RCM highlights midwives role in genomics during Genomic Conversation Week

on 21 June 2024

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says midwives are already by default practicing genomics in their day-to-day practice as it launches a new i-learn module to better support its members when it comes to genomics in maternity care. Using genomic information, the RCM says can positively impact the quality-of-care maternity services can deliver.

To coincide with #GenomicsConversation week  (24-28 June) the RCM have launched a new i-learn module Genetics and Genomics for Midwifery Practice. The module has been developed in partnership with Donna Kirwan the Lead midwife for Genomics in NHS England.

Commenting, Michele Lyne, a Professional Midwife Advisor from the RCM’s Education team says:

“Genomics awareness is vital so that midwives can advise, signpost and support pregnant women and their partners on tests that span all aspects of the maternity care pathway. Some midwives may feel genomics is out of their comfort zone, but midwives are already practicing genomics in their day-to-day practice by default. From taking a booking history, antenatal and newborn screening, NIPT and to caring for women with diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease and blood disorders. Midwives can and are already making a significant difference to the health of women during pregnancy by recognising genetic red flag factors. Our new i-learn module also includes some really helpful case studies for our members to learn more about what they can do to better support the women in their care when it comes to genetic conditions.”

The RCM’s new i-learn module exclusively available to all its members aims to equip midwives with the information they need to better explain to the women in their care how genetic conditions may occur and how they are inherited. The 1-hour module will also support midwives to better identify those with a higher probability of having a genetic condition and how to refer to the relevant specialists.

The RCM’s i-learn suite of learning can be accessed here and if you’d like to learn more how genomics is used in midwifery practice you can read more here.