailing model of intrapartum care in many parts of the world, which enables the health care provider to control the birthing process, may expose apparently healthy pregnant women to unnecessary medical interventions that interfere with the physiological process of childbirth.

Safe Fetal Monitoring Protocols

As highlighted in the World Health Organization (WHO) framework for improving quality of care for pregnant women during childbirth, experience of care is as important as clinical care provision in achieving the desired person-centered outcomes Tunçalp Ö, Were W, MacLennan C, Oladapo O, Gülmezoglu A, Bahl R, et al., 2015). For these and other reasons, homebirths and birth center facilities with skilled midwives continues to be a valid choice for low risk labors and births and this course aims to highlight the tools and skills necessary for effective, timely and safe fetal monitoring protocols in the community birth setting. Any skill level of birth worker in any country is welcome to choose the observer ticket, but only practicing midwives are invited to participate and purchase the participant ticket.

"Just wanted to say another thank you to Augustine Colebrook for her heart and passion for teaching midwives! I just basically want to download your brain and feel like a big fan-girl! I also have so appreciated classmates perspectives and questions that gave us further insight. Thank you everyone!"

Crystal Pena, Arizona midwife.

This workshop includes evidence-based instructions on:

  • Equipment review, care and maintenance
  • How to establish baseline
  • How to assess variability
  • The 4 types of decelerations
  • When and how often to listen
  • How to defensively chart FHT monitoring
  • Communitcating abdominal FHT’s and transporting
  • Guidance on effective midwifery team management
  • Plus auditory examples and practice

If you are a student or midwife of color please view our social equity & inclusion statement and get the 20% off coupon code here.