Your student news: Spring 2018

on 07 March 2018 Student midwives Brexit Bereavement Care Maternal Mental health Midwives Magazine SMF - Student Midwives Forum

What’s new in the student world? Your chance to tell us where you’ve been and what you’ve been up to...

Promoting positive birth

Swansea society days

Swansea University Midwifery Society held another successful society day in December and announced a new committee for 2018. Speakers included the founder of the Positive Birth Movement, Milli Hill; and a cake sale and raffle raised money for a local homeless charity.

This event was followed in February by a successful 10th anniversary screening of the documentary The business of being born. It was attended by mother and daughter midwives Sheena and Anna Byrom.

Improving mental healthcare

Keen to improve

Queen’s University Belfast Midwifery Society held a perinatal mental health study day, where students heard from Jeannine Breathnach about her journey from mother to midwife, Una Turbitt of the Public Health Agency, and two amazing women who spoke about their experiences with postnatal depression and anxiety. 

The day was humbling but the energy in the room was palpable – full of midwives and student midwives striving to improve mental healthcare for women in Northern Ireland. 

Student Midwives Forum

Warm welcome

The RCM is delighted to welcome the new SMF members elected in December 2017: Josephine Morgan for Scotland, Lydia Marklew-Adams for Wales, Rosie Jenks for England and Vince Rosales and Deirbhile Murphy for Northern Ireland. 

We also want to thank those forum members who have just qualified. It has been a pleasure working with you all, and we look forward to doing so again in the future. We wish you all the best in your new roles.

RCM Midwifery Society grant

£250 grant

The RCM is offering an annual grant of £250 for any student midwifery society that meets the required criteria. The funds are to support the growth of societies to help develop student midwife networks across the UK. 

It is hoped that the societies will form strong collaborative links with their local RCM branches and consider affiliation with the RCM. 

Further information can be found at

Study day in South Wales

USW affiliates

University of South Wales student midwives are tremendously pleased to have officially affiliated the midwifery society with its local RCM branch and are currently recruiting members.

They have already organised their first study day about infant loss, and have been collaborating with many guest speakers for a forthcoming event for International Day of the Midwife on 5 May, when they host the All Wales Student Midwife Conference at the university. 

Brexit update

Unsettled status

Midwives and MSWs from elsewhere in the EU living and working in the UK have been rightly concerned about what status they will have after the country has left the EU. 

RCM public affairs advisor Stuart Bonar’s blog update on Brexit clarifies information for EU midwives and MSWs living and working in the UK.

Read the blog at

Infant loss and bereavement event

The University of York Midwifery Society hosted an infant loss and bereavement care conference in February with the Harrogate based charity ‘Our Angels’. The society was really keen to take on the conference because, particularly for students, infant loss is a particularly daunting aspect of midwifery.

The society felt its members had had little exposure to the topic and that to be able to give families the best care, they needed to understand the principles underlying the topic and the differences in the care normally given to a woman in labour.

Chris Binnie, a trustee of Our Angels, believes there should be more education and training made available for all maternity staff, not just students.

A range of speakers attended the event, including RCM director for England Jacque Gerrard, who gave an insight into the global aspect of baby loss. A number of parents, who had experienced losing a baby, spoke including Chris Binnie, David and Siobhan Monteith and Juliette Gaunt, who also featured in the film Still loved, which was screened during the conference.

While each parent had a different experience, they all agreed on the same principles of care and the effect that the midwife’s care has on the experience. A number of stallholders at the event came from various stillbirth and baby loss charities including Mummy’s Star, Beyond Bea and Abbie’s Fund. The stalls showed what is available for bereaved parents, such as memory boxes and professional volunteer photographers, and also the wealth of support available for families.

Funding for the event came from Jude’s Rainbow organised by Matthew and Bronagh Thompson in memory of their son Jude. Over 38 bikers completed a coast-to-coast cycle challenge raising a staggering amount.