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Highlights and reflections of ICM 2017 Toronto - Part 2

Jacque Gerrard, Director for England Midwifery
31 August, 2017

Highlights and reflections of ICM 2017 Toronto - Part 2

Part two of my highlights and reflections of the ICM 2017 Toronto... continued

ICM “In the thick of it”

Tuesday 20 June 2017

All RCM staff members had the opportunity to man the RCM stand which was in an optimum place at ICM. Denise Liney manged this process and operated the staffing of the stand perfectly. She also managed to keep the stand full of wonderful RCM stock such as publications, reports the birth position swatches and posters, pens and lanyards and lots of goodies that attracted many students and midwives from every corner of the worlds. It was the perfect opportunity to network and learn even more about what was happening in many countries and gave the RCM an opportunity to welcome new international midwives to our membership. One of my own personal reflections was realising how tough it is for midwives in the under resourced countries to give midwifery care of quality with few resources and very few midwives. They appreciated RCM resources.

Meantime, in and amongst stand duty and attending the sessions it was poster presentation time. I presented with ex Director of RCM Scotland Gillian Smith, our work on improving workplace behaviours. This was well attended and we had many visitors to our posters and handed out A4 size posters for midwives to take home. We were also able to present our RCM webpage and video on Bullying and Undermining Behaviour via our tablet as we presented our poster. This was so successful that we got calls from social media to post more about our work and share the poster globally. Our marketing team  responded by putting an additional  link on the webpage so that midwives across the globe could download it. The twitter traffic tweeting on this poster was extremely busy.

 ICM More learning and sharing-Wednesday 21 June 2017

The sessions continued to be of great interest and there are too many to mention but the interesting thing was that the many challenges that we experience in the UK are very similar to those across the world. Choice, place of birth, regulation, safe midwifery care, reducing risk, birth after Caesarean section, continuity of care and carer, obstetric emergencies, tackling FGM, empowering women and girls’ ,professional leadership, tobacco and alcohol harm reduction, provision of care to remote and rural communities and many more.

Perinatal Mental Health is also a huge challenge at a global level and I was part of the RCM presentation team headed up by RCM’s Janet Fyle, Professional Advisor and Gaby Bourke Policy Advisor. The session: Specialist Mental Health Midwives as champions: How did we get there? This session was very popular with standing room only and our RCM publications flew of the table during and at the end of the session.

ICM Midwives make Guinness book of records

This was a busy day at ICM as over 390 midwives attended an infant massage class and received entry into the Guinness World Records for the most midwives trained in infant massage lesson. I was lucky enough to participate. We all received an individual certificate for our professional portfolio.

Busy RCM staff at ICM

Presentations, symposiums, workshops and posters were delivered by RCM staff and this kept us all busy during ICM.Here are some examples.

  • Louise Silverton Director for Midwifery led 2 regulation workshops to explain ICM regulation standards toolkit. She also led a public health symposium with Professor Billie Hunter and RCM public health advisor Elizabeth Gomez.
  • RCM Board member Helene Marshall delivered a workshop on assessment of the deteriorating pregnant woman and also presented on a meows and sepsis screening.app.
  • Joy Kemp global advisor led a symposium on the impact of midwifery twinning partnerships. She also had a poster presentation called “MOMENTUM” which highlighted a model of mentorship for Ugandan midwives.
  • Gail Johnson education advisor presented her work on making leadership development accessible to all. Gail also presented a poster on “listening to parents; improving bereavement care”.
  • Jacqui Hall presented on professional regulation standards through an e-portfolio.
  • Sarah Penketh had two poster presentations; industry and maternity service partnership working to support and promote health and well being in pregnancy and the public health role of the community midwife  in Wales.

Farewell ICM 2017

Exhausted but happy we all piled into the auditorium on Thursday 22 June  for the closing ceremony. This was colourful and exciting. The outgoing President Frances Day-Stirk handed over to the new President Franka Cadee and the Canadian Midwives Association handed over to the Indonesian Midwives who are now preparing for ICM 2020.

To try to put my ICM experience into words is impossible but in summary it was magical, memorable and colourful. Thank you to Professor Cathy Warwick and the RCM for supporting myself and other RCM staff to present and attend ICM 2017. Thank you to our wonderful RCM members for supporting the RCM at the stand and attending our sessions. Thanks to ICM for an amazing experience and to the midwives of the world for your dedication to women and families. See you in Bali in 2020.

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