Midwifery Challenges - CPD Conference

2 Day Conference for All Midwives


Modern midwifery is increasingly demanding. Rapid social changes and new evidence are affecting the way that midwives practice. Attend this annual Ausmed Education event to explore some of these challenges. Take time out to network with like-minded colleagues. Learn about:

  • The power of using the best-available evidence
  • New clinical practices that enhance mother and baby outcomes
  • Practical tips to support your professional wellbeing
  • Professional issues relevant to midwifery practice and much, much more…

This Ausmed event is always highly evaluated and very popular. It is relevant to all midwives who work in any setting, offering you a wonderful opportunity to ensure your knowledge does not slip. Don’t miss out – book now!

Midwifery Challenges - CPD Conference - Brisbane 2019
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Day One

8:30 Registration for Day One


Welcome and Introduction

Dr Sally-Ann de-Vitry Smith

Self-Care and Wellness for Midwives

Contemporary woman-centred midwifery care is grounded in a wellness model. While acknowledging that timely interventions may sometimes be appropriate, pregnant women are predominantly well because pregnancy and birth is a normal physiological event. Paradoxically, many midwives who are experiencing feelings of stress, burnout, and even compassion fatigue may need to take time out to support their own wellbeing. This session encourages you to consider:

  • How can we develop self-awareness around our own wellbeing?
  • What does engaging in regular self-care activities do for our long-term health?
  • What is resilience?
  • How does self-care develop resilience?
Dr Michael Daubney

Where Might it All Begin? Infant Mental Health

Construction of the brain is a process that extends into adulthood. There are factors that will contribute to normal brain development during childhood that support a strong healthy foundation for the future. However, other negative influences can increase the risk of mental health problems or illnesses in childhood right through to adulthood. To further understand the links between brain development and mental health and wellbeing, this session will discuss:

  • What are the stages of brain development?
  • Is one stage more important than another in promoting positive mental wellbeing?
  • What factors can interrupt healthy brain development in children?
  • What activities and connections offer a protective effect?
11:00 Morning Tea

Dr Julie Lee

Anaesthesia during Pregnancy

When a pregnant woman undergoes a procedure requiring anaesthesia, it is important to consider the safety of both the mother and her unborn child. This session will explore the use of anaesthesia during pregnancy, and includes the following topics:

  • What are the anaesthetic implications of the physiological changes associated with pregnancy?
  • Is it safe to go under general anaesthesia whilst pregnant?
  • Recognising and managing critical bleeding in the perioperative setting
Heather Harris

The Clinical Midwife Detective

As midwives, we use critical thinking skills and professional judgment on a daily basis in our practice. It is important that we continue to revise and strengthen these skills to ensure that we are able to recognise and act on important changes in a woman or neonate’s condition in a timely manner. In this session, you will:

  • Gradually move through a case scenario
  • It will reinforce why certain diagnostic tests, observations, and procedures are undertaken to confirm or eliminate potential clinical problems
  • Along the way, you will be given pieces of information that you can use to solve the case
  • Are you ready detective?
1:15 Lunch and Networking

Stephanie Heard

Eating Disorders During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a wonderful time for women, however, for someone with mental health concerns, it may be psychologically challenging due to the stresses of undergoing major physical changes. In this session, we will look into:

  • What are the possible eating disorders that can occur during pregnancy?
  • What are the risks of having an eating disorder while pregnant?
  • What are the ways we can help our patients deal with their changing body image?
  • Can women develop eating disorders during pregnancy despite having no previous history?
3:00 Afternoon Tea

Catherine Smith

Maternity Care for Women with an Unhealthy BMI

Women with an unhealthy BMI (BMI of 25 and above) have higher risks of developing issues in pregnancy, such as preeclampsia and insulin resistance. This session will look at caring for pregnant women with unhealthy BMIs. It includes the following topics:

  • What are the possible issues which may arise from being pregnant with an unhealthy BMI?
  • What can women with unhealthy BMIs do in order to have a healthy pregnancy?
  • Is it possible to have an unhealthy BMI while pregnant but still be considered healthy?
  • What is “weight stigma” and how can we as midwives help counter this?
4:30 Close of Day One of Conference

Day Two

9:00 Commencement of Day Two

John Serginson

Breathing for Two – Managing Asthma in Pregnancy

Pregnancy isn't just eating for two: it's breathing for two as well. Effective management and asthma control are some of the keys to a healthy pregnancy in pregnant women with a history of asthma. This session will discuss asthma in pregnancy and includes the following topics:

