Professor of Midwifery at UTS, Maralyn Foureur, is a leading midwifery and midwifery education researcher, with a special interest in keeping birth normal to improve outcomes for mothers and babies. She is interested in how the design of birth units and the objects within them affect the women and staff who use them. She is particularly interested in whether there is a link between the design of birth rooms and the increasing number of emergency surgical births.
Maralyn has also led research into the development and implementation of innovative models of midwifery care and the development of midwifery practice and education. She co-leads a consortium called Birth After Caesarean Interventions that is undertaking research to promote normal birth and increase the rate of vaginal birth after caesarean section.
She is involved in a number of projects in Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter Valley establishing and evaluating innovative models of care for obese pregnant women.
Maralyn is an adjunct professor of midwifery at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and at the University of Southern Denmark.
Fellow - Australian College of Midwives
Member - Australian College of Midwives NSW
Member - New Zealand College of Midwives
Member Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand
Member Editorial Board: Women & Birth
Member Editorial Board: Journal of the New Zealand College of Midwives
Member editorial panel for MORE EBN, nursing +Best Evidence for Nursing Care, and Evidence-Based Nursing
Can supervise: YES
- Midwifery education
- Birth unit design
- Models of midwifery care
- Caesarean interventions, vaginal birth after caesarean section
Additional research interests
Impact of internal and external birth environment on woman and infant health
Prenatal and perinatal influences on child and adult health
Transdisciplinary models of education, research and clinical practice
- Mixed Methods Research
- Qualitative, interpretive designs
Midwifery - undergraduate and postgraduate
Research in midwifery, nursing and health services - postgraduate
Foureur, M, Fahy, K & Hastie, C 2008, Birth Territory and Midwifery Guardianship, 1, Butterworth Heinemann Elsevier, Edinburgh, UK.
Midwives and other healthcare providers are grappling with the issue of rising intervention rates in childbirth and trying to identify ways to reverse the trend. It is increasingly accepted that intervention in childbirth has long-term consequences for women and their children. Birth Territory provides practical, evidence-based ideas for restructuring the birth territory to facilitate normal birth.
Fisher, K, Foureur, M & Hawley, J 2004, Maternity Services and Gynaecology Report 2003, Capital and Coast DHB, Wellington, New Zealand.
Analysis of the maternity service and gynaecology service processes and outcomes of a large regional maternity and womens health service in wellington, New Zealand. Recommendations for policy and practice made. Co-authored with Keith Fisher and Jackie Hawley
Fisher, K, Foureur, M & Hawley, J 2003, Maternity Report 1997-2002, Capital and Coast DHB, Wellington, New Zealand.
Analysis of the maternity outcomes database of a large regional maternity hospital in New Zealand with recommendations for practice change and new policy directions. Co-authored with Keith Fisher and Jackie Hawley
Blix, E, Maude, R, Hals, E, Kisa, S, Karlsen, E, Nohr, EA, de Jonge, A, Lindgren, H, Downe, S, Reinar, LM, Foureur, M, Pay, ASD & Kaasen, A 2019, 'Intermittent auscultation fetal monitoring during labour: A systematic scoping review to identify methods, effects, and accuracy.', PloS one, vol. 14, no. 7.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
BACKGROUND:Intermittent auscultation (IA) is the technique of listening to and counting the fetal heart rate (FHR) for short periods during active labour and continuous cardiotocography (CTC) implies FHR monitoring for longer periods. Although the evidence suggests that IA is the best way to monitor healthy women at low risk of complications, there is no scientific evidence for the ideal device, timing, frequency and duration for IA. We aimed to give an overview of the field, identify and describe methods and practices for performing IA, map the evidence and accuracy for different methods of IA, and identify research gaps. METHODS:We conducted a systematic scoping review following the Joanna Briggs methodology. Medline, EMBASE, Cinahl, Maternity & Infant Care, Cochrane Library, SveMed+, Web of Science, Scopus, Lilacs and African Journals Online were searched for publications up to January 2019. We did hand searches in relevant articles and databases. Studies from all countries, international guidelines and national guidelines from Denmark, United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand, Australia, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway were included. We did quality assessment of the guidelines according to the AGREEMENT tool. We performed a meta-analysis assessing the effects of IA with a Doppler device vs. Pinard device using methods described in The Cochrane Handbook, and we performed an overall assessment of the summary of evidence using the GRADE approach. RESULTS:The searches generated 6408 hits of which 26 studies and 11 guidelines were included in the review. The studies described slightly different techniques for performing IA, and some did not provide detailed descriptions. Few of the studies provided details of normal and abnormal IA findings. All 11 guidelines recommended IA for low risk women, although they had slightly different recommendations on the frequency, timing, and duration for IA, and the FHR characteristics that should be observed. Four ...
Braye, K, Foureur, M, de Waal, K, Jones, M, Putt, E & Ferguson, J 2019, 'Epidemiology of neonatal early-onset sepsis in a geographically diverse Australian health district 2006-2016.', PloS one, vol. 14, no. 4.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
AIM:To describe the epidemiology of EOS including blood culture utilisation, across a large and geographically diverse Australian health district. BACKGROUND:Sepsis in the first three days of life remains a leading cause of death and morbidity. In high-income countries, group B Streptococcus (GBS) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) have dominated as causes of EOS for five decades. METHOD:An 11-year retrospective cohort study to determine the epidemiology of EOS. Incidence rates were calculated per 1000 live births. Logistic regression with linear temporal trend and covariates for potential effect modifiers were employed. Blood culture utilisation was determined by examining the rate of babies undergoing blood culture within 72 hours of birth. RESULTS:Among 93,584 live born babies, 65 had confirmed EOS (0.69/1000 live births); 22 term, 43 preterm. Across the 4 largest birth units, the proportion of babies having blood culture within 72 hours of birth varied from 1.9-5.1% for term and 21-35% for preterm babies. The annual change in the EOS rate was significant, OR 0.91 (95% CI, 0.84 to 0.99, p = 0.03). Group B Streptococcus was the most common cause of EOS in term neonates at 0.35/1000 live births (95% CI, 0.07-0.63) in 2006 and 0.1/1000 live births (95% CI, 0-0.2) in 2016. Escherichia coli was the most common cause in preterm babies at 3.4/1000 (95% CI, 0.11-6.76) in 2006 reducing significantly to 1.35/1000 live births (95% CI, -0.07-2.78) by 2016. CONCLUSIONS:Escherichia coli and GBS were the most common causes of EOS in preterm and term babies respectively. Rates of all cause term and preterm EOS declined significantly as did preterm sepsis due to E. coli. While rate of sepsis due to early-onset GBS declined, this did not reach significance. Given the high proportion of preterm babies undergoing blood culture, it is unlikely that any EOS events were missed.
Braye, K, Foureur, M, de Waal, K, Jones, M, Putt, E & Ferguson, J 2019, 'Group B streptococcal screening, intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis, and neonatal early-onset infection rates in an Australian local health district: 2006-2016.', PloS one, vol. 14, no. 4.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
BACKGROUND:Intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP) to reduce the likelihood of neonatal early-onset group B streptococcal infection (EOGBS) has coincided with major reductions in incidence. While the decline has been largely ascribed to IAP following either universal screening or a risk-based approach to identify mothers whose babies may most benefit from IAP, there is lack of high quality evidence to support this view. AIMS:To describe management of maternal GBS colonisation in one local health district using universal screening and assess rates of EOGBS over time. METHODS:A retrospective cohort study was undertaken to describe compliance with GBS management, to determine the incidence of EOGBS and association between rates and maternal screening. Linking routinely collected maternity and pathology data, we explored temporal trends using logistic regression and covariates for potential effect modifiers. RESULTS:Our cohort included 62,281 women who had 92,055 pregnancies resulting in 93,584 live born babies. Screening occurred in 76% of pregnancies; 69% had a result recorded, 21.5% of those were positive for GBS. Prophylaxis was used by 79% of this group. Eighteen babies developed EOGBS, estimated incidence/1000 live births in 2006 and 2016 was 0.35 (95% CI, 0.07 to 0.63) and 0.1 (95% CI, 0 to 0.2) respectively. Seven of 10 term babies with EOGBS were born to mothers who screened negative. Data were unable to provide evidence of difference in rates of EOGBS between screened and unscreened pregnancies. We estimated the difference in EOGBS incidence from crude and weighted models to be 0 (95% CI, -0. 2 to 0.17) and -0.01 (95% CI, -0.13 to 0.10) /1000 live births respectively. CONCLUSION:No change was detected in rates of EOGBS over time and no difference in EOGBS in babies of screened and unscreened populations. Screening and prophylaxis rates were modest. Limitations of universal screening suggest alternatives be considered.
Coates, D & Foureur, M 2019, 'The role and competence of midwives in supporting women with mental health concerns during the perinatal period: A scoping review.', Health & social care in the community, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. e389-e405.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Perinatal mental health problems are linked to poor outcomes for mothers, babies and families. Despite a recognition of the significance of this issue, women often do not receive the care they need and fall between the gap of maternity and mental health services. To address this, there is a call for reform in the way in which perinatal mental healthcare is delivered. This paper responds to this by exploring the role and competence of midwives in delivering mental healthcare. Using a scoping review methodology, quantitative and qualitative evidence were considered to answer the research question 'what is the nature of the evidence relevant to the provision of mental health interventions by midwives?' To identify studies, the databases PubMed, Maternity and Infant Care, Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, Medline, Science Direct and CINAHL were searched from 2011 to 2018, and reference lists of included studies were examined. Studies relevant to the role of midwives in the management and treatment of perinatal mental health issues were included; studies focussed on screening and referral were excluded. Thirty papers met inclusion criteria, including studies about the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of midwives and student midwives; the effectiveness of educational interventions in improving knowledge and skills; the delivery of counselling or psychosocial interventions by midwives; and barriers and enablers to embedding midwife-led mental healthcare in practice. Synthesis of the included studies indicates that midwives are interested in providing mental health support, but lack the confidence, knowledge and training to do so. This deficit can be addressed with appropriate training and organisational support, and there is some evidence that midwife-led counselling interventions are effective. Further research is needed to test midwife-led interventions for women with perinatal mental health problems , and to develop and evaluate models of integr...
Coates, D, Homer, C, Wilson, A, Deady, L, Mason, E, Foureur, M & Henry, A 2019, 'Indications for, and timing of, planned caesarean section: A systematic analysis of clinical guidelines', Women and Birth.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 Australian College of Midwives Background: There has been a worldwide rise in planned caesarean sections over recent decades, with significant variations in practice between hospitals and countries. Guidelines are known to influence clinical decision-making and, potentially, unwarranted clinical variation. The aim of this study was to review guidelines for recommendations in relation to the timing and indications for planned caesarean section as well as recommendations around the process of decision-making. Method: A systematic search of national and international English-language guidelines published between 2008 and 2018 was undertaken. Guidelines were reviewed, assessed in terms of quality and extracted independently by two reviewers. Findings: In total, 49 guidelines of varying quality were included. There was consistency between the guidelines in potential indications for caesarean section, although guidelines vary in terms of the level of detail. There was substantial variation in timing of birth, for example recommended timing of caesarean section for women with uncomplicated placenta praevia is between 36 and 39 weeks depending on the guideline. Only 11 guidelines provided detailed guidance on shared decision-making. In general, national-level guidelines from Australia, and overseas, received higher quality ratings than regional guidelines. Conclusion: The majority of guidelines, regardless of their quality, provide very limited information to guide shared decision-making or the timing of planned caesarean section, two of the most vital aspects of guidance. National guidelines were generally of better quality than regional ones, suggesting these should be used as a template where possible and emphasis placed on improving national guidelines and minimising intra-country, regional, variability of guidelines.
Lorentzen, I, Andersen, CS, Jensen, HS, Fogsgaard, A, Foureur, M, Lauszus, FF & Nohr, EA 2019, 'Study protocol for a randomised trial evaluating the effect of a "birth environment room" versus a standard labour room on birth outcomes and the birth experience.', Contemporary clinical trials communications, vol. 14.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Introduction:In the last decade, there has been an increased interest in exploring the impact of the physical birth environment on birth outcomes. The birth environment might have an important role in facilitating the production of the hormone oxytocin that causes contractions during labour. Oxytocin is released in a safe, secure and confidence-inducing environment, and environments focused on technology and medical interventions to achieve birth may disrupt the production of oxytocin and slow down the progress of labour. An experimental "birth environment room" was designed, inspired by knowledge from evidence-based healthcare design, which advocates bringing nature into the room to reduce stress. The purpose is to examine whether the 'birth environment room', with its design and decor to minimise stress, has an impact on birth outcomes and the birth experience of the woman and her partner. Materials and methods:A randomised controlled trial will recruit 680 nulliparous women at term who will be randomly allocated to either the "birth environment room" or a standard room. The study will take place at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Herning Hospital, with recruitment from May 2015. Randomisation to either the "birth environment room" or standard room takes place just before admission to a birth room during labour. The primary outcome is augmentation of labour, and the study has 80% power to detect a 10% difference between the two groups (two-sided α = 0.05). Secondary outcomes are duration of labour, use of pharmacological pain relief, mode of birth, and rating of the birth experience by women and their partners. Trial registration:NCT02478385(10/08/2016).
McLaughlin, K, Jensen, M, Foureur, M & Murphy, VE 2019, 'Antenatal asthma management by midwives in Australia — Self-reported knowledge, confidence and guideline use', Women and Birth.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 Australian College of Midwives Background: Asthma affects approximately 12.7% of pregnant women in Australia. Increased maternal and infant morbidity is closely associated with poorly controlled asthma during pregnancy. Midwives are well placed to provide antenatal asthma management but data on current asthma management during pregnancy is not available, nor is the use of guidelines for clinical practice by this health professional group. Aim: To explore self-reported antenatal asthma management provided by midwives across Australia and how this reflects guideline recommendations. Method: An online survey was developed and distributed throughout Australia via the Australian College of Midwives, social media and healthcare facilities. Results: Responses from 371 midwives were obtained. Ten percent of midwives rated their knowledge as 'good' and 1% as 'very good', with 39% 'poor' or 'very poor'. Being 'somewhat' or 'not at all' confident to provide antenatal asthma management was noted by 87% of midwives. Clinical guidelines were referred to by 50% of midwives and 40% stated that their main role was to refer women to other healthcare professionals. Only 54% reported that a clear referral pathway existed. Most respondents (>90%) recognised key recommendations for asthma management such as smoking cessation, appropriate vaccinations, and the continuation of prescribed asthma medications. Conclusion: Although midwives appear aware of key clinical recommendations for optimal antenatal asthma management, low referral to clinical practice guidelines and lack of knowledge and confidence was evident. Further research is required to determine what care pregnant women with asthma are actually receiving and identify strategies to improve antenatal asthma management by midwives.
