Focusing on the floor

By Sara Webb on 23 November 2018 Midwives Magazine

Specialist midwife Sara Webb is asking for input into a national survey of midwifery education on the pelvic floor.

Changes to the pelvic floor during pregnancy and childbirth affect all women, with implications and associated morbidities that can continue for the rest of their lives. Despite this, through my years of teaching midwives and students across the country, it has become apparent that there is a wide variation in education provision of detailed knowledge on pelvic floor anatomy and physiology, especially for longer-term consequences.

The RCM/RCOG OASI Care Bundle preliminary results show better outcomes in units where midwives understand the anatomy and physiology of the pelvic floor. With known changes to the midwifery workforce due to older, experienced midwives retiring and NQMs replacing them with a more demanding clinical role, it is imperative that this fundamental area of knowledge is provided as a core education programme.  

National survey

With the NMC review of the standards for pre-registration midwifery education currently underway, this is a perfect opportunity to find out what pelvic floor education midwives have been given and their invaluable opinion of how this can be improved. A multidisciplinary group consisting of midwives, obstetricians and urogynaecologists, representing the RCM, University of Birmingham, University of Leicester and the International Urogynecological Association, have joined forces to lead a national survey into pelvic floor education.

The objectives of the survey are to better understand how pelvic floor training/teaching is given, and to find out how midwives feel this education could be improved in order to make NQMs better equipped to care for the pelvic floor consequences of childbirth. All findings will be given to the NMC for inclusion in their standards for pre-registration midwifery education.

Your opinion matters! The survey only takes five minutes to complete and can be accessed via the QR code above or via the link at here

Your help and support in improving care by improving midwifery education is greatly appreciated. 

Sara Webb is a specialist midwife in perineal trauma and a research fellow at Birmingham Women’s Hospital/ University of Birmingham