  • Are asthma medications safe for the unborn child?
  • What effect does pregnancy have on asthma control?
  • What can we do as midwives to reduce the risk of an asthma attack during labour and manage it if it occurs?
Marguerite James

Syphilis in Pregnancy

Syphilis can be effectively treated with penicillin and other prevention techniques. However, recent upward trends in infectious syphilis has resulted in increased cases of congenital syphilis and deaths in Queensland. This session will look into its resurfacing and current challenges of testing and treatment. It includes:

  • Why has syphilis returned?
  • How can you promote prevention?
  • Who should be tested?
  • What questions should be asked?
  • What are the challenges of syphilis treatment?
  • What causes congenital syphilis?
  • What are the effects on the fetus and neonate?
  • Who is at risk of acquiring syphilis?
  • What can you do as midwives?
10:45 Morning Tea

Dr Treasure McGuire

Marijuana During Pregnancy – A New Concern?

Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a contentious topic in today’s healthcare landscape. This session looks at a highly emotive area of cannabis use – during pregnancy and breastfeeding. We will consider the challenges that may confront midwives when working with people who use this substance and explore:

  • How can midwives communicate with women who are using cannabis during pregnancy?
  • What are realistic goals around harm minimisation?
  • What are the practical considerations for breastfeeding?
  • What are your attitudes towards cannabis and does this impact on the care you provide?
Dr Karen-Ann Clarke

Postnatal Psychosis – A Preventative Approach

In a small group of women, giving birth can trigger postnatal or postpartum psychosis. Accompanied by a mood disorder, distressing hallucinations, delusions, and severe thought disturbance, postnatal psychosis poses a severe risk for mother and baby. Without recognition and treatment, symptoms can lead to fatal consequences. This session looks at:

  • What are the risk factors?
  • What are the most successful preventative interventions?
  • What are the subtle signs that might suggest a woman is experiencing or is about to experience postnatal psychosis?
  • What is the immediate treatment?
  • How is recovery achieved?
1:15 Lunch and Networking

Heather Harris

Feeding Through Mastitis

Mastitis is a painful and debilitating infection that has a negative impact on maternal health, breastfeeding, and milk supply. Yet 20% of lactating women will experience mastitis at some time during their lactation. This session practically explains an evidence-based approach to prevention and management. It includes:

  • What feeding techniques and habits may prevent mastitis?
  • How can you assess the cause of mastitis?
  • How can feeding through mastitis be promoted and achieved?
  • What supportive care and extra education is required?
  • What is the emerging evidence for probiotic therapy?
3:15 Afternoon Tea

Heather Harris

The Postnatal Placenta? Epigenetic Effects of Breast Milk

Is it time to start viewing breast milk as the “postnatal placenta”? Rich in nutrients and other immunoprotective substances, breast milk is key to preventing communicable and non-communicable diseases later in life. This session will look at the epigenetic effects of human breast milk and its important role long after solids have been introduced. Topics include:

  • What is gene regulation and why is it necessary?
  • How does genetic variation influence the digestive and metabolic systems?
  • What are the effects of nutrients on gene expression?
  • Can these effects impact the health of the infant in later life?
4:15 Close of Conference and Evaluations

The Goal

Need for Program

In recent years, birthing has increased in Australia. It is inevitable that there are gaps in the knowledge of many midwives in relation to the latest research and the emerging issues that face them in the current practice setting. The context in which midwives practice is increasingly complex and makes demands on the ever-expanding scope of practice. The link between education and the provision of quality care to mothers and their babies is indisputable. A broad range of education relating to contemporary midwifery practice will assist in closing the gaps in knowledge and practice.

Purpose of Program

This conference provides a broad range of education relevant to midwifery practice that will enhance the provision of quality care to mothers and babies.

Your learning outcomes:

Apply evidence-based knowledge about several clinical aspects of midwifery care, including breastfeeding, which will improve the health and safety of mother and baby
Monitor the mother and baby during the perinatal period, taking into consideration conditions that impact on the best possible outcomes
Provide compassionate care to a woman who has challenges associated with the perinatal experience
Optimise interprofessional collaboration to enhance mother and baby outcomes


Midwifery Challenges - CPD Conference



Midwifery Challenges - CPD Conference
11 Hours | 30 Mins



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