15 - 17 Aug 2021

Midwifery Challenges Conference - Sydney 2021

QRC: 4221
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Why Attend

This popular annual conference enables you, as a midwife, to explore the challenges of your profession as well at the many beautiful moments. This year you will discover:

  • New clinical practices that enhance mother and baby outcomes
  • Making difficult psychosocial situations safe
  • Updates on substance use and pregnancy
  • Practical tips to support interprofessional practice
  • Latest evidence in relation to perinatal complications
  • Breastfeeding and modern medicines
  • Professional issues relevant to midwifery practice and much, much more…

This Ausmed event is always highly evaluated. Don’t miss out – book now!


8:30 Registration for Day One


Welcome and Introduction

Dr Marjan Khajehei

Knowledge on and Attitudes Towards Sexual and Reproductive Health in Adults

This session will discuss the findings of a research paper done in Shiraz, Iran that assessed both the level of knowledge about and attitudes towards sexual and reproductive health among adults who were recruited at pre-marital counselling courses. It discusses:

  • What were the significant findings of this research?
  • How can we apply the findings from this research to an Australian healthcare setting?

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome – Assessment and Treatment

It is vital that midwives are aware of the importance of assessing and managing a neonate who is withdrawing from illicit substances as a result of maternal use. The ability to correctly assess these babies is imperative as if a baby is withdrawing, neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) may develop. Topics include:

  • Signs and symptoms of NAS
  • The withdrawal period and the average length of recovery
  • How to complete NAS scoring and why this is needed
  • Treatment of NAS-affected babies
10:45 Morning Tea


Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is a type of surgery utilised in order to help women who are obese lose weight. This session, which highlights how pregnancy is possible after bariatric surgery, includes:

  • Pregnancy planning after bariatric surgery
  • Potential issues that may arise
  • Vitamins, minerals and other nutritional considerations
Kit Catterson

Female Genital Mutilation

Female genital mutilation is a reality for around 53 000 women living in Australia. This practice carries with it the chances of infertility, prolonged and obstructed labour and, in some cases, infant death. This session will look at:

  • What is female circumcision/female genital mutilation (FGM)?
  • Why is it important for us to ascertain if our patients have gone through FGM?
  • Are there any treatments available for women in order to treat the adverse results and effects of FGM?
1:00 Lunch and Networking

Christine Muller

Caring for Survivors of Sexual Assault Resulting in Pregnancy

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2017 there were 24 957 victims of sexual assault, with a rate of 102 victims per 100 000 persons. Some of these rape survivors will fall pregnant and, as healthcare professionals, we need to understand how to provide care for these survivors. This session will explore:

  • What is tocophobia (fear of pregnancy and childbirth), and how do we support our patients with it?
  • How can we avoid re-traumatising the patient who is pregnant out of rape?
  • Are there any resources that can help us care for patients who are pregnant out of rape?
3:00 Afternoon Tea

Dr Antonia Shand

The Midwifery Role in ‘Passing‘ on Information About Cytomegalovirus

A recent look into Cytomegalovirus (CMV) found that many midwives may lack confidence in their knowledge about CMV to provide education to pregnant women. Also, many women lack knowledge about CMV. Similarly to other infectious diseases, CMV can be passed from mother to baby. This session will give midwives knowledge about CMV to promote prevention. It looks at:

  • What is CMV and why is it important?
  • What are the effects of CMV on the fetus/baby?
  • What education can midwives provide to pregnant women and women planning pregnancy about CMV to reduce its incidence?
4:30 Close of Day One of Conference

9:00 Commencement of Day Two

Elsa Chu

Liver Disease – Hepatitis B During Pregnancy

According to the Kirby Institute, more than 232 000 people in Australia have chronic hepatitis B. Some of them are at risk of transmitting hepatitis B to their infants through perinatal transmission. This session will look at caring for pregnant mothers living with hepatitis B. It includes:

  • How high are perinatal transmission rates of hepatitis B?
  • Is there a way to prevent prenatal transmission of hepatitis B?
  • Are invasive prenatal screenings safe for pregnant mothers with hepatitis B?
Dr Marjan Khajehei

Fathers in the Birth Room: Choice or Coercion in Childbirth?

Though fathers have traditionally stayed out of the birthing suite, it's becoming more common for them to be present at birth. However, this practice may be detrimental to some fathers and mothers. This session will discuss:

  • Why is it now expected for fathers to be in the birth room?
  • What are the possible negative effects of this practice on both the mother and the father?
  • How can we ensure that both parents' choices regarding this matter are respected?
10:45 Morning Tea


Obstetric Emergencies

Complications can occur during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postpartum period. These can lead to emergency or life-threatening situations and as management of these emergencies may affect the mother and/or neonate, an understanding of evidence-based care is essential. Topics covered include:

  • What are the red flags which may indicate an obstetric emergency?
  • How can we support a mother who is experiencing an obstetric emergency?
  • Are there any signs which may indicate the possibility of an obstetric emergency long before it occurs?
12:15 Lunch and Networking

Elaine Ford

Postnatal Depression in Men

Postnatal depression affects women from all walks of life, but what happens when it happens to the father instead? This session will explore:

  • Is it possible for men to be diagnosed with postnatal depression (PND)?
  • What are the causes of PND in men?
  • What are the causes of PND in men?
  • How can we support a father with a diagnosis of PND?
Elaine Ford

Supporting Your Patients Through Grief and Loss

The birth of a baby is a joyous occasion in any culture, but what if the parents experience a stillbirth or infant death? This session will look at an unfortunate reality for some parents and the considerations surrounding these instances. It includes:

  • How can we support patients through grief and loss?
  • Are there any resources that midwives can access to help support their patients?
3:00 Afternoon Tea

Jo Perks

The Older Gravida: Pregnancy in Women over 35

In an age where women will focus on their career prior to having children, it’s normal to hear about women giving birth at a later age. This session will look at pregnancy after 35, also known as geriatric pregnancy. It includes:

  • What are the special considerations for women who are pregnant over 35?
  • What are the risks associated with this group?
  • How can we promote healthy pregnancy for pregnant women older than 35?
4:30 Close of Conference and Evaluations


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Christine Muller

Christine Muller is a registered nurse who works as a nurse practitioner: adult mental health at the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network. She holds a graduate diploma in mental health, a master of nursing mental health (nurse practitioner) and a diploma in project management. Chris has almost 40 years of experience as a mental health nurse working in large 5th hospitals, in community extended hours teams and within private mental health hospitals. For the past 20 years, Chris has been employed by Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network as a clinical nurse consultant level 3 acting patient safety and clinical risk manager. Since 2008, Chris has been employed as a nurse practitioner within custodial health. Chris is committed to enhancing the skills of fellow health staff working within a unique and challenging context and providing a high-quality mental health service for a highly marginalised population where multimorbidity and complex presentations are the norms.

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Elsa Chu

Elsa Chu is a Clinical Nurse Consultant who specializes in Hepatitis B management. Elsa completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at La Trobe University, Melbourne in 1997 and is a current student of Masters of Primary Health Care Nursing course at The University of Sydney. She was born and raised in Hong Kong. Her nursing experience is over 34 years with 20 years in Hong Kong and 14 years in Australia with extensive experience in various nursing fields includes in-patient and out-patient care, maternity, community nursing and nurse education. In her new role as Hepatitis B Clinical Nurse Consultant from 2017, her scope of practice encompasses health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis and management of hepatitis B. Most of the Hepatitis B in Australia is found in people who are from cultural and linguistic backgrounds, as there is high CALD population in NSLHD, she has found that her language skills (Cantonese, Mandarin) has been invaluable to many clients, their families, careers and even other health professionals. As a migrant, she has extensive knowledge of the issues affecting CALD communities and having a “culturally” friendly face will helps to break down stigma associated with HBV. Elsa has a unique combination of strong nursing skills and strives to provide the best health care possible. She believes in building a long lasting and trusting relationship with patients and customers. She seeks to acquire a comprehensive evaluation of every patient by taking time to listen and understand their particular needs. Her true desire is to enhance a positive healing experience and confidence to those in need.

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To Be Determined

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Antonia Shand

Dr Antonia Shand is an obstetrician/maternal-fetal medicine specialist. She is head of department in maternal-fetal medicine at the Royal Hospital for Women (RHW), Randwick, NSW, and a visiting medical officer at Royal North Shore Hospital. She is also a research fellow in perinatal and population health, at the University of Sydney. She has an interest in infections in pregnancy, particularly in CMV. She runs the infections in pregnancy clinic at the Royal Hospital for Women and has undertaken research into infections in pregnancy. She has recently co-authored the 2019 RANZCOG statement on CMV infection in pregnancy. She is also a co-author on the CMV education package for midwives that will be launched on the Australian College of Midwives website in 2020.

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Marjan Khajehei

Dr Marjan Khajehei holds bachelors and masters degrees in midwifery and a PhD in sexology. She has more than 20 years of experience working in the field of women and newborn health in clinical, educational and research capacities. Currently, she is a full-time clinical midwifery consultant at Westmead Hospital and is affiliated with the University of Sydney as a senior research fellow and at the University of New South Wales as a conjoint senior lecturer.

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Kit (Catriona) Catterson

Kit Catterson is a PhD researcher and technical specialist on female genital mutilation (FGM) in sub-Saharan Africa. Kit holds a Bachelor degree in Arts (Political Science), a Master degree in International Relations, and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney (Department of Government and International Relations) researching the social movement to end FGM in Somaliland (East Africa). Kit is an international aid and development consultant with 8 years’ experience designing, implementing and evaluating international aid and development programmes aimed at ending FGM at national, regional and global levels. Kit has conducted field work and research in over 10 countries across Africa and South Asia on FGM and other forms of violence against women and girls.

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Elaine Ford

Elaine has 42 years' experience in nursing, focusing on mental health from the early 1980s. She has worked in hospital and community settings, working in both acute care and case management roles before taking a role in consultation-liaison psychiatry. Over the past 15 years, Elaine has focused on developing skills as a therapist, including training in a variety of models. This diversity of skills helps to collaborate with consumers in which approach is going to be most helpful to them. She has presented at local, national and international conferences on a variety of topics, focusing on what nursing offers in assisting people to recover from physical, psychological and traumatic events. Elaine is the first practising Nurse Practitioner in mental health in Australia. She has had a private practice for 14 years and is very passionate about optimising people's health so they can enjoy a more fulfilling life.

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Joanne Perks

Joanne Perks is a women's health Nurse Practitioner at the Liverpool Women's Health Centre. Joanne has extensive experience working in women’s health. Her qualifications include a master of mental health nursing, a master of nursing (nurse practitioner) and a graduate certificate in women’s health nursing.

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 practise is becoming increasingly complex, making 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
15 - 17 Aug 2021

Midwifery Challenges Conference - Sydney 2021

QRC: 4221
Venue TBA, Sydney
Sydney, NSW, 2000
Price: $629.00