Menke, S, Jenkinson, B, Foureur, M & Kildea, S 2019, 'Is the Birthing Unit Design Spatial Evaluation Tool valid for diverse groups?', Women and Birth, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 372-379.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
BACKGROUND:Awareness of the impact of the built environment on health care outcomes and experiences has led to efforts to redesign birthing environments. The Birth Unit Design Spatial Evaluation Tool was developed to inform such improvements, but it has only been validated with caseload midwives and women birthing in caseload models of care. AIM:To assess the content validity of the tool with four new participant groups: Birth unit midwives, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander women; women who had anticipated a vaginal birth after a caesarean; and women from refugee or culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. METHODS:Participants completed a Likert-scale survey to rate the relevance of The Birth Unit Design Spatial Evaluation Tool's 69 items. Item-level content validity and Survey-level validity indices were calculated, with the achievement of validity set at >0.78 and >0.9 respectively. RESULTS:Item-level content validity was achieved on 37 items for birth unit midwives (n=10); 35 items for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander women (n=6); 33 items for women who had anticipated a vaginal birth after a caesarean (n=6); and 28 items for women from refugee or culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (n=20). Survey-level content validity was not demonstrated in any group. CONCLUSION:Birth environment design remains significant to women and midwives, but the Birth Unit Design Spatial Evaluation Tool was not validated for these participant groups. Further research is needed, using innovative methodologies to address the subconscious level on which environment may influence experience and to disentangle the influence of confounding factors.
Mollart, L, Stulz, V & Foureur, M 2019, 'Midwives' personal views and beliefs about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM): A national survey.', Complementary therapies in clinical practice, vol. 34, pp. 235-239.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Complementary and Alternative Medicine/Therapies (CAM) options have increasingly been used by pregnant women, however literature describing midwives' views and beliefs towards CAM is sparse. This study aimed to investigate Australian midwives' views and beliefs about CAM. METHODS:A national survey of Australian College of Midwives midwife members (n = 3552) (UTSHREC 2015000614) included questions on midwives' views and support of CAM, and beliefs using a validated CAM Health Belief Questionnaire (CHBQ). RESULTS:The response rate was 16%. Most respondents believed women should have the right to choose CAM (93.3%); and didn't view CAM a threat to public health (91.7%). Nearly half (49.5%) believed that their hospital/service did not have guidelines/procedures on CAM. The CHBQ mean score was 45.43 (SD9.98). CONCLUSION:Most respondents agreed with the fundamental beliefs of CAM. This study confirms the need for a national CAM policy for midwives; and research on midwives' CAM training.
Fealy, S, Davis, D, Foureur, M, Attia, J, Hazelton, M & Hure, A 2019, 'The return of weighing in pregnancy: A discussion of evidence and practice', Women and Birth.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 Australian College of Midwives Background: Inadequate or excessive gestational weight gain is associated with both short and long-term adverse maternal and infant health outcomes. The practice of routine maternal weight monitoring has been suggested as an effective health promotion intervention, both as a screening tool for adverse maternal and infant outcomes and as a weight management strategy for addressing gestational weight gain. Discussion: The effectiveness of routine maternal weighing as part of maternity care has been debated for more than 30 years. The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia have recently revised their pregnancy care clinical practice guidelines recommending maternal weight monitoring (clinician and/or self-weighing) be reintroduced into clinical practice. This paper presents a timely discussion of the topic that will contribute new insights to the debate. Conclusion: Weight gain in pregnancy is complex. Evaluation of the translation, implementation, acceptability and uptake of the newly revised guidelines is warranted, given that evidence on the practice remains inconclusive. Future research exploring social ecological interventions to assist pregnant women achieve optimal gestational weight gains are suggested to expand the evidence base.
Scarf, V, Yu, S, Foureur, M, Viney, R, Dahlen, H, Lavis, L & Homer, C 2019, 'The cost of vaginal birth at home, in a birth centre or in a hospital setting in New South Wales: A micro-costing study', Women and Birth.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Homer, CSE, Cheah, SL, Rossiter, C, Dahlen, HG, Ellwood, D, Foureur, MJ, Forster, DA, McLachlan, HL, Oats, JJN, Sibbritt, D, Thornton, C & Scarf, VL 2019, 'Maternal and perinatal outcomes by planned place of birth in Australia 2000 - 2012: a linked population data study.', BMJ open, vol. 9, no. 10.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
OBJECTIVE:To compare perinatal and maternal outcomes for Australian women with uncomplicated pregnancies according to planned place of birth, that is, in hospital labour wards, birth centres or at home. DESIGN:A population-based retrospective design, linking and analysing routinely collected electronic data. Analysis comprised χ2 tests and binary logistic regression for categorical data, yielding adjusted ORs. Continuous data were analysed using analysis of variance. SETTING:All eight Australian states and territories. PARTICIPANTS:Women with uncomplicated pregnancies who gave birth between 2000 and 2012 to a singleton baby in cephalic presentation at between 37 and 41 completed weeks' gestation. Of the 1 251 420 births, 1 171 703 (93.6%) were planned in hospital labour wards, 71 505 (5.7%) in birth centres and 8212 (0.7%) at home. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Mode of birth, normal labour and birth, interventions and procedures during labour and birth, maternal complications, admission to special care/high dependency or intensive care units (mother or infant) and perinatal mortality (intrapartum stillbirth and neonatal death). RESULTS:Compared with planned hospital births, the odds of normal labour and birth were over twice as high in planned birth centre births (adjusted OR (AOR) 2.72; 99% CI 2.63 to 2.81) and nearly six times as high in planned home births (AOR 5.91; 99% CI 5.15 to 6.78). There were no statistically significant differences in the proportion of intrapartum stillbirths, early or late neonatal deaths between the three planned places of birth. CONCLUSIONS:This is the first Australia-wide study to examine outcomes by planned place of birth. For healthy women in Australia having an uncomplicated pregnancy, planned births in birth centres or at home are associated with positive maternal outcomes although the number of homebirths was small overall. There were no significant differences in the perinatal mortality rate, although the absolute numbers of deaths w...
Kennedy, HP, Cheyney, M, Dahlen, HG, Downe, S, Foureur, MJ, Homer, CSE, Jefford, E, McFadden, A, Michel-Schuldt, M, Sandall, J, Soltani, H, Speciale, AM, Sevens, J, Vedam, S & Renfrew, MJ 2018, 'Asking different questions: A call to action for research to improve the quality of care for every woman, every child', WOMEN AND BIRTH, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 242-243.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Kennedy, HP, Cheyney, M, Dahlen, HG, Downe, S, Foureur, MJ, Homer, CSE, Jefford, E, McFadden, A, Michel-Schuldt, M, Sandall, J, Soltani, H, Speciale, AM, Stevens, J, Vedam, S & Renfrew, MJ 2018, 'Asking different questions: A call to action for research to improve the quality of care for every woman, every child', MIDWIFERY, vol. 65, pp. 16-+.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Kennedy, HP, Cheyney, M, Dahlen, HG, Downe, S, Foureur, MJ, Homer, CSE, Jefford, E, McFadden, A, Michel-Schuldt, M, Sandall, J, Soltani, H, Speciale, AM, Stevens, J, Vedam, S & Renfrew, MJ 2018, 'Asking Different Questions: A Call to Action for Research to Improve the Quality of Care for Every Woman, Every Child.', Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health, vol. 63, no. 5, pp. 516-517.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Kennedy, HP, Cheyney, M, Dahlen, HG, Downe, S, Foureur, MJ, Homer, CSE, Jefford, E, McFadden, A, Michel-Schuldt, M, Sandall, J, Soltani, H, Speciale, AM, Stevens, J, Vedam, S & Renfrew, MJ 2018, 'Asking different questions: A call to action for research to improve the quality of care for every woman, every child.', Birth (Berkeley, Calif.), vol. 45, no. 3, pp. 222-231.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Despite decades of considerable economic investment in improving the health of families and newborns world-wide, aspirations for maternal and newborn health have yet to be attained in many regions. The global turn toward recognizing the importance of positive experiences of pregnancy, intrapartum and postnatal care, and care in the first weeks of life, while continuing to work to minimize adverse outcomes, signals a critical change in the maternal and newborn health care conversation and research prioritization. This paper presents "different research questions" drawing on evidence presented in the 2014 Lancet Series on Midwifery and a research prioritization study conducted with the World Health Organization. The results indicated that future research investment in maternal and newborn health should be on "right care," which is quality care that is tailored to individuals, weighs benefits and harms, is person-centered, works across the whole continuum of care, advances equity, and is informed by evidence, including cost-effectiveness. Three inter-related research themes were identified: examination and implementation of models of care that enhance both well-being and safety; investigating and optimizing physiological, psychological, and social processes in pregnancy, childbirth, and the postnatal period; and development and validation of outcome measures that capture short and longer term well-being. New, transformative research approaches should account for the underlying social and political-economic mechanisms that enhance or constrain the well-being of women, newborns, families, and societies. Investment in research capacity and capability building across all settings is critical, but especially in those countries that bear the greatest burden of poor outcomes. We believe this call to action for investment in the three research priorities identified in this paper has the potential to achieve these benefits and to realize the ambitions of Sustainable Developm...
Jepsen, I, Juul, S, Foureur, MJ, Sorensen, EE & Nohr, EA 2018, 'Labour outcomes in caseload midwifery and standard care: a register-based cohort study', BMC PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH, vol. 18.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
McLaughlin, K, Foureur, M, Jensen, ME & Murphy, VE 2018, 'Review and appraisal of guidelines for the management of asthma during pregnancy', Women and Birth, vol. 31, no. 6, pp. e349-e357.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2018 Australian College of Midwives Background: Asthma affects 12.7% of pregnancies in Australia. Poorly controlled asthma is associated with increased maternal and infant morbidity and mortality. Optimal antenatal management of asthma during pregnancy has the potential to reduce complications relating to asthma. Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines help to translate health research findings into practice and when implemented can improve health outcomes. National and International guidelines currently provide recommendations for optimal asthma care in pregnancy. Aim: To appraise the existing asthma in pregnancy guidelines with respect to their evidence for recommendations, consistency of recommendations and appropriateness for clinical practice. Method: The Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE II) tool was used to appraise four English language asthma in pregnancy guidelines, published or updated between 2007 and 2016. The recommendations, range and level of evidence was analysed. Results: Two of the four guidelines scored highly in most domains of the appraisal. Many of the recommendations made in the appraised guidelines were consistent. Due to the lack of randomised controlled trials involving pregnant women with asthma, most recommendations were evidenced by consensus and expert opinion rather than high quality meta-analysis, systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials. Conclusion: The recommended antenatal asthma management was generally consistent among the guidelines but lacked clarity in some areas which then leave them open to interpretation. More randomised controlled trials involving pregnant women with asthma are required to fortify the recommendations made and asthma management guidelines should be included in Australian Antenatal Care Guidelines as they currently are not.
Atchan, M, Davis, D & Foureur, M 2018, 'An instrumental case study examining the introduction and dissemination of the Baby Friendly Health Initiative in Australia: key informants' perspectives', Women and Birth, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 210-219.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Australia experiences high breastfeeding initiation but low duration rates. UNICEF introduced the global breastfeeding strategy, the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, to Australia in 1992, transferring governance to the Australian College of Midwives (ACM) in 1995. In 2017 23% of facilities were registered as 'baby-friendly' accredited.
To examine the introduction and dissemination of the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative into the Australian national setting.
An instrumental case study was conducted containing two components: analysis of historical documents pertaining to the Initiative and participant's interviews, reported here. A purposive sampling strategy identified 14 participants from UNICEF, ACM, maternity and community health services, the Australian government and volunteer organisations who took part in in-depth interviews. Thematic analysis explored participants' perceptions of factors influencing the uptake and future of the since renamed Baby Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI) and accreditation programme, BFHI Australia. Two broad categories, enablers and barriers, guided the interviews and analysis.
Participants revealed a positive perception of the BFHI whilst identifying that its interpretation and expansion in Australia had been negatively influenced by intangible government support and suboptimal capacity building. BFHI's advocacy agenda competed with BFHI Australia's need for financial viability. Widespread stakeholder collaboration and tangible political endorsement was seen as a way to move the strategy forward.
Dissemination of BFHI Australia is hampered by multi-level systems issues. Prioritisation, stakeholder collaboration and adequate resourcing of the BFHI is required to create a supportive and enabling environment for Australian women to determine and practice their preferred infant feeding method.
Braye, K, Ferguson, J, Davis, D, Catling, C, Monk, A & Foureur, M 2018, 'Effectiveness of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis for early-onset group B Streptococcal infection: An integrative review.', Women and Birth, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 244-253.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
In some countries, up to 30% of women are exposed to intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis for prevention of early-onset group B Streptococcal infection. Intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis aims to reduce the risk of neonatal morbidity and mortality from this infection. The intervention may adversely affect non-pathogenic bacteria which are passed to the newborn during birth and are considered important in optimising health. Since many women are offered intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis, effectiveness and implications of this intervention need to be established. This review considers clinical trials and observational studies analysing the effectiveness of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis.An integrative literature review was conducted. One systematic review, three clinical trials and five observational studies were identified for appraisal.Randomised controlled trials found intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis effective but all retrieved randomised clinical trials had significant methodological flaws. High quality observational studies reported high rates of effectiveness but revealed less than optimal adherence to screening and administration of the prophylaxis. Scant consideration was given to short term risks, and long-term consequences were not addressed.Studies found intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis to be effective. However, evidence was not robust and screening and prophylaxis have limitations. Emerging evidence links intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis to adverse short and longer-term neonatal outcomes.Our review found high quality evidence of the effectiveness of intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis was limited. Lack of consideration of potential risks of the intervention was evident. Women should be enabled to make informed decisions about GBS management. More research needs to be done in this area.
Davis, D, Brown, WJ, Foureur, M, Nohr, EA & Xu, F 2018, 'Long-Term Weight Gain and Risk of Overweight in Parous and Nulliparous Women', OBESITY, vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 1072-1077.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Davis, D, Davey, R, Williams, LT, Foureur, M, Nohr, E, Knight-Agarwal, C, Lawlis, T, Oats, J, Skouteris, H & Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, M 2018, 'Optimizing Gestational Weight Gain With the Eating4Two Smartphone App: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial.', JMIR research protocols, vol. 7, no. 5, p. e146.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Approximately 50% of women gain excessive weight in pregnancy. Optimizing gestational weight gain is important for the short- and long-term health of the childbearing woman and her baby. Despite this, there is no recommendation for routine weighing in pregnancy, and weight is a topic that many maternity care providers avoid. Resource-intensive interventions have mainly targeted overweight and obese women with variable results. Few studies have examined the way that socioeconomic status might influence the effectiveness or acceptability of an intervention to participants. Given the scale of the problem of maternal weight gain, maternity services will be unlikely to sustain resource intensive interventions; therefore, innovative strategies are required to assist women to manage weight gain in pregnancy.The primary aim of the trial was to examine the effectiveness of the Eating4Two smartphone app in assisting women of all body mass index categories to optimize gestational weight gain. Secondary aims include comparing childbirth outcomes and satisfaction with antenatal care and examining the way that relative advantage and disadvantage might influence engagement with and acceptability of the intervention.This randomized controlled trial will randomize 1330 women to control or intervention groups in 3 regions of different socioeconomic status. Women will be recruited from clinical and social media sites. The intervention group will be provided with access to the Eating4Two mobile phone app which provides nutrition and dietary information specifically tailored for pregnancy, advice on food serving sizes, and a graph that illustrates women's weight change in relation to the range recommended by the Institute of Medicine. Women will be encouraged to use the app to prompt conversations with their maternity care providers about weight gain in pregnancy. The control group will receive routine antenatal care.Recruitment has commenced though the recruitment rate is slower tha...
Minooee, S, Cummins, A & Foureur, M 2018, 'Shoulder dystocia and range of head-body delivery interval (HBDI): The association between prolonged HBDI and neonatal outcomes: Protocol for a systematic review.', European journal of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology, vol. 229, pp. 82-87.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
OBJECTIVE:Shoulder dystocia (SD) is an obstetric emergency which if not carefully diagnosed and managed, can contribute to lifelong neonatal morbidities. Despite current guidelines on the definition of SD (impaction of the fetal shoulder behind the maternal symphysis pubis and need for ancillary manoeuvres or head-body delivery interval (HBDI) >60 s) its accurate diagnosis requires clinical expertise as well as overall consideration of feto-maternal condition. Based on the literature available, our study aims to determine (1) the range of HBDI as an indicator of SD and (2) the neonatal complications occurring following prolonged HBDI in normal or SD-complicated births. STUDY DESIGN:A comprehensive literature search will be conducted in the following databases MEDLINE, CINAHL and Scopus (Elsevier) as well as international obstetric guidelines to find English language published data since 1970 that evaluate HBDI, prolonged HBDI and associated neonatal outcomes. Retrospective/prospective observational studies and randomized controlled trials will be recruited. As heterogeneity in definitions of SD among studies is expected, we will categorize our results according to the following two definitions: 1-Bony obstruction of fetal shoulder behind the maternal symphysis pubis or less commonly, posterior shoulder on sacral promontory and need for ancillary manoeuvres or 2- Head-body delivery interval (HBDI)> 60 s). Two reviewers will independently identify eligible studies, assess risk of bias and extract data based on predefined checklists. Outcomes of interest will be the HBDI in normal and SD-complicated births and associated neonatal consequences. DISCUSSION:Findings of this systematic review will provide reliable information regarding (1) the interval between birth of the head and birth of the shoulders and (2) neonatal outcomes attributed to either true SD or prolonged HBDI. Our findings will add to the knowledge of whether prolonged HBDI is an appropriate definition ...
Mollart, L, Skinner, V, Adams, J & Foureur, M 2018, 'Midwives' personal use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) influences their recommendations to women experiencing a post-date pregnancy.', Women and Birth, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 44-51.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) have increasingly been used by pregnant women with a steady rise in interest by midwives. Literature describing CAM and self-help options midwives recommend to women experiencing a post-date pregnancy is sparse. This study aimed to investigate if Australian midwives' personal CAM use impacts on discussions and recommendations of CAM/Self-help strategies.A survey of a national midwifery association midwifery members (n=3,552) was undertaken at a midwifery conference (October 2015) and via e-bulletins (November 2015-March 2016). The self-administered survey included questions on what self-help and CAM strategies midwives discuss and recommend to women with a post-date pregnancy, midwives' confidence levels on discussing or recommending CAM, midwives' own personal use of CAM.A total of 571 registered midwives completed the survey (16%). Demographics (age, years as a midwife, state of residence) reflected Australian midwives and the midwifery association membership. Most respondents discuss (91.2%) and recommend (88.6%) self-help/CAM strategies to women with a post-date pregnancy. The top five CAM recommended were Acupuncture (65.7%), Acupressure (58.1%), Raspberry Leaf (52.5%), Massage (38.9%) and Hypnosis/Calmbirthing/Hypnobirthing (35.7%). Midwives were more likely to discuss strategies if they personally used CAM (p<.001), were younger (p<.001) or had worked less years as midwives (p=.004). Midwives were more likely to recommend strategies if they used CAM in their own pregnancies (p=.001).Midwives' personal use of CAM influenced their discussions and recommendations of CAM/self-help strategies to women experiencing a post-date pregnancy. This study has implications for inclusion of CAM in midwifery education curricula.
Scarf, VL, Rossiter, C, Vedam, S, Dahlen, HG, Ellwood, D, Forster, D, Foureur, MJ, McLachlan, H, Oats, J, Sibbritt, D, Thornton, C & Homer, CSE 2018, 'Maternal and perinatal outcomes by planned place of birth among women with low-risk pregnancies in high-income countries: A systematic review and meta-analysis.', Midwifery, vol. 62, pp. 240-255.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
BACKGROUND:The comparative safety of different birth settings is widely debated. Comparing research across high-income countries is complex, given differences in maternity service provision, data discrepancies, and varying research techniques and quality. Studies of births planned at home or in birth centres have reported both better and poorer outcomes than planned hospital births. Previous systematic reviews have focused on outcomes from either birth centres or home births, with inconsistent attention to quality appraisal. Few have attempted to synthesise findings. OBJECTIVE:To compare maternal and perinatal outcomes from different places of birth via a systematic review of high-quality research, and meta-analysis of appropriate data (Prospero registration CRD42016042291). DESIGN:Reviewers searched CINAHL, Embase, Maternity and Infant Care, Medline and PsycINFO databases to identify studies comparing selected outcomes by place of birth among women with low-risk pregnancies in high-income countries. They critically appraised identified studies using an instrument specific to birth place research and then combined outcome data via meta-analysis, using RevMan software. FINDINGS:Twenty-eight articles met inclusion criteria, yielding comparative data on perinatal mortality, mode of birth, maternal morbidity and/or NICU admissions. Meta-analysis indicated that women planning hospital births had statistically significantly lower odds of normal vaginal birth than in other planned settings. Women experienced severe perineal trauma or haemorrhage at a lower rate in planned home births than in obstetric units. There were no statistically significant differences in infant mortality by planned place of birth, although most studies had limited statistical power to detect differences for rare outcomes. Differences in location, context, quality and design of identified studies render results subject to variation. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:High-quality evidence ...
Hogan, R, Orr, F, Fox, D, Cummins, A & Foureur, M 2018, 'Developing nursing and midwifery students' capacity for coping with bullying and aggression in clinical settings: Students' evaluation of a learning resource.', Nurse education in practice, vol. 29, pp. 89-94.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
An innovative blended learning resource for undergraduate nursing and midwifery students was developed in a large urban Australian university, following a number of concerning reports by students on their experiences of bullying and aggression in clinical settings. The blended learning resource included interactive online learning modules, comprising film clips of realistic clinical scenarios, related readings, and reflective questions, followed by in-class role-play practice of effective responses to bullying and aggression. On completion of the blended learning resource 210 participants completed an anonymous survey (65.2% response rate). Qualitative data was collected and a thematic analysis of the participants' responses revealed the following themes: 'Engaging with the blended learning resource'; 'Responding to bullying' and 'Responding to aggression'. We assert that developing nursing and midwifery students' capacity to effectively respond to aggression and bullying, using a self-paced blended learning resource, provides a solution to managing some of the demands of the clinical setting. The blended learning resource, whereby nursing and midwifery students were introduced to realistic portrayals of bullying and aggression in clinical settings, developed their repertoire of effective responding and coping skills for use in their professional practice.
Adams, C, Dawson, A & Foureur, M 2017, 'Competing Values Framework: A useful tool to define the predominant culture in a maternity setting in Australia.', Women and Birth, vol. 30, pp. 107-113.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
To identify the predominant culture of an organisation which could then assess readiness for change.An exploratory design using the Competing Values Framework (CVF) as a self-administered survey tool.The Maternity Unit in one Australian metropolitan tertiary referral hospital.All 120 clinicians (100 midwives and 20 obstetricians) employed in the maternity service were invited to participate; 26% responded.The identification of the predominant culture of an organisation to assess readiness for change prior to the implementation of a new policy.The predominant culture of this maternity unit, as described by those who responded to the survey, was one of hierarchy with a focus on rules and regulations and less focus on innovation, flexibility and teamwork. These results suggest that this unit did not have readiness to change.There is value in undertaking preparatory work to gain a better understanding of the characteristics of an organisation prior to designing and implementing change. This understanding can influence additional preliminary work that may be required to increase the readiness for change and therefore increase the opportunity for successful change. The CVF is a useful tool to identify the predominant culture and characteristics of an organisation that could influence the success of change.
Fealy, SM, Taylor, RM, Foureur, M, Attia, J, Ebert, L, Bisquera, A & Hure, AJ 2017, 'Weighing as a stand-alone intervention does not reduce excessive gestational weight gain compared to routine antenatal care: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.', BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 1-11.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Excessive gestational weight gain is associated with short and long-term adverse maternal and infant health outcomes, independent of pre-pregnancy body mass index. Weighing pregnant women as a stand-alone intervention during antenatal visits is suggested to reduce pregnancy weight gain. In the absence of effective interventions to reduce excessive gestational gain within the real world setting, this study aims to test if routine weighing as a stand-alone intervention can reduce total pregnancy weight gain and, in particular, excessive gestational weight gain.A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) was conducted between November 2014 and January 2016, and reported using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Seven databases were searched. A priori eligibility criteria were applied to published literature by at least two independent reviewers. Studies considered methodologically rigorous, as per the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Quality Criteria Checklist for Primary Research, were included. Meta-analysis was conducted using fixed-effects models.A total of 5223 (non-duplicated) records were screened, resulting in two RCTs that were pooled for meta-analysis (n = 1068 randomised participants; n = 538 intervention, n = 534 control). No difference in total weight gain per week was observed between intervention and control groups (weighted mean difference (WMD) -0.00 kg/week, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.03 to 0.02). There was also no reduction in excessive gestational weight gain between intervention and control, according to pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI). However, total weight gain was lower in underweight women (n = 23, BMI <18.5 kg/m2) in the intervention compared to control group (-0.12 kg/week, 95% CI -0.23 to -0.01). No significant differences were observed for other pregnancy, birth and infant outcomes.Weighing as a stand-alone intervention is not worse nor better at reducing exc...
Fletcher, R, May, C, Lambkin, FK, Gemmill, AW, Cann, W, Nicholson, JM, Rawlinson, C, Milgrom, J, Highet, N, Foureur, M, Bennett, E & Skinner, G 2017, 'Sms4dads: Providing information and support to new fathers through mobile phones - A pilot study', Advances in Mental Health, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 121-131.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Objective: The objective of this paper was to inform the development of a mobile phone-optimised, SMS-based, informative and interactive telephone-linked support system for new fathers. Methods: The SMS4dads intervention was designed to support fathers with helpful and encouraging text messages, links to relevant web resources, mood monitoring and connection to a crisis telephone support if needed. Forty-six participants were recruited through clinics and social media across Australia. Outcome measures evaluated uptake, user engagement and acceptability. Results: Forty men (87%) remained engaged with the SMS4dads intervention for the full six-week period. Users' feedback indicated that SMS4dads had good acceptability and that the content was helpful. An embedded tool to allow tracking of users' mood was utilised by slightly less than half of the study participants. Concerning levels of psychological distress may have been detected in several participants. Conclusion: The results provide tentative support for the use of mobile phone technology to deliver parenting and mental health information to men in the perinatal period. Participants' engagement and positive responses suggest that this technology could provide a welcome conduit for essential information and support for new fathers, and could potentially be further developed as a feasible medium for collecting information on fathers' levels of psychological distress.
Hammond, A, Homer, CSE & Foureur, M 2017, 'Friendliness, functionality and freedom: Design characteristics that support midwifery practice in the hospital setting.', Midwifery, vol. 50, pp. 133-138.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
OBJECTIVE: to identify and describe the design characteristics of hospital birth rooms that support midwives and their practice. DESIGN: this study used a qualitative exploratory descriptive methodology underpinned by the theoretical approach of critical realism. Data was collected through 21 in-depth, face-to-face photo-elicitation interviews and a thematic analysis guided by study objectives and the aims of exploratory research was undertaken. SETTING: the study was set at a recently renovated tertiary hospital in a large Australian city. PARTICIPANTS: participants were 16 registered midwives working in a tertiary hospital; seven in delivery suite and nine in birth centre settings. Experience as a midwife ranged from three to 39 years and the sample included midwives in diverse roles such as educator, student support and unit manager. FINDINGS: three design characteristics were identified that supported midwifery practice. They were friendliness, functionality and freedom. Friendly rooms reduced stress and increased midwives' feelings of safety. Functional rooms enabled choice and provided options to better meet the needs of labouring women. And freedom allowed for flexible, spontaneous and responsive midwifery practice. CONCLUSION: hospital birth rooms that possess the characteristics of friendliness, functionality and freedom offer enhanced support for midwives and may therefore increase effective care provision. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: new and existing birth rooms can be designed or adapted to better support the wellbeing and effectiveness of midwives and may thereby enhance the quality of midwifery care delivered in the hospital. Quality midwifery care is associated with positive outcomes and experiences for labouring women. Further research is required to investigate the benefit that may be transmitted to women by implementing design intended to support and enhance midwifery practice.
Harte, D, Homer, CS, Sheehan, A, Leap, N & Foureur, M 2017, 'Using video in childbirth research: ethical approval challenges', Nursing Ethics, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 177-189.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Jepsen, I, Juul, S, Foureur, M, Sørensen, EE & Nøhr, EA 2017, 'Is caseload midwifery a healthy work-form? - A survey of burnout among midwives in Denmark.', Sexual and Reproductive HealthCare, vol. 11, pp. 102-106.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
To investigate the level of burnout among midwives working in caseloading practices compared to other models of midwifery care.
Study design and setting
In this survey the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory was used to measure burnout among midwives working in a tertiary maternity unit Denmark.
Main outcome measures
Mean burnout scores and the proportion of midwives with high burnout scores (a score >= 50).
The response rate was 82.0% as 50 out of 61 midwives answered the questionnaire. In caseload midwifery the burnout scores in personal, work-related and client-related burnout were significantly lower when compared to 'other models of care'. Among caseloading midwives, none had high scores of burnout in any of the measured domains. The proportions of high burnout scores among all of the participating midwives were 22% (95% CI: 12%–36%) in personal burnout, 20% (95% CI: 11%–34%) had high scores in work-related burnout, and 10% (95% CI: 4%–22%) had high scores in clientrelated burnout.
Caseload midwifery was associated with lower burnout scores, which is in accordance with the results from other studies on burnout among caseloading midwives. The proportion of high score among all the midwives in this study were low compared to results from other countries. According to the high response rate the results are valid for this maternity unit but this study is too small to be generalised. This study should be repeated among all midwives in Denmark. In studies of burnout in caseload midwifery the midwives' self-selection into this workform needs consideration.
Jepsen, I, Mark, E, Foureur, M, Nøhr, EA & Sørensen, EE 2017, 'A qualitative study of how caseload midwifery is experienced by couples in Denmark.', Women and Birth, vol. 30, no. 2017, pp. e61-e69.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Caseload midwifery is expanding in Denmark. There is a need for elaborating in-depth, how caseload midwifery influences the partner and the woman during childbirth and how this model of care influences the early phases of labour.To follow, explore and elaborate women's and their partner's experiences of caseload midwifery.Phenomenology of practice was the analytical approach. The methodology was inspired by ethnography, and applied methods were field observations followed by interviews. Ten couples participated in the study. Most of the couples were observed from the onset of labour until childbirth. Afterwards, the couples were interviewed.The transition from home to hospital in early labour was experienced as positive. During birth, the partner felt involved and included by the midwife. The midwives remembered and recognized the couple's stories and wishes for childbirth and therefore they felt regarded as "more than numbers". Irrespective of different kinds of vulnerability or challenges among the participants, the relationship was named a professional friendship, characterised by equality and inclusiveness. One drawback of caseload midwifery was that the woman was at risk of being disappointed if her expectations of having a known midwife at birth were not fulfilled.From the perspective of women and their partners, attending caseload midwifery meant being recognised and cared for as an individual. The partner felt included and acknowledged and experienced working in a team with the midwife. Caseload midwifery was able to solve problems concerning labour onset or gaining access to the labour ward.
Patterson, J, Foureur, M & Skinner, J 2017, 'Remote rural women's choice of birthplace and transfer experiences in rural Otago and Southland New Zealand.', Midwifery, vol. 52, pp. 49-56.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Birth in primary midwife-led maternity units has been demonstrated to be a safe choice for well women anticipating a normal birth. The incidence of serious perinatal outcomes for these women is comparable to similarly low risk women, who choose to birth in hospital. New Zealand women have a choice of Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) and birthplace; home, primary birthing unit, or a base hospital, though not all women may have all these choices available locally. Women in rural and rural remote areas can also choose to birth in their rural primary maternity unit. A percentage of these women (approx. 15-17%) will require transfer during labour, an event which can cause distress and often loss of midwifery continuity of care.To explore retrospectively the choice of birth place decisions and the labour and birth experiences of a sample of women resident in remotely zoned, rural areas of the lower South Island of New Zealand.A purposive sample of women living in remote rural areas, recruited by advertising in local newspapers and flyers. Individual semi-structured interviews were digitally recorded using a pragmatic interpretive approach. The data (transcripts and field notes) were analysed using thematic and content analysis. Ethical approval was obtained from the Health and Disability Ethics Committee (HEDC) MEC/06/05/045.Thirteen women consented to participate. Each was resident in a remote rural area having given birth in the previous 18 months. The women had been well during their pregnancies and at the onset of labour had anticipated a spontaneous vaginal birth.Rural remote zoned areas in Otago and Southland in the South Island of New Zealand FINDINGS: Five women planned to birth in a regional hospital and eight chose their nearest rural primary maternity unit. All of the women were aware of the possibility of transfer and had made their decision about their birthplace based on their perception of their personal safety, and in consideration of their distance from spec...
Atchan, M, Davis, D & Foureur, M 2017, 'An historical document analysis of the introduction of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative into the Australian setting.', Women and Birth, vol. 30, pp. 51-62.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Breastfeeding has many known benefits yet its support across Australian health systems was suboptimal throughout the 20th Century. The World Health Organization launched a global health promotion strategy to help create a 'breastfeeding culture'. Research on the programme has revealed multiple barriers since implementation.To analyse the sociopolitical challenges associated with implementing a global programme into a national setting via an examination of the influences on the early period of implementation of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in Australia.A focused historical document analysis was attended as part of an instrumental case study. A purposeful sampling strategy obtained a comprehensive sample of public and private documents related to the introduction of the BFHI in Australia. Analysis was informed by a 'documents as commentary' approach to gain insight into individual and collective social practices not otherwise observable.Four major themes were identified: "a breastfeeding culture"; "resource implications"; "ambivalent support for breastfeeding and the BFHI" and "business versus advocacy". "A breastfeeding culture" included several subthemes. No tangible support for breastfeeding generally, or the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative specifically, was identified. Australian policy did not follow international recommendations. There were no financial or policy incentives for BFHI implementation.Key stakeholders' decisions negatively impacted on the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative at a crucial time in its implementation in Australia. The potential impact of the programme was not realised, representing a missed opportunity to establish and provide sustainable standardised breastfeeding support to Australian women and their families.
Foureur, M, Turkmani, S, Clack, DC, Davis, DL, Mollart, L, Leiser, B & Homer, CSE 2017, 'Caring for women wanting a vaginal birth after previous caesarean section: A qualitative study of the experiences of midwives and obstetricians.', Women and Birth, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 3-8.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
One of the greatest contributors to the overall caesarean section rate is elective repeat caesarean section.Decisions around mode of birth are often complex for women and influenced by the views of the doctors and midwives who care for and counsel women. Women may be more likely to choose a repeat elective caesarean section (CS) if their health care providers lack skills and confidence in supporting vaginal birth after caesarean section (VBAC).To explore the views and experiences of providers in caring for women considering VBAC, in particular the decision-making processes and the communication of risk and safety to women.A descriptive interpretive method was utilised. Four focus groups with doctors and midwives were conducted.The central themes were: 'developing trust', 'navigating the system' and 'optimising support'. The impact of past professional experiences; the critical importance of continuity of carer and positive relationships; the ability to weigh up risks versus benefits; and the language used were all important elements. The role of policy and guidelines on providing standardised care for women who had a previous CS was also highlighted.Midwives and doctors in this study were positively oriented towards assisting and supporting women to attempt a VBAC. Care providers considered that women who have experienced a prior CS need access to midwifery continuity of care with a focus on support, information-sharing and effective communication.
Monk, AR, Grigg, CP, Foureur, M, Tracy, M & Tracy, SK 2017, 'Freestanding midwifery units: Maternal and neonatal outcomes following transfer.', Midwifery, vol. 46, pp. 24-28.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
the viability of freestanding midwifery units in Australia is restricted, due to concerns over their safety, particularly for women and babies who, require transfer.to compare the maternal and neonatal birth outcomes of women who planned, to give birth at freestanding midwifery units and subsequently, transferred to a tertiary maternity unit to the maternal and neonatal, outcomes of a low-risk cohort of women who planned to give birth in, tertiary maternity unit.a descriptive study compared two groups of women with low-risk singleton, pregnancies who were less than 28 weeks pregnant at booking: women who, planned to give birth at a freestanding midwifery unit (n=494) who, transferred to a tertiary maternity unit during the antenatal, intrapartum or postnatal periods (n=260) and women who planned to give, birth at a tertiary maternity unit (n=3157). Primary outcomes were mode, of birth, Apgar score of less than 7 at 5minutes and admission to, special care nursery or neonatal intensive care.the proportion of women who experienced a caesarean section was lower, among the freestanding midwifery unit women who transferred during the, intrapartum/postnatal period compared to women in the tertiary maternity, unit group (16.1% versus 24.8% respectively). Other outcomes were, comparable between the cohorts. Rates of primary outcomes in relation to, stage of transfer varied when stratified by parity.these descriptive results support the provision of care in freestanding, midwifery units as an alternative to tertiary maternity units for women, with low risk pregnancies at the time of booking. A larger study, powered, to determine statistical significance of any differences in outcomes, is, required.
Dean, SJ, Foureur, M, Zaslawski, C, Newton-John, T, Yu, N & Pappas, E 2017, 'The effects of a structured mindfulness program on the development of empathy in healthcare students', NursingPlus Open, vol. 3, pp. 1-5.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Adams, C, Dawson, A & Foureur, M 2016, 'Exploring a Peer Nomination Process, Attributes, and Responses of Health Professionals Nominated to Facilitate Interprofessional Collaboration', International Journal of Childbirth, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 234-245.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
BACKGROUND: When significant changes are required across an organization, a collaborative approach with wide stakeholder engagement may be beneficial. One of the challenges of stakeholder engagement lies with identifying the most appropriate participants who can most effectively facilitate the process of change.
AIM: This article aims to provide insight into a process of identifying individuals, and their attributes, who staff perceive to be effective collaborators, and change agents to decrease intervention in childbirth in one maternity setting in New South Wales, Australia.
METHODS: Midwives and obstetricians were invited to nominate a peer from each discipline who they believed to be an effective collaborator and describe the associated personal attributes of these individuals. The 5 highest scoring midwives and obstetricians were then invited to participate in a collaborative project.
FINDINGS: The attributes that were most recognized in the collaborators were their effective communication and overall positive attitudes. Collaborator's skills and knowledge were described less frequently. The nominees chosen identified that they were not usually selected by management for projects with some respondents feeling visible for the first time among their peers.
CONCLUSION: This method of peer nomination to recruit participants to facilitate collaborative organizational change may offer an effective method of engaging the whole team in such processes.
Bowden, C, Sheehan, A & Foureur, M 2016, 'Birth room images: What they tell us about childbirth. A discourse analysis of the birth environment in developed countries.', Midwifery, vol. 35, pp. 71-77.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Jepsen, I, Mark, E, Nohr, EA, Foureur, M & Sorensen, EE 2016, 'A qualitative study of how caseload midwifery is constituted and experienced by Danish midwives', MIDWIFERY, vol. 36, pp. 61-69.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Maude, RM, Skinner, JP & Foureur, MJ 2016, 'Putting intelligent structured intermittent auscultation (ISIA) into practice', Women and Birth, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 285-292.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2015 The Authors. Background: Fetal monitoring guidelines recommend intermittent auscultation for the monitoring of fetal wellbeing during labour for low-risk women. However, these guidelines are not being translated into practice and low-risk women birthing in institutional maternity units are increasingly exposed to continuous cardiotocographic monitoring, both on admission to hospital and during labour. When continuous fetal monitoring becomes routinised, midwives and obstetricians lose practical skills around intermittent auscultation. To support clinical practice and decision-making around auscultation modality, the intelligent structured intermittent auscultation (ISIA) framework was developed. Aim: The purpose of this discussion paper is to describe the application of intelligent structured intermittent auscultation in practice. Discussion: The intelligent structured intermittent auscultation decision-making framework is a knowledge translation tool that supports the implementation of evidence into practice around the use of intermittent auscultation for fetal heart monitoring for low-risk women during labour. An understanding of the physiology of the materno-utero-placental unit and control of the fetal heart underpin the development of the framework. Conclusion: Intelligent structured intermittent auscultation provides midwives with a robust means of demonstrating their critical thinking and clinical reasoning and supports their understanding of normal physiological birth.
Mollart, L, Skinner, V & Foureur, M 2016, 'A feasibility randomised controlled trial of acupressure to assist spontaneous labour for primigravid women experiencing a post-date pregnancy', MIDWIFERY, vol. 36, pp. 21-27.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Mondy, T, Fenwick, J, Leap, N & Foureur, M 2016, 'How domesticity dictates behaviour in the birth space: Lessons for designing birth environments in institutions wanting to promote a positive experience of birth', MIDWIFERY, vol. 43, pp. 37-47.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Townsend, B, Fenwick, J, Thomson, V & Foureur, M 2016, 'The birth bed: A qualitative study on the views of midwives regarding the use of the bed in the birth space', WOMEN AND BIRTH, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 80-84.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Atchan, M, Davis, D & Foureur, M 2016, 'A methodological review of qualitative case study methodology in midwifery research', Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 72, no. 10, pp. 2259-2271.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Harte, JD, Sheehan, A, Stewart, SC & Foureur, M 2016, 'Childbirth Supporters' Experiences in a Built Hospital Birth Environment: Exploring Inhibiting and Facilitating Factors in Negotiating the Supporter Role', HERD-HEALTH ENVIRONMENTS RESEARCH & DESIGN JOURNAL, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 135-161.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Kassab, M, Fowler, C & Foureur, M 2016, 'Infant pain, beliefs and knowledge: discussion with Jordanian nurses', Australian Journal of Child and Family Health Nursing, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 10-15.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Mollart, L, Adams, J & Foureur, M 2016, 'Pregnant women and health professional's perceptions of complementary alternative medicine, and participation in a randomised controlled trial of acupressure for labour onset.', Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, vol. 24, pp. 167-173.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Feasibility randomised controlled trials of complementary medicine are important to evaluate acceptability and practicality. This study examined participants' and health professionals' perceptions of CAM and participation in a feasibility RCT of acupressure for labour onset.A qualitative study incorporated within an RCT. Data were collected from postnatal women via questionnaires and health professionals via focus groups.Four themes emerged from the women's views: "Using CAM to start labour", "Feeling empowered through action", "Desiring randomisation to acupressure group", and "Welcoming the opportunity to assist in research". Five themes emerged from the health professionals' views: "Personal awareness and attitudes towards CAM"; "Supporting and empowering women"; "Complements the wellness model of pregnancy and childbirth"; "Need for evidenced based practice"; and "Randomisation 'doing it on the sly'".Themes from the groups were similar. The study protocol will be refined with a placebo group to improve equipoise with a powered RCT planned.
Catling, C, Medley, N, Foureur, M, Ryan, C, Leap, N, Teate, A & Homer, CSE 2015, 'Group versus conventional antenatal care for women (Intervention)', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Antenatal care is one of the key preventive health services used around the world. In most Western countries, antenatal care traditionally involves a schedule of one-to-one visits with a care provider. A different way of providing antenatal care involves use of a group model.
1. To compare the effects of group antenatal care versus conventional antenatal care on psychosocial, physiological, labour and birth outcomes for women and their babies.
2. To compare the effects of group antenatal care versus conventional antenatal care on care provider satisfaction.
We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (31 October 2014), contacted experts in the field and reviewed the reference lists of retrieved studies.
All identified published, unpublished and ongoing randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials comparing group antenatal care with conventional antenatal care were included. Cluster-randomised trials were eligible, and one has been included. Cross-over trials were not eligible.
Data collection and analysis
Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion and risk of bias and extracted data; all review authors checked data for accuracy.
We included four studies (2350 women). The overall risk of bias for the included studies was assessed as acceptable in two studies and good in two studies. No statistically significant differences were observed between women who received group antenatal care and those given standard individual antenatal care for the primary outcome of preterm birth (risk ratio (RR) 0.75, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.57 to 1.00; three trials; N = 1888). The proportion of low-birthweight (less than 2500 g) babies was similar between groups (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.23; three trials; N = 1935). No group differences were noted for the primary outcomes small-for-gestational age (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.24; two trials; N = 1473)...
Catling, CJ, Medley, N, Foureur, M, Ryan, C, Leap, N, Teate, A & Homer, CS 2015, 'Group versus conventional antenatal care for women.', Cochrane Database Syst Rev, vol. 2, p. CD007622.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Antenatal care is one of the key preventive health services used around the world. In most Western countries, antenatal care traditionally involves a schedule of one-to-one visits with a care provider. A different way of providing antenatal care involves use of a group model.
Patterson, J, Skinner, J & Foureur, M 2015, 'Midwives' decision making about transfers for 'slow' labour in rural New Zealand', MIDWIFERY, vol. 31, no. 6, pp. 606-612.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Mollart, LJ, Adams, J & Foureur, M 2015, 'Impact of acupressure on onset of labour and labour duration: A systematic review.', Women and Birth, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 199-206.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
There is worldwide concern with increasing rates of pharmacologically induced labour and operative birth. Many women would like to avoid medical or surgical interventions in childbirth; a desire that may contribute towards the popularity of complementary and alternative medicine/therapies.This systematic review examines the effects of acupressure on labour onset and duration of labour. We searched MEDLINE, CINAHL, AMED, Cochrane Collaboration, and Science Direct from 1999 to 2013 for published randomised controlled trials and controlled trials comparing acupressure with placebo and no treatment. Studies recruited primiparous and/or multiparous women with either spontaneous or induced onset of labour. The outcome measures were labour onset and duration of all stages of labour.Seven trials with data reporting on 748 women using different acupressure points and methods of administration were included in the review. One study examined the initiation of labour and six studies examined labour duration and/or pain levels. The two most studied acupoints were Sanyinjiao/Spleen 6 and Hegu/Large Intestine 4. Results suggest acupressure may reduce the length of labour particularly in the first stage.Further research is required on whether acupressure can shorten labour duration, augment prolonged labour or initiate onset of labour by stimulating uterine contractions. Clinical trials should report the basis for acupressure treatment described in the STRICTA (minus needling) and CONSORT non-pharmaceutical guidelines.
Dahlen, H, Downe, S, Powell Kennedy, H & Foureur, M 2014, 'Is society being reshaped on a microbiological and epigenetic level by the way women give birth?', Midwifery, vol. on-line.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Invited commentary for special issue of the journal
Dixon, L, Skinner, J & Foureur, M 2014, 'The emotional journey of labour-Women's perspectives of the experience of labour moving towards birth', MIDWIFERY, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 371-377.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Hammond, AD, Foureur, M & Homer, CS 2014, 'The hardware and software implications of hospital birth room design: A midwifery perspective', Midwifery, vol. 30, no. 7, pp. 825-830.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Hammond, AD, Homer, CS & Foureur, M 2014, 'Messages from Space: An exploration of the relationship between hospital birth environments and midwifery practice', Health Environments Research & Design Journal, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 81-95.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Harte, JD, Leap, N, Fenwick, J, Homer, CS & Foureur, M 2014, 'Methodological insights from a study using video-ethnography to conduct interdisciplinary research in the study of birth unit design', International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 36-48.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Maude, R, Skinner, JP & Foureur, M 2014, 'Intelligent Structured Intermittent Auscultation (ISIA): evaluation of a decision-making framework for fetal heart monitoring of low-risk women', BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, vol. 14, pp. 1-13.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Research-informed fetal monitoring guidelines recommend intermittent auscultation (IA) for fetal heart monitoring for low-risk women. However, the use of cardiotocography (CTG) continues to dominate many institutional maternity settings.
A mixed methods intervention study with before and after measurement was undertaken in one secondary level health service to facilitate the implementation of an initiative to encourage the use of IA. The intervention initiative was a decision-making framework called Intelligent Structured Intermittent Auscultation (ISIA) introduced through an education session.
Following the intervention, medical records review revealed an increase in the use of IA during labour represented by a relative change of 12%, with improved documentation of clinical findings from assessments, and a significant reduction in the risk of receiving an admission CTG (RR 0.75, 95% CI, 0.60 – 0.95, p = 0.016).
The ISIA informed decision-making framework transformed the practice of IA and provided a mechanism for knowledge translation that enabled midwives to implement evidence-based fetal heart monitoring for low risk women.
Atchan, MA, Davis, D & Foureur, M 2014, 'Applying a Knowledge Translation Model to the uptake of the Baby Friendly Health Initiative in the Australian health care system', Women and Birth, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 79-85.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Raymond, JE, Foureur, MJ & Davis, DL 2014, 'Gestational Weight Change in Women Attending a Group Antenatal Program Aimed at Addressing Obesity in Pregnancy in New South Wales, Australia', Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, vol. 59, no. 4, pp. 398-404.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Monk, A, Tracy, M, Foureur, M, Grigg, C & Tracy, S 2014, 'Evaluating Midwifery Units (EMU): a prospective cohort study of freestanding midwifery units in New South Wales, Australia', BMJ Open, vol. 4, no. 10, pp. 1-11.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Objective To compare maternal and neonatal birth outcomes and morbidities associated with the intention to give birth in two freestanding midwifery units and two tertiary-level maternity units in New South Wales, Australia.
Design Prospective cohort study.
Participants 494 women who intended to give birth at freestanding midwifery units and 3157 women who intended to give birth at tertiary-level maternity units. Participants had low risk, singleton pregnancies and were at less than 28+0 weeks gestation at the time of booking.
Primary and secondary outcome measures Primary outcomes were mode of birth, Apgar score of less than 7 at 5 min and admission to the neonatal intensive care unit or special care nursery. Secondary outcomes were onset of labour, analgesia, blood loss, management of third stage of labour, perineal trauma, transfer, neonatal resuscitation, breastfeeding, gestational age at birth, birth weight, severe morbidity and mortality.
Results Women who planned to give birth at a freestanding midwifery unit were significantly more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth (AOR 1.57; 95% CI 1.20 to 2.06) and significantly less likely to have a caesarean section (AOR 0.65; 95% CI 0.48 to 0.88). There was no significant difference in the AOR of 5 min Apgar scores, however, babies from the freestanding midwifery unit group were significantly less likely to be admitted to neonatal intensive care or special care nursery (AOR 0.60; 95% CI 0.39 to 0.91). Analysis of secondary outcomes indicated that planning to give birth in a freestanding midwifery unit was associated with similar or reduced odds of intrapartum interventions and similar or improved odds of indicators of neonatal well-being.
Conclusions The results of this study support the provision of care in freestanding midwifery units as an alternative to tertiary-level maternity units for women with low risk pregnancies at the time of booking.
Homer, CS, Thornton, T, Scarf, VL, Ellwood, D, Oats, J, Foureur, M, Sibbritt, D, McLachlan, HL, Forster, D & Dahlen, H 2014, 'Birthplace in New South Wales, Australia: an analysis of perinatal outcomes using routinely collected data', BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, vol. 14, pp. 206-206.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Background: The outcomes for women who give birth in hospital compared with at home are the subject of
ongoing debate. We aimed to determine whether a retrospective linked data study using routinely collected data
was a viable means to compare perinatal and maternal outcomes and interventions in labour by planned place of
birth at the onset of labour in one Australian state.
Methods: A population-based cohort study was undertaken using routinely collected linked data from the New
South Wales Perinatal Data Collection, Admitted Patient Data Collection, Register of Congenital Conditions, Registry
of Birth Deaths and Marriages and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Eight years of data provided a sample size of
258,161 full-term women and their infants. The primary outcome was a composite outcome of neonatal mortality
and morbidity as used in the Birthplace in England study.
Results: Women who planned to give birth in a birth centre or at home were significantly more likely to have a
normal labour and birth compared with women in the labour ward group. There were no statistically significant
differences in stillbirth and early neonatal deaths between the three groups, although we had insufficient statistical
power to test reliably for these differences.
Conclusion: This study provides information to assist the development and evaluation of different places of birth
across Australia. It is feasible to examine perinatal and maternal outcomes by planned place of birth using routinely
collected linked data, although very large data sets will be required to measure rare outcomes associated with
place of birth in a low risk population, especially in countries like Australia where homebirth rates are low.
Catling, C, Coddington, B, Foureur, M, Homer, CS, Birthplace in Australia Study & National Publicly-funded Homebirth Consortium 2013, 'Publicly funded homebirth in Australia: a review of maternal and neonatal outcomes over 6 years', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 198, no. 11, pp. 616-620.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Objective: To report maternal and neonatal outcomes for Australian women planning a publicly funded homebirth from 2005 to 2010.
Catling-Paull, C, Coddington, RL, Foureur, MJ & Homer, CSE 2013, 'Publicly funded homebirth in Australia: a review of maternal and neonatal outcomes over 6 years REPLY', MEDICAL JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIA, vol. 199, no. 11, pp. 743-743.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Dahlen, H, Kennedy Powell, H, Anderson, CM, Bell, A, Clark, A, Foureur, M, Ohm, JE, Shearman, A, Taylor, JY, Wright, ML & Downe, S 2013, 'The EPIIC Hypothesis: Intrapartum Effects on the Neonatal Epigenome and Consequent Health Outcomes', Medical Hypotheses, vol. 80, no. 5, pp. 656-662.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
There are many published studies about the epigenetic effects of the prenatal and infant periods on health outcomes. However, there is very little knowledge regarding the effects of the intrapartum period (labor and birth) on health and epigenetic remodeling.
Dixon, L, Skinner, JP & Foureur, M 2013, 'The emotional and hormonal pathways of labour and birth: integrating mind, body and behaviour', Journal- New Zealand College of Midwives, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 15-23.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Background: Women have described normal labour and birth in terms of their emotions. Major advances in knowledge have occurred within the sciences resulting in an understanding of emotions as prime directors of human behaviour which is orchestrated by neurohormones. Method: This paper focusses on key aspects of contemporary knowledge of childbirth physiology, neuroscience and behaviour. It integrates this understanding with womens descriptions of their emotions during labour. Findings: Neurohormones associated with labour and birth are designed to trigger a transformation in the body and behaviour and create an environment which supports both the mother and the baby. Hormones and emotions are intertwined and interconnected. Labour hormones are linked to the womans emotions and behaviour during labour and birth as well as the physical signs of labour. An interactive model is presented which explains labour in terms of both the physical effects and the emotional affects that women have described as part of their labour experience. The hypothesis for this model is that the hormones that initiate and sustain labour also cause the instinctual emotions that women feel, and the behaviour they exhibit, during spontaneous labour and birth.
Background: within childbirth there is a common and widely known explanation of labour and birth which describes and defines the birth process as stages and phases. The aim of this research was to determine whether the discourse of labour as stages and phases resonated with women who had experienced spontaneous labour and birth.
Foureur, M, Besley, KJ, Burton, G, Yu, N & Crisp, J 2013, 'Enhancing the resilience of nurses and midwives: Pilot of a mindfulness-based program for increased health, sense of coherence and decreased depression, anxiety and stress', Contemporary Nurse, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 114-125.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Enhancing the resilience of nurses and midwives: Pilot of a mindfulness-based program for increased health, sense of coherence and decreased depression, anxiety and stress
Mollart, L, Skinner, V, Newing, C & Foureur, M 2013, 'Factors That May Influence Midwives Work-related Stress And Burnout', Women and Birth, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 26-32.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Research question To determine the incidence and level of work-related stress and burnout in midwives and contributing and protective demographic factors that may influence those levels. Participants and method All registered midwives (152) working in two public hospital maternity units within the same health service district in NSW completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory Human Services Survey and a demographic survey including care model, shift work, lifestyle data and exercise level. Findings There was a response rate of 36.8% with 56 (56/152) midwives completing the surveys. Almost two thirds (60.7%) of midwives in this sample experienced moderate to high levels of emotional exhaustion, a third (30.3%) scoring low personal accomplishment and a third (30.3%) experiencing depersonalization related to burnout. Significant differences were found among groups of midwives according to years in the profession, shifts worked, how many women with multiple psychosocial issues were included in the midwife's workload and the midwife's uptake of physical exercise. Those midwives who had spent longer in the profession and exercised scored low burnout levels.
Scarf, V, Foureur, M, Crisp, J, Burton, G & Yu, N 2013, 'Efficacy of mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) on the sense of wellbeing of healthcare staff: A pilot study', WOMEN AND BIRTH, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. S17-S17.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Increasing normal birth by lowering the rate of birth by caesarean section(CS) has become high on the list of health priorities for professional and government bodies in much of the developed world(Maternity Care Working Party, 2007; Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) etal.,2008; Commonwealth of Australia, 2009; American College of Nurse-Midwives etal.,2012).
Tracy, SK, Hartz, D, Tracy, M, Allen, J, Forti, A, Hall, B, White, J, Lainchbury, A, Stapleton, H, Beckmann, M, Bisits, A, Homer, CS, Foureur, M, Welsh, A & Kildea, SV 2013, 'Caseload midwifery care versus standard maternity care for women of any risk: M@NGO, a randomised controlled trial', The Lancet, vol. 382, no. 9906, pp. 1723-1732.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Background Women at low risk of pregnancy complications benefit from continuity of midwifery care, but no trial evidence exists for women with identified risk factors. We aimed to assess the clinical and cost outcomes of caseload midwifery care for women irrespective of risk factors.
Atchan, MA, Davis, D & Foureur, M 2013, 'The impact of the Baby Friendly Health Initiative in the Australian health care system a critical narrative review of the evidence', Breastfeeding Review, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 15-22.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Studies have identified that the practices of maternity facilities and health professionals are crucial to women's experience of support and breastfeeding 'success'. The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched globally in 1991 to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. While a direct causal effect has not been established and critics suggest the rhetoric conflicts with women's lived experiences as new mothers, a positive association between the Initiative and breastfeeding prevalence is apparent. Internationally, impact studies have demonstrated that where the Initiative is well integrated, there is an increase in rates of breastfeeding initiation and, to a lesser extent, duration. In consideration of the known health risks associated with the use of artificial baby milks this would suggest that BFHI implementation and accreditation should be a desirable strategy for committed health facilities. However, a variation in both BFHI uptake and breastfeeding prevalence between nations has been reported. This narrative review critically discusses a variety of issues relevant to the uptake and support of breastfeeding and the BFHI, utilising Australia as a case study. Whilst it enjoys 'in principle' policy support, Australia also suffers from a lack of uniformity in uptake and perception of the benefits of BFHI at all levels of the health system. Australian and international studies have identified similar enablers and barriers to implementation.
Hammond, AD, Foureur, M, Homer, CS & Davis, D 2013, 'Space, place and the midwife: Exploring the relationship between the birth environment, neurobiology and midwifery practice', Women and Birth, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 277-281.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Background: Research indicates that midwives and their practice are influenced by space and place and that midwives practice differently in different places. It is possible that one mechanism through which space and place influence midwifery practice is via neurobiological responses such as the production and release of oxytocin, which can be triggered by experiences and perceptions of the physical environment.
Monk, AR, Tracy, SK, Foureur, M & Barclay, L 2013, 'Australian primary maternity units: past, present and future', Women and Birth, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 213-218.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Primary maternity units are commonly those run by midwives who provide care to women with low risk pregnancies with no obstetric, anaesthetic, laboratory or paediatric support available on-site. In some other countries, primary level maternity units play an important role in offering equitable and accessible maternity care to women with low-risk pregnancies, particularly in rural and remote areas. However there are very few primary maternity units in Australia, largely due to the fact that over the past 200 years, the concept of safety has become inherently linked with the immediate on-site availability of specialist medical support.
Monk, AR, Tracy, SK, Foureur, M & Tracy, MB 2013, 'Evaluating midwifery units (EMU): Lessons from the pilot study', Midwifery, vol. 29, no. 8, pp. 845-851.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Objective this paper describes the pilot study that was undertaken to test the feasibility of the recruitment plan designed to recruit women who booked to give birth in two freestanding midwifery units in NSW, Australia. The pilot preceded the full prospective cohort study, Evaluating Midwifery Units (EMU), which aimed to examine the antenatal, birth and postnatal outcomes of women planning to give birth in freestanding midwifery units compared to those booked to give birth in tertiary level maternity units in Australia and New Zealand. Design a prospective cohort study with two mutually-exclusive cohorts. Setting two freestanding midwifery units in NSW and their corresponding tertiary referral hospitals. Participants a total of 146 women with few identified risk factors recruited between 13 September 2009 and 31 March 2010 whose planned place of birth was either a freestanding midwifery unit or tertiary maternity unit. Measurements and findings the pilot study identified the feasibility of relying on the booking midwife to recruit eligible women from several antenatal booking clinics to the study. Low rates of eligible women were invited resulting in a lower than expected consent rate. In addition, although mostly only low-risk women were invited to participate, some women requiring medical consultation at the time of booking were inadvertently recruited into the study. The results of this pilot study led us to revise the study protocol to find ways of including the outcomes of all women without identified risk factors who booked at either the freestanding midwifery units or the tertiary referral hospital in that area. This paper describes the revisions that were made to the study plan.
Homer, CS, Besley, KJ, Bell, J, Davis, DL, Adams, J, Porteous, A & Foureur, M 2013, 'Does continuity of care impact decision making in the next birth after a caesarean section(VBAC)? A randomised controlled trial', BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, vol. 13, pp. 140-140.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Background: Caesarean section (CS) has short and long-term health effects for both the woman and her baby. One of the greatest contributors to the CS rate is elective repeat CS. Vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) is an option for many women; despite this the proportion of women attempting VBAC remains low.
Background: Publicly-funded homebirth programs in Australia have been developed in the past decade mostly in isolation from each other and with limited published evaluations. There is also distinct lack of publicly available information about the development and characteristics of these programs. We instigated the National Publicly-funded Homebirth Consortium and conducted a preliminary survey of publicly-funded homebirth providers. Aim: To outline the development of publicly-funded homebirth models in Australia. Methods: Providers of publicly-funded homebirth programs in Australia were surveyed using an on-line survey in December 2010. Questions were about their development, use of policy and general operational issues. A descriptive analysis of the quantitative data and content analysis of the qualitative data was undertaken. Findings: In total, 12 programs were identified and 10 contributed data to this paper. The service providers reported extensive multidisciplinary consultation and careful planning during development. There was a lack of consistency in data collection throughout the publicly-funded homebirth programs due to different databases, definitions and the use of different guidelines. Discussion: Publicly-funded homebirth services followed different routes during their development, but essentially had safety and collaboration with stakeholders, including women and obstetricians, as central to their process. Conclusion: The National Publicly-funded Homebirth Consortium has facilitated a sharing of resources, processes of development and a linkage of homebirth services around the country. This analysis has provided information to assist future planning and developments in models of midwifery care. It is important that births of women booked to these programs are clearly identified when their data is incorporated into existing perinatal datasets.
Homer, CS, Ryan, CL, Leap, N, Foureur, M, Teate, A & Catling, C 2012, 'Group versus conventional antenatal care for women (Review)', The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, no. 11, pp. 1-59.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
The primary and secondary outcomes were pre-determined as described. The included trials measured a number of outcomes that were non-pre-speci?ed. As these were important for the populations studied in the trials, these were included post hoc. For example, the Ickovics 2007a trial targeted young women and the outcomes included sexual and behavioural outcomes including HIV risk behaviour and STDs. The Kennedy 2011 trial included family healthcare readiness. In addition, inadequate antenatal care was included as a non-pre-speci?ed outcome as it was used as a measure of quality of care
Homer, CSE, Foureur, MJ, Allende, T, Pekin, F, Caplice, S & Catling-Paull, C 2012, ''It's more than just having a baby' women's experiences of a maternity service for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families', Midwifery, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. e509-e515.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Summary The aim of this paper is to review the clinical outcomes of descriptive and comparative cohort studies of the Australian caseload midwifery models of care that emerged during the late 1990s and early 2000s. These models report uniformly a decrease in caesarean section operation rates when compared to local, state and national rates, irrespective of the obstetric risk of the women cared for. These outcomes are in contrast to the findings of the randomised controlled trials and comparative cohort studies of caseload midwifery conducted, predominantly in the United Kingdom, in the mid to late 1990s. The Australian studies show that caseload midwifery is a model of care that is associated with lowered rates of caesarean section operations, and other obstetric intervention rates. The absence of definitive evidence of the effect of caseload midwifery, derived from published descriptive and comparative cohort studies, underlines the need for a sufficiently powered randomised controlled trial of caseload midwifery. The randomised controlled trial of caseload midwifery being undertaken in two major teaching hospitals in Australia will provide definitive answers relating to the effect of the caseload midwifery model of care for women of all risk in the Australian context.
Lennox, S & Foureur, M 2012, 'Developmental mentoring: New graduates' confidence grows when their needs shape the relationship', New Zealand College of Midwives Journal, vol. 46, no. June2012, pp. 26-31.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper describes a research project that explored group mentoring with four new graduate midwives and four experienced midwives.
In an innovative group mentoring approach, four experienced midwives mentored four new graduates during their first year
of practice. The new graduates were in practice as case-loading registered midwives having completed a three year Bachelor of
Midwifery degree. Detailed data about the new graduates' concerns were collected throughout the year of the mentoring project. A
range of practice areas—administrative, working environment, professional culture, clinical issues and the mentor group itself—
were prominent issues. New graduates were concerned about their own professional development and about relationships with
others particularly relationships within the hospital. Technical questions focussed more on craft knowledge that develops through
experience than on clinical skills or knowledge. Identifying these concerns provides a foundation for mentors, preceptors and
those designing professional development support programmes for the first year of practice. It may be that new graduate midwives
educated in a profession with a narrowly defined scope of practice have a different range of concerns to new graduates who have
wider scopes of practice. The use of a group model of mentoring for supporting new graduate midwives proved stimulating for
mentors and highly supportive of new graduates.
Davis, D, Foureur, M, Clements, V, Brodie, P & Herbison, P 2012, 'The self reported confidence of newly graduated midwives before and after their first year of practice in Sydney, Australia', WOMEN AND BIRTH, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. E1-E10.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Davis, DL, Raymond, J, Clements, V, Adams, C, Mollart, L, Teate, A & Foureur, M 2012, 'Addressing obesity in pregnancy: The designand feasibility of an innovative intervention in NSW, Australia', Women and Birth, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 174-180.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Objective: Obesity amongst women of child bearing age is increasing at an unprecedented, rate throughout the Western world. This paper describes the design of an innovative, collaborative, antenatal intervention that aims to assist women to manage their weight during pregnancy and, presents aspects of the programme evaluation.
Fenwick, JH, Hammond, AD, Raymond, JJ, Smith, RA, Gray, J, Foureur, M, Homer, CS & Symon, A 2012, 'Surviving, Not Thriving: A Qualitative Study Of Newly Qualified Midwives' Experience Of Their Transition To Practice', Journal Of Clinical Nursing, vol. 21, no. 13-14, pp. 2054-2063.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Aim and objectives. The study explored the experiences of newly qualified midwives and described the factors that facilitated or constrained their development during the transition from student to registered midwife.
Kassab, M, Foster, JP, Foureur, M & Fowler, CM 2012, 'Sweet-tasting solutions for needle-related procedural pain in infants one month to one year of age', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, no. 12.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
To determine the effectiveness of sweet-tasting solutions for needle-related procedural pain in infants one month to one year of age compared to no treatment, placebo, other sweet-tasting solutions, or pharmacological or other non-pharmacological pain-relieving methods.
Kassab, M, Roydhouse, J, Fowler, CM & Foureur, M 2012, 'The Effectiveness of Glucose in Reducing Needle-Related Procedural Pain in Infants', Journal of Pediatric Nursing, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 3-17.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This systematic review examined the effectiveness of glucose in relieving needle-associated pain in infants. Meta-analysis was not undertaken, and there was variation in dose, administration method, concentration, and outcome measurement. Glucose was more effective than placebo in relieving infant pain as measured by behavioral outcomes, but there were mixed findings for physiological outcomes. Based on these findings, 25%-50% glucose appears effective for infant pain management.
Kassab, M, Sheehy, AD, King, MT, Fowler, CM & Foureur, M 2012, 'A double-blind randomised controlled trial of 25% oral glucose for pain relief in 2-month old infants undergoing immunisation', International Journal of Nursing Studies, vol. 49, no. 3, pp. 249-256.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This article reports a double-blind RCT to determine the effectiveness of 25% oral glucose solution in reducing immunisation pain in 2-month old infants.
Catling, C, Johnston, RA, Ryan, CL, Foureur, M & Homer, CS 2011, 'Clinical Interventions that increase the uptake and success of vaginal birth after caesarean section: a systematic review', Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 67, no. 8, pp. 1646-1661.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Aim. The aim of this study was to review clinical interventions that increase the uptake and/or the success rates of vaginal birth after caesarean section. Background. Repeat caesarean section is the main reason for the increase in surgical births. The risk of uterine rupture in women who have prior caesarean sections prevents many clinicians from recommending vaginal birth after caesarean. Despite this, support for vaginal birth after caesarean continues. Data sources. A search of five databases and a number of relevant professional websites was undertaken up to December 2008. Review methods. A systematic review of quantitative studies that involved a comparison group and examined a clinical intervention for increasing the uptake and/or the success of vaginal birth after caesarean section was undertaken. An assessment of quality was made using the Critical Skills Appraisal Programme. Results. Induction of labour using artificial rupture of membranes, prostaglandins, oxytocin infusion or a combination, was associated with lower vaginal birth rates. Cervical ripening agents such as prostaglandins and transcervical catheters may result in lower vaginal birth rates compared with spontaneous labour. The impact of epidural anaesthesia in labour on vaginal birth after caesarean success is inconclusive. X-ray pelvimetry is associated with reduced uptake of vaginal birth after caesarean and higher caesarean section rates. Scoring systems to predict likelihood of vaginal birth are largely unhelpful. There is insufficient data in relation to vaginal birth after caesarean section between different closure methods for the primary caesarean section. Conclusion. Clinical factors can affect vaginal birth after caesarean uptake and success.
Catling, C, Johnston, RA, Ryan, CL, Foureur, M & Homer, CS 2011, 'Non-Clinical Interventions that increase the uptake or success of vaginal birth after caesarean section: a systematic review', Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 67, no. 8, pp. 1662-1676.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Aim. The aim of this study was to review non-clinical interventions that increase the uptake and/or the success rates of vaginal birth after caesarean section. Background. Increases in rates of caesarean section are largely due to repeat caesarean section in a subsequent pregnancy. Concerns about vaginal birth after caesarean section have centred on the risk of uterine rupture. Nonetheless, efforts to increase the vaginal birth rate in these women have been made. This study reviews these in relation to non-clinical interventions. Data sources. Literature was searched up until December 2008 from five databases and a number of relevant professional websites. Review methods. A systematic review of quantitative studies that evaluated a nonclinical intervention for increasing the uptake and/or the success of vaginal birth after caesarean section was undertaken. Only study designs that involved a comparison group were included. Further exclusions were imposed for quality using the Critical Skills Appraisal Programme. Results. National guidelines influence vaginal birth after caesarean section rates, but a greater effect is seen when institutions develop local guidelines, adopt a conservative approach to caesarean section, use opinion leaders, give individualized information to women, and give feedback to obstetricians about mode of birth rates. Individual clinician characteristics may impact on the number of women choosing and succeeding in vaginal birth after caesarean section. There is inconsistent evidence that having private health insurance may be a barrier to the uptake and success of vaginal birth after caesarean section. Conclusion. Non-clinical factors can have a significant impact on vaginal birth after caesarean section uptake and success.
Catling-Paull, C, Homer, CSE, Foureur, M, Azzopardi, C, Cameron, D, Clarke, J, Elmes, R, Kitschke, J, Koay, A, Lennon, K, McMurtrie, J, Pratt, J, Skewes, R & White, J 2011, 'Introducing ... the National Publicly Funded Homebirth Consortium', WOMEN AND BIRTH, vol. 24, pp. S36-S37.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Sheehy, AD, Foureur, M, Catling, C & Homer, CS 2011, 'Examining the Content Validity of the Birthing Unit Design Spatial Evaluation Tool Within a Woman-Centered Framework', Journal Of Midwifery & Womens Health, vol. 56, no. 5, pp. 494-502.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Introduction: The environment for birth influences women in labor. Optimal birthing environments have the potential to facilitate normal labor and birth. The measurement of optimal birth units is currently not possible because there are no tools. An audi
Cooke, H, Foureur, M & Giles, W 2011, 'Interprofessional education in maternity clinical practice: Is it the way of the future?', WOMEN AND BIRTH, vol. 24, pp. S22-S22.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Homer, CS, Johnston, RA & Foureur, M 2011, 'Birth after caesarean section: Changes over a nine-year period in one Australian state', Midwifery, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 165-169.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Objectives to describe the outcomes related to birth after a caesarean section (CS) in one Australian state, New South Wales (NSW), over a nine-year period. The objectives were to determine whether changes had occurred in the rates of attempted and successful vaginal birth after caesarean section (VBAC), induction of labour, place of birth, admission to special care or neonatal intensive care nursery and perinatal mortality. Design and setting cross-sectional analytic study of hospital births in New South Wales using population-based data from 19982006. Participants women experiencing the next birth after a CS where: the total number of previous CS was 1; the presentation at birth was vertex; it was a singleton pregnancy; and, the estimated gestational age was greater than or equal to 37 weeks. A total of 53,455 women met these criteria. Measurements data were obtained from NSW Health Department's Midwives Data Collection (MDC). The MDC includes all live births and stillbirths of at least 20 weeks gestation or 400 g birth weight in the state.
For many women, and particularly rural women, birthing locally and within their own community is important for personal, social and/or cultural reasons. If concerns about the woman or her baby mean transfer to a secondary or tertiary facility is necessary, this can be disruptive and stressful, especially if road transfer is complicated by terrain, weather or distance, as is often the case in rural New Zealand. The objective of this study was to explore the number of and reason for transfers during labour and birth for well women, close to full term, from primary rural maternity facilities to specialist care in rural New Zealand. Methods: This retrospective survey of 45 rural maternity units in the North and South Islands of New Zealand was conducted over a 2 year period ending on 30 June 2006. The participants were the 4678 women who began labour in a rural facility during this time period. Results: The survey response rate was 66.6%. The data revealed that 16.6% of women who commenced labour in a rural unit were transferred in labour or within 6 hours of birth; 3% of babies born in rural units were transferred after birth and up to 7 days post-birth. The primary reason for maternal transfer was slow progress in labour (49.67%). Of the 123 babies transferred, this was most often due to respiratory problems (43%). Key features of the rural context (times and distances to be travelled, geological and climatic characteristics, types of transport systems and availability of local assistance) influenced the timeliness of the decision to transfer. Conclusions: Within New Zealandâs regionalised perinatal system, midwives make cautious decisions about transfer, taking into account the local rural local circumstances, and also the topography as it impacts on transport.
Patterson, JA, Foureur, M & Skinner, JP 2011, 'Reply to Comment on: Patterns of transfer in labour and birth in rural New Zealand', RURAL AND REMOTE HEALTH, vol. 11, no. 3.
Foureur, M, Davis, D & Atchan, M 2011, 'The decision not to initiate breastfeeding-women's reasons, attitudes and influencing factors-a review of the literature', Breastfeeding Review, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 9-17.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Breastfeeding is the biological feeding norm for human babies. Encouraging breastfeeding is a primary health promotion strategy, with studies demonstrating the risks of artificial baby milks. each year approximately 10% of the women who give birth in New South Wales decide not to initiate breastfeeding, and the demographic characteristics of this group of women have previously been identified. This paper reviews the literature to explore the factors that influence women's decisions about breastfeeding, and their reasons for not initiating breastfeeding. The review revealed there are relatively few studies that explore the experiences of women who decide not to initiate breastfeeding, especially in the Australian context.
Foureur, M, Leap, N, Davis, DL, Forbes, I & Homer, CS 2011, 'Testing the birth unit design spatial evaluation tool (BUDSET) in Australia: a Pilot Study', Health Environments Research & Design Journal, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 36-60.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Objective: To pilot test the Birth Unit Design Spatial Evaluation Tool (BUDSET) in an Australian maternity care setting to determine whether such an instrument can measure the optimality of different birth settings. Background: Optimally designed spaces to give birth are likely to influence a woman's ability to experience physiologically normal labor and birth. This is important in the current industrialized environment, where increased caesarean section rates are causing concerns. The measurement of an optimal birth space is currently impossible, because there are limited tools available. Methods: A quantitative study was undertaken to pilot test the discriminant ability of the BUDSET in eight maternity units in New South Wales, Australia. Five auditors trained in the use of the BUDSET assessed the birth units using the BUDSET, which is based on 18 design principles and is divided into four domains (Fear Cascade, Facility, Aesthetics, and Support) with three to eight assessable items in each. Data were independently collected in eight birth units. Values for each of the domains were aggregated to provide an overall Optimality Score for each birth unit. Results: A range of Optimality Scores was derived for each of the birth units (from 51 to 77 out of a possible 100 points). The BUDSET identified units with low-scoring domains. Essentially these were older units and conventional labor ward settings. Conclusion: The BUDSET provides a way to assess the optimality of birth units and determine which domain areas may need improvement. There is potential for improvements to existing birth spaces, and considerable improvement can be made with simple low-cost modifications. Further research is needed to validate the tool.
There exists an ethical imperative to ensure the wellbeing of infants undergoing painful procedures, even procedures of short duration. The use of suitable, non-pharmacological pain-relieving measures such as sweet-tasting solutions (for example, sucrose of glucose) should be considered.
Cooke, HM, Foureur, M, Kinnear, A, Bisits, A & Giles, WB 2010, 'The Development And Initiation Of The NSW Department Of Health Interprofessional Fetal Welfare Obstetric Emergency Neonatal Resuscitation Training Project', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics ..., vol. 50, no. 4, pp. 334-339.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Background: The Fetal Welfare Obstetric emergency Neonatal resuscitation Training (FONT) project was initiated on a background of rising notifications of adverse events in NSW maternity units, the significant proportion of which were related to fetal wel
Giving birth is an important life event and care practices that occur during labour and birth can have a lasting influence on the mother and the family (Beech & Phipps, 2004). The use of regular, routine vaginal examination to assess the progress of labour is one such care practice. There are two ways of viewing the vaginal examination during labour. The first regards the vaginal examination as a physically invasive intervention which can have adverse psychological consequences (Kitzinger, 2005). The second sees vaginal examination as an essential clinical assessment tool that provides the most exact measure of labour progress (Enkin et al., 2000). This paper explores thes two viewpoints in more detail and discusses the benefits versus the harms of undertaking a vaginal examination during labour. Midwives use a variety of skills and observations to assess labour progress.
Foureur, M, Ryan, CS, Nicholl, M & Homer, CS 2010, 'Inconsistent Evidence: Analysis Of Six National Guidelines For Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section', Birth: issues in perinatal care, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 3-10.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Background: Guidelines are increasingly used to direct clinical practice, with the expectation that they improve clinical outcomes and minimize health care expenditure. Several national guidelines for vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC) have been
The article focuses on the historical development of auscultation and listening to fetal heart beats. It mentions that auscultation defines as the action of listening to the sounds inside the body. It says that the use stethoscope in midwifery practice was introduced in 1819 wherein listening to fetal heart sounds helps determine the well-being of the fetus. It adds that intermittent auscultation was recommended for fetal heart monitoring by the professional evidence-based guideline
Skinner, JP & Foureur, M 2010, 'Consultation, referral and collaboration between midwives and obstetricians: lessons from New Zealand.', Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 28-37.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
There has been substantial growth in the provision of midwifery-led models of care, yet little is known about the obstetric consultation and referral practices of these midwives or the quality of the collaboration between midwives and obstetricians. This study aimed to describe these processes as they are practised in New Zealand, where midwifery-led maternity care is the dominant model. A total population postal survey was conducted that included 649 New Zealand midwives who provided midwifery-led care in 2001. There was a 56.5% response rate, describing care for 4251 women. Within this cohort, there was a 35% consultation rate and 43% of these women had their lead carer role transferred to an obstetrician. However, the midwives continued to provide care in collaboration with obstetricians for 74% of transferred women. Seventy-two percent of midwives felt that they were well supported by the obstetricians to continue care. Midwifery-led care is reasonable for the general population of childbearing women, and a 35% consultation rate can be seen as a benchmark for this population. Midwives can, when well supported, provide continuity of care for women who experience complexity during pregnancy and/or birth. Collaboration with obstetricians is possible, but there needs to be further work to describe what successful collaboration is and how it might be fostered.
Foureur, M, Davis, DL, Fenwick, JH, Leap, N, Iedema, RA, Forbes, I & Homer, CS 2010, 'The Relationship Between Birth Unit Design And Safe, Satisfying Birth: Developing A Hypothetical Model', Midwifery, vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 520-525.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Recent advances in cross-disciplinary studies linking architecture and neuroscience have revealed that much of the built environment for health-care delivery may actually impair rather than improve health outcomes by disrupting effective communication an
Foureur, M, Leap, N, Davis, DL, Forbes, I & Homer, CS 2010, 'Developing The Birth Unit Design Spatial Evaluation Tool (Budset) In Australia: A Qualitative Study', Health Environments Research & Design Journal, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 43-57.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Objective: To develop a tool known as the Birth Unit Design Spatial Evaluation Tool (BUDSET), to assess the optimality of birth unit design. Background: The space provided for childbirth influences the physiology of women in labor. Optimal birth spaces a
Homer, CS, Catling, C, Sinclair, D, Faizah, N, Balasubramanian Appiah, V, Foureur, M, Hoang, DB & Lawrence, EM 2010, 'Developing an interactive electronic maternity record', Birtish Journal of Midwifery, vol. 18, no. 6, pp. 384-389.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Women have a strong need to be involved in their own maternity care. Pregnancy hand-held records encourage women's participation in their maternity care; gives them an increased sense of control and improves communication among care providers. They have been successfully used in the UK and New Zealand for almost 20 years. Despite evidence that supports the use of hand-held records, widespread introduction has not occurred in Australia. The need for an electronic version of pregnancy hand-held records has become apparent, especially after the introduction of the Electronic Medical Record in Australia. A personal digital assistant (PDA) was developed as an interactive antenatal electronic maternity record that health-care providers could use in any setting and women could access using the internet. This article will describe the testing of the antenatal electronic maternity record.
Duke, J, McBride-Henry, K, Walsh, K & Foureur, M 2009, 'The expectations of two New Zealand health services of the role of clinical chairs in Nursing and Midwifery.', Contemporary Nurse, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 129-141.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Clinical Professoriate positions within nursing or midwifery in New Zealand are a relatively recent development. One New Zealand University worked collaboratively to establish two joint clinical Professorial appointments with different District Health Boards. Each position had unique mandates around research platforms, and differing operational responsibilities. This paper reports on the qualitative component of a larger study that aimed to examine the research culture, and the role of Clinical Chairs, within the two District Health Boards. This Phase of the research involved semi-structured interviews with senior staff from the DHB to explore their experiences of working with the Clinical Professor. Themes that emerged revolved around expectations of the role during its development, and the subsequent perceived outcomes. The need for objective measures of the roles' impact on clinical outcomes emerged as a key impression from the participants. Future research that focuses on measurements of outcomes attributable to the roles will ensure their sustainability over time.
As three of the early leaders and researchers in the field of midwifery continuity of care in Australia, we have been instrumental in addressing reforms to the fragmented model of maternity service delivery. These services have seen each childbearing woman in our public health system enduring up to 20 different care providers in one pregnancy experience.1 The last 20 years of research has included randomised controlled trials, case control studies and large population based epidemiological investigations. These studies have convincingly shown that midwifery continuity of care, provided in any location, is highly satisfying for women, leads to reduced interventions and is no less safe in terms of maternal and perinatal mortality when compared to the fragmented models that emerged last century.2 Many health services have now changed their models of care-delivery to incorporate new systems that are focused on improving the experience for each woman by enabling continuity of care from a known midwife. The key characteristic of these new models is that they have a specific focus on woman-centered or relationship-based care.
Harding, D & Foureur, M 2009, 'New Zealand and Canadian Midwives' Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)', New Zealand College of Midwives Journal, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 7-12.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is widely used by women and midwives in maternity care despite the lack of strong evidence for safety or efficacy. The purpose of this research was to investigate how midwives in primary midwifery care practice in two countries use CAM.
Homer, C, Ryan, C, Leap, N, Foureur, M & Teate, A 2009, 'Group versus conventional antenatal care for pregnant women', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, no. 1.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Maude, R & Foureur, M 2009, 'Intrapartum fetal heart rate monitoring: using audit methodology to identify areas for research and practice improvement', New Zealand College of Midwives Journal, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 24-30.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The purpose of the study was to explore the fetal heart rate monitoring practices of midwives and doctors to determine compliance with an evidence-based guideline for fetal heart rate monitoring endorsed by one New Zealand (NZ) District Health Board (DHB). A retrospective audit of 193 randomly selected medical records was undertaken over six months (July-December 2006). The audit revealed deficiencies in choice of fetal heart rate monitoring modality, monitoring technique, documentation, communication and use of a standardised approach and language for interpreting cardiotocograph (CTG) traces especially the description and categorisation of the four main fetal heart rate features. Multidisciplinary education and a standardised template for reporting CTGs were key recommendations.
Mollart, L, Ewing, C & Foureur, M 2009, 'Midwives' emotional wellbeing: Impact of conducting Structured Antenatal Psychosocial Assessments (SAPSA)', Women and Birth, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 82-88.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Research problem To investigate the impact of conducting structured antenatal psychosocial assessments (SAPSA) on midwives emotional wellbeing. The SAPSA includes screening and assessment tools for domestic violence, childhood trauma, drug and alcohol use, depression, and vulnerability factors. Participants and methods Registered midwives who had conducted the SAPSA with women during the first hospital booking visit at two hospitals in NSW. Data was collected by means of focus group interviews. Results Four sub-themes were identified that directly impacted upon the midwives emotional wellbeing: cumulative complex disclosures, frustration and stress, lack of support for midwives and unhealthy coping strategies. Discussion and conclusions There was a cumulative emotional effect with some midwives utilising unhealthy strategies to cope with feelings of frustration, inadequacy and vicarious trauma. Establishment of structured referral pathways for women and supportive systems for midwives is essential prior to implementing the SAPSA.
A convenience sample of 320 consecutive primigravid women attending the antenatal clinic of a large Sydney tertiary referral hospital were invited to take part in a survey of folic acid use in pregnancy. The aim of the survey was to determine the number of primigravid women who commenced taking folic acid supplementation at least 1 month prior to conception. In addition the survey sought information on women's source of knowledge about the need for folic acid in pregnancy and whether their pregnancy was planned or unplanned. 295 women qualified to be included in the survey. While 88.1% of women took folic acid at some time prior to and/or during the first trimester, only 23.4% were found to have taken folic acid at least 1 month prior to conception. Of women with a planned birth only 34.5% commenced folic acid prior to conception. This survey adds further weight to the decision of the Australian Government to mandate for fortification of bread-making flour with folic acid, due to commence in September 2009. However, even with folic acid fortified food, health professionals need to continue to advise women to take supplements prior to conception and for at least 12 weeks into their pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects.
Foureur, M 2008, 'Der ideale Kreibsaal?', Deutsche Hebammen-Zeitschrift: Fachblatt fuer ..., vol. 6, pp. 10-12.
Lennox, S, Skinner, J & Foureur, M 2008, 'Mentorship, preceptorship and clinical supervision: three key processes for supporting midwives', New Zealand College of Midwives Journal, vol. 39, no. October, pp. 7-12.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
New Zealand midwives are increasingly seeking and receiving professional support in clinical practice. This support is gaining acceptance within the profession and is now underpinned by government funding. There are a variety of ways in which support can be provided and this review of the literature describes three main approaches: mentoring, preceptorship and clinical supervision. These three key processes may be undertaken by all midwives whether new to practice or new to New Zealand and also by those who wish ongoing support and development.
McBride-Henry, K & Foureur, M 2008, 'Organisational culture, medication administration and the role of nurses.', Practice Development in Healthcare, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 208-222.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Medication administration is a critical aspect of nursing practice, and has significant implications for the safety of the patients we care for. This research study was designed to identify ways of enhancing patient safety during the administration of medications within the New Zealand context. We employed a multi-method approach that included a survey using the Safety Climate Survey tool, focus groups and three clinical practice development groups. The outcomes of this study indicate that practice development initiatives, such as the ones outlined in this project, can have a positive effect on nurses' perceptions of organisational safety, which in turn has been demonstrated to have a positive impact on patient safety (Pronovost et al., 2003).
Foureur, M, Bush, R, Duke, J & Walton, C 2007, 'Poetry, A Reflective Practice tool for Nurses and Midwives.', Practice Development in Healthcare, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 203-212.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This article describes the practice of a poet-in-residence in a tertiary hospital in New Zealand, a country with a unique bicultural foundation. During her residency, the poet worked with hospital staff to gain insight into how nurses and midwives contribute to health outcomes. As well as creating 12 poems which make the work of nurses and midwives more visible, the poet provided poetry readings in two clinical areas and conducted a reflective practice exercise using the co-creation of poetry, with a group of newly graduated nurses. This residency demonstrated the importance of connecting the world of science and technology with the world of lived experience and how poetry can help nurses and midwives to express the complexity of human care practice
Qualitative descriptive study of women's experiences of using water for labour and birth based on analysis of in depth interviews. Revealed women use water immersion during labour and birth for many reasons other than for pain relief therefore studies using the RCT method to investigate the effectiveness of water for pain relief in labour have asked the wrong question of women. Provides a new research agenda and adds to the knowledge of this aspect of clinical practice. Co-authored with Robyn Maude who was my student undertaking a Masters research programme.
McBride-Henry, K & Foureur, M 2007, 'A Secondary Care Nursing Perspective On Medication Administration Safety', Journal Of Advanced Nursing, vol. 60, no. 1, pp. 58-66.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Title. A secondary care nursing perspective on medication administration safety Aim. This paper is a report of a study to explore how nurses in a secondary care environment understand medication administration safety and the factors that contribute to, o
Walsh, K, Duke, J, Foureur, M & MacDonald, L 2007, 'Designing an effective evaluation plan: a tool for understanding and planning evaluations for complex nursing contexts', Contemporary Nurse, vol. 25, no. 1-2, pp. 136-145.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
With the increasing emphasis on the development of nursing, evidence based practice, practice development and new and extended nursing roles, nurses are faced with the challenge of developing effective evaluation practices in an increasingly complex health care environment. This complexity has seen a number of evaluation methodologies and methods used in health care and nurses in clinical settings may find it difficult to know what approach or approaches best apply to their context. Given that evaluation of nursing innovations and interventions can have political, practical and fiscal consequences it is important that nurses have a broad understanding of evaluation, why it is important, the various types of evaluation methods and methodologies as well as some way of working through this complexity in order to develop evaluation plans and practices that best meet their needs. This paper explores a number of common types of evaluation methodologies and aims to assist nurses to better understand the 'why' and the 'how' of evaluation. In addition the paper describes the development of an evaluation tool which aims to assist nurses to develop effective evaluation plans that will best meet their evaluation needs.
Objective: This paper surveys current literature related to medication administration errors, the role of nurses in such errors, and current initiatives that are underway within New Zealand to address this aspect of patient safety. Setting: The literature review focused on research that primarily addresses the issues related to medications that arise in tertiary care facilities.
A recent survey of nurses and midwives pain knowledge and attitudes demonstrated that those working regularly with an acute pain service were more knowledgeable about analgesics, non-drug pain management and addiction issues. An acute pain service was shown to have a positive influence on pain management practice. A 29-item pain knowledge and attitudes questionnaire which also included questions relating to the impact of an acute pain service was distributed to 600 nurses and midwives. A response rate of 48% (286 valid responses) was achieved. Nurses and midwives who were unaware of an acute pain service in their organisation had significantly lower scores on knowledge about pain management, particularly in relation to the analgesia choices made. This data indicates that an acute pain service has an important influence within health care organisations and can be utilised to lead advancement in pain management practice.
Jull, A & Foureur, M 2003, 'Letter to the editor', Nursing Praxis in New Zealand, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 53-55.
A letter critiquing an article in a previous issue of the journal that described case control studies. The letter pointed out errors in the article and proposed that research without adequate controls provides less than robust evidence of effectiveness of practice interventions and should be presented with its limitations clearly articulated.
Levine, M, edelstein, J & Foureur, M 2003, 'The Relationship between Pregnancy Planning and Breastfeeding Duration', New Zealand College of Midwives Journal, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 20-22.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This exploratory study, using a convenience sample of 102 primiparous women in New Zealand, examined the relationship between pregnancy planning and duration of breastfeeding. These women, who had chosen to exclusively breastfeed their infants, responded to a two-part survey: Part I self administered on the day of discharge from hospital; Part II completed during a telephone interview at 6 weeks postpartum. Results: No relationship was found between planning of pregnancy and duration of exclusive breastfeeding. At 6 weeks postpartum, 66 (65%) were exclusively breastfeeding and 34 (35%) were not. Women who had completed 12th grade were significantly more likely to exclusively breastfeed at 6 weeks postpartum than women who had not completed high school (X2= 5.38, p = 0.02).
Foureur, M 2002, 'Randomised controlled trials in nursing and midwifery: an interview with Maralyn Foureur. Interview by Pamela J. Wood.', Nursing praxis in New Zealand inc, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 4-16.
Randomised controlled trials are considered to be one of the best research designs for determining effective care in the clinical setting. Relatively few randomised controlled trials, however, have been carried out in nursing or midwifery practice, so few examples of the practical realities of this research methodology are readily accessible. This is the sixth article in a series based on interviews with nursing and midwifery researchers, designed to offer the beginning researcher a first-hand account of the experience of using particular methodologies. This article focuses on the randomised controlled trial as experienced by Maralyn Foureur (RGON, RM, BA, Grad Dip Clin Epidem, PhD) who used this methodology to demonstrate the effectiveness of a continuity of care model in midwifery practice.
Shepherd, L & Foureur, M 2001, 'Introduction of night-lights to reduce falls on an Assessment, Treatment and Rehabilitation Unit', Australasian Journal of Rehabilitation Nursing, vol. 1, pp. 2-3.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Wild, KL, Carless, R, Hensley, MJ, Rowley, M & Pab, W 2001, 'The application of a ward based clinical pathway to facilitate the introduction of bi level positive airway pressure (bipap) in acute respiratory failure in copd', Respirology, vol. 6, no. SUPPL. 1.
The efficacy of BiPAP in acute respiratory failure in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is established, but challenges remain in introducing this into clinical practice. To facilitate this we devised a clinical pathway (CP) that combines treatment from intensive care and the respiratory ward. The aim of this study was to assess our ability to implement BiPAP treatment via this CP. Method: A retrospective case controlled study was undertaken. Consecutive subjects presenting with acute hypercapnoeic respiratory failure secondary to COPD were commenced on the BiPAP clinical pathway (n=17). They were compared to controls matched according to sex, age and severity of acute and chronic respiratory disease (n=34). Results: Only 1 subject treated with BiPAP needed to be intubated compared to 20 controls (p<0.01). The BiPAP group spent a mean of 22.9 hours in the ICU compared with 104 hours for the controls (pO.OOl), and had a mean length of stay in hospital of 7.9 days compared to 12.6 days in the controls (p=0.01). There was 1 death in the Bi PAP group and 7 in the control group (p=0.2). Conclusion: The introduction of BiPAP treatment through a CP has resulted in a significant improvement in patient outcomes and length of stay.
Rowley, M 1999, 'Clinical professorial appointments in nursing.', Nursing praxis in New Zealand inc, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 2-3.
Foureur, M, Rowley, MJ, Hensley MJ, MJ, Brinsmead MW, MW & Wlodarczyk, JH 1995, 'Continuity of care by a midwife team versus routine care during pregnancy and birth: a randomised trial.', Med J Aust., vol. 163, no. 6, pp. 289-293.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
To compare continuity of care from a midwife team with routine care from a variety of doctors and midwives.
A stratified, randomised controlled trial.
PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING:
814 women attending the antenatal clinic of a tertiary referral, university hospital.
Women were randomly allocated to team care from a team of six midwives, or routine care from a variety of doctors and midwives.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Antenatal, intrapartum and neonatal events; maternal satisfaction; and cost of treatment.
405 women were randomly allocated to team care and 409 to routine care; they delivered 385 and 386 babies, respectively. Team care women were more likely to attend antenatal classes (OR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.23-2.42); less likely to use pethidine during labour (OR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.22-0.46); and more likely to labour and deliver without intervention (OR, 1.73; 95% CI, 1.28-2.34). Babies of team care mothers received less neonatal resuscitation (OR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.41-0.86), although there was no difference in Apgar scores at five minutes (OR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.29-2.57). The stillbirth and neonatal death rate was the same for both groups of mothers with a singleton pregnancy (three deaths), but there were three deaths (birthweights of 600 g, 660 g, 1340 g) in twin pregnancies in the group receiving team care. Team care was rated better than routine care for all measures of maternal satisfaction. Team care meant a cost reduction of 4.5%.
Continuity of care provided by a small team of midwives resulted in a more satisfying birth experience at less cost than routine care and fewer adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes. Although a much larger study would be required to provide adequate power to detect rare outcomes, our study found that continuity of care by a midwife team was as safe as routine care.
ROWLEY, M, EPID, GD & KOSTRZEWA, C 1994, 'A DESCRIPTIVE STUDY OF COMMUNITY INPUT INTO THE EVOLUTION OF JOHN-HUNTER-HOSPITAL-BIRTH-CENTER - RESULTS OF OPEN ENTRY CRITERIA', AUSTRALIAN & NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF OBSTETRICS & GYNAECOLOGY, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 31-34.View/Download from: Publisher's site
SMITH, R, CUBIS, J, BRINSMEAD, M, LEWIN, T, SINGH, B, OWENS, P, CHAN, EC, HALL, C, ADLER, R, LOVELOCK, M, HURT, D, ROWLEY, M & NOLAN, M 1990, 'MOOD CHANGES, OBSTETRIC EXPERIENCE AND ALTERATIONS IN PLASMA-CORTISOL, BETA-ENDORPHIN AND CORTICOTROPIN RELEASING HORMONE DURING PREGNANCY AND THE PUERPERIUM