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2-Day Seminar For All Midwives
Are you feeling overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted? Are you struggling to gain the satisfaction you once received from practicing as a midwife? You are not alone if you are experiencing feelings of stress, burnout, and even compassion fatigue. This special seminar is designed to explore the causes and conditions that can lead to burnout in midwives and offers strategies and techniques to reduce burnout. Topics include:
High levels of emotional exhaustion, a decreasing sense of achievement, and subsequent depersonalisation are sadly affecting many health professionals. Midwives are reporting feelings of stress, burnout, and even compassion fatigue. Professional costs include decreased staff morale, increased sick leave, with lower levels of satisfaction among midwives and those in their care. In order to address the current impact of burnout in midwifery, there is a need for an educational program to unpack the causes and offer strategies to develop the resilience required to prevent these insidious professional threats from occurring.
To provide midwives with knowledge and skills to reduce stress and burnout, and to increase personal wellness, job satisfaction, and psychological safety in the workplace, ultimately enhancing women and family-centred approaches to maternity care.
8:30am - Registration and Refreshments
Take a look at why you’re here. It is a unique experience to connect and have the opportunity to voice your concerns. This introductory session will provide an opportunity for you, as a group, to share what you need right now from attending this conference.
Orienting is a process carried out by many species, including humans. We orient to our physical and emotional environment in an effort to determine whether or not it is safe to proceed, interact, and communicate. This opening session will explore what orienting is, and the effects it has on reducing stress.
10:30am - Morning Tea
Do you feel overwhelmed by the cumulative stress in your working life? When the feeling of drowning in stress occurs, it can be detrimental to your health, well-being, and ability to provide high-quality midwifery care. This session looks at the stress and relaxation response, what happens in the body under stress, and why it is important to recognise where your stress and resilience levels might be at any given time. It’s time to consider:
Women and their partners may have experienced different types of trauma in their lives, even before pregnancy. Couples and, in particular, birthing women need support and understanding from those around them if re-traumatisation is to be avoided by well-meaning health professionals. Healthcare professionals may also have experienced trauma in the past. This session explains how a trauma-informed approach to maternity practice can improve outcomes and also minimise the impact of cumulative stress and vicarious trauma on midwives. It includes:
12:30pm - Lunch and Networking
Fear and occupational anxiety are pervasive in midwifery due to the ever-present medico-legal risks associated with care delivery to not only the mother but also her baby. Subsequent dependence on policies, procedures, and paperwork can play havoc on midwives as we head home from a long shift. This session will explore the causes, conditions, intentions, and attitudes that are impacting on midwifery practice. It includes:
The expectations that society places on conception, pregnancy, the birthing process, and postnatal wellness are phenomenal. Midwives are intrinsically tied to a woman and her partner’s perception of these experiences. What is the impact of high and even unrealistic expectations? This session includes mindfulness practices to assist us and to support the birthing process, as well as considering:
3:00pm - Afternoon Tea
Forming therapeutic relationships lies at the heart of midwives, in supporting women and family-centred care. These partnerships during pregnancy, the birthing process, and immediately post-delivery are intimate, significant, and can be intense. Compassion for self and others can enhance the therapeutic relationship and decrease burnout. This session will consider:
4:30pm - Close of Day One of Seminar
9:00am - Commencement of Day Two
This session provides an opportunity to discuss the content presented from Day 1 and will assist you in embedding key knowledge and experiences before moving into the content of Day 2.
Our capacity to respond healthily in the face of challenges is known as resilience. Resilience helps us adapt to stress, recover from trauma, and grow through adversity. Recognising the various triggers, risk factors, and causes of stress and burnout helps us to develop resources we might need to access before, during, and after the “storm”. This session explores:
10:30am - Morning Tea
Contemporary family-centred midwifery care is grounded in a wellness model. Pregnant women are predominantly well because pregnancy and birth are normal physiological processes. Paradoxically, many midwives may be experiencing feelings of stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue. Therefore, it is important for midwives to support their own wellbeing. This session encourages you to consider:
12:00pm - Lunch and Networking
It is difficult to communicate assertively when we are under stress. We may come across as aggressive or, alternatively, passive and compliant. Assertive communication is a core skill we can all develop by being aware of our reactivity. This session explores:
The rapid rate of change in the workplace seems to be beyond our control. In addition, staffing issues and time pressures can leave us feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Understanding the change process helps us to embrace change and decrease stress and burnout more readily. This session explores:
3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee
Stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue can erode our motivation and passion for our work. However, we can re-ignite this passion. This final interactive session brings the conference to a close and explores:
4:30pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations
Dr Jill Beattie is a senior research fellow at Monash University, Victoria. Jill is also a mindfulness-based emotional fitness consultant in her performance enhancement consultancy, providing education and consultancy services for organisations and groups, including health services staff, pregnant women and partners of defence force personnel. Individual services are also provided for people with stress, trauma, anxiety and depression. Jill has a background and qualifications in nursing, midwifery, education, management, research and clinical practice. In addition to mindfulness-based experiential learning and practice, Jill’s most recent area of research and teaching has been in workplace violence and aggression and emotional trauma.