What is the Midwifery Unit Network?
The Midwifery Unit Network is a community of people with an interest in supporting and promoting the development and growth of midwifery units (birth centres) which are managed and staffed by midwives.
The network is being developed in collaboration with the Royal College of Midwives Better Births Initiative.
Three midwives and a parent advocate/researcher have come together to set up the network on a not-for profit, voluntary basis to create a knowledge transfer hub. They are supported by an advisory group, made up of a wide range of maternity experts.
There is a huge amount of experience and good practice available for others to learn from, but there has been no easy way to access that information.
The Maternity Unit Network website, Facebook page a Facebook Group (where you can join and post questions), Twitter account will enable midwives and others to share resources, ideas and solutions to practical challenges in a quick and easy way.
We invite midwives across the UK and internationally to share:
· philosophy and purpose statements
· architecture and design briefs, building specifications and facilities suppliers
· health and safety information
· eligibility criteria and clinical practice guidance
· staffing arrangements and management approaches
· audit and research
· parent and community engagement and communication resources,
· media and PR
· personal stories about achievements and challenges.
The network will build on the success of previous initiatives including the Yahoo Birth Centre Network (email list), and will run in tandem with this group until further notice.
What purpose will the Midwifery Unit Network serve?
'Unity makes strength'.
The network will enable midwives and others who use and value birth centre care to have an easy means of networking and supporting each other.
The network will maximise opportunity for innovation and help to solve a practical challenges, and minimise the need to reinvent the wheel.
The network will create a community; midwives developing and/or working in freestanding or alongside midwifery units never need to feel isolated or alone.
The network will signpost commissioners, managers and maternity services liaison committees service user reps to relevant published policy and evidence and create new practice-based evidence on what works.
There will be a facility for direct messaging so that sensitive or confidential issues can be talked through with an experienced midwifery manager.
The network will also enable the media to find out more about midwifery care and midwifery units. This will enable more of the public and professionals to learn about a ‘social model’ of care for healthy women and newborn babies that is responsive to their social, emotional and physiological needs
For midwifery units to be the mainstream option for women with uncomplicated pregnancies.
To maximise potential for positive childbirth experiences, enhance the physical and psychological wellbeing of childbearing women, and facilitate an optimal start in life for their babies, through the promotion and support of midwifery units.
Check out the video of our launch event, London 2016