11h CPDSeminar

Beating Burnout in Midwifery Seminar

2-Day Seminar For All Midwives


9 - 10 Dec 2019
Mercure Hotel Brisbane
85-87 North Quay
Brisbane QLD4000

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Why Attend

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:

  • How to counteract the impact of cumulative stress and vicarious trauma
  • Managing birthing expectations
  • The role that power, control, and politics play in midwifery
  • Managing the perception of medicolegal risk
  • How compassion for self and others can enhance the therapeutic relationship and decrease burnout
  • Tips for building psychological safety in your team and much, much more…
  • Don’t miss your chance to attend this popular seminar that is specifically designed for midwives. Book now!

Need for Program

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.

Purpose of Program

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.

Your Learning Outcomes

  1. Gain further insight into the factors that cause cumulative stress amongst midwives, which will assist with early recognition and prevention of burnout
  2. Be able to apply a trauma-informed approach to maternity care
  3. Improve the therapeutic relationship with the woman, her partner, and the newborn baby, resulting in a reduction in compassion fatigue
  4. Have a toolbox of practical strategies to assist you to gain greater satisfaction from work and the ability to leave it behind when you go home
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Day One

8:30am - Registration and Refreshments


Welcome, Voicing Your Concerns, and What You Need Right Now

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 to Your Environment: We do it All the Time!

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


The Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience

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:

  • The neurobiology of stress
  • The neurobiology of resilience


The Impact of Trauma in Midwifery

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:

  • What constitutes trauma?
  • How might this manifest antenatally, during birthing, and postnatally?
  • Is it possible to counteract the impact of cumulative stress and vicarious trauma and, therefore, burnout?
  • What is a trauma-informed approach to maternity care?

12:30pm - Lunch and Networking


Causes and Conditions – Overcoming Occupational Worry

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 causes of stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue in midwifery
  • How clarity around causes, conditions, intentions, and attitudes support a reduction in occupational fear and anxiety and improve satisfaction at work
  • A framework for identifying core beliefs that influence behaviour


Great Expectations – Accepting What Is…

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:

  • How do society’s expectations impact our own expectations?
  • How to use the B.R.A.I.N.N. to manage expectations and sustain a sense of “control”?
  • Is it possible to accept what is and what will be?

3:00pm - Afternoon Tea


An Antidote to Burnout and Compassion Fatigue: Providing Compassionate Care

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:

  • Working in partnership with women, their partners, and other healthcare professionals involved in the birthing process
  • Going home satisfied – an exercise in compassion

4:30pm - Close of Day One of Seminar

Day Two

9:00am - Commencement of Day Two


Welcome Back and Integration of Day 1 Experiences

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.


The Protective Effect of Resilience: Identifying Your Resources

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:

  • What resources do you already have?
  • What additional resources do you need to develop for beating burnout?

10:30am - Morning Tea


Self-Care and Wellness for Midwives

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:

  • How you can develop self-awareness around your own wellbeing
  • What self-care looks like
  • How self-care develops resilience
  • Practical strategies for developing resilience

12:00pm - Lunch and Networking


Assertive Communication Helps Reduce Stress and Burnout

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 influences on our ability to be assertive
  • How to be assertive with colleagues and families when required
  • Communication styles


Embracing Change

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:

  • What happens to people during change
  • Known reactions to rapid change
  • Strategies for accepting and embracing change

3:00pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


Thriving in Midwifery: Reigniting Your Passion

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:

  • What matters to you?
  • Who do you enjoy being around?
  • What makes you feel good – emotionally and physically?
  • What are you proud of?

4:30pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations

educator image

Jill Beattie

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.

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Beating Burnout in Midwifery Seminar