NMHS10370 Labour and Birth
Academic Year 2021/2022
The aim of this module is to introduce the student to the midwife’s role in the provision
of evidence-based midwifery care. The purpose of the module is to develop the
student’s understanding and knowledge of the provision of intrapartum
care and the role of the midwife. The midwifery care of the woman in the first, second
and third stage of labour is examined in detail. The role of the support person in labour
is discussed along with the midwife’s role in a partnership of care with the woman and
other health care personnel. In this module indicators of fetal well-being and electronic
fetal monitoring will be further enhanced. Related anatomy and physiology is explored
throughout the module. Students will be encouraged to critically examine the evidence
underpinning midwifery care provided in the intrapartum period. An
exploration of concepts relating to the well-woman, normal midwifery, partnership,
informed choice and the options available for maternity care will be introduced.
Development of clinical skills integral to the provision of effective
intrapartum midwifery care will be incorporated into the module.
On completion of this module students should be able to:
● Discuss the choices for intrapartum care currently available to women and their
partners, in the Irish context.
● Critically assess the role of the midwife in the provision of safe, effective
midwifery care to women and their partners during uncomplicated pregnancy and
● Evaluate how the midwife facilitates women informed choice in relation to non-
pharmacological and pharmacological methods of analgesia during labour,
nutrition in labour, fetal monitoring in labour, positions for labour and birth,
second stage labour care and management.
● Critically examine evidence based guidelines for provision of intrapartum care
● Recognise normal findings and provide appropriate information to the woman
• Describe the care required for a woman requiring a vaginal examination in labour
● Differentiate between normal findings and deviations from normal, and
Indicative Module Content:
History taking in midwifery practice
Physical assessment of the pregnant woman and assessment of maternal wellbeing in the intrapartum period
Anatomy & Physiology:
Anatomy of female pelvis
Anatomy of fetal skull
Anatomy of external genitalia- for Vaginal Examination theory and skills
Relationship of the presenting part to the female pelvis
Mechanism of normal labour
Observational signs of labour progression and full dilation of the cervix
Physiology of labour-all stages
Structure and function of placenta, cord and membranes
Amniotic fluid composition
3rd Stage of labour – physiological and managed
Care and Management (Including Evidence base)
Evidenced based guidelines for intrapartum care
Assessment of fetal well-being in labour (intermittent and electronic fetal monitoring)
Review “application of CTG and basic interpretation of CTG lecture and skills, and interpretation NICE guidelines, and K2 chapters already completed i.e. Intrapartum Intermittent Auscultation; aspects of Antenatal CTG; aspects of Fetal Physiology”- theory and skills covered in autumn trimester “Essence of Midwifery Practice” module.
Relevant aspects of K2 chapters to be completed by students: Intrapartum CTG; Errors & Limitations in Fetal Monitoring; Cord Blood Gas.
Care of the woman in labour-all stages
Assessment of progress in labour
Support and comfort measures for the woman in labour
Supporting the birthing partner in labour
Promoting active birth
Non pharmacological and pharmacological methods pain relief in labour
Introduction to theory regarding oral, sub-cutaneous, and intramuscular routes of administration of medications relevant to physiological Labour & Birth (shared lecture content for all Stage 1 midwifery & nursing students).
Initial midwifery assessment of a woman presenting in labour including:
Diagnosis and assessment of progress in labour skills-Vaginal examination
Birthing positions for labour and birth
Preparation for birth
Assisting with birth of infant in alternate birthing positions
Review application and interpretation of a CTG
The third stage of labour – physiological and managed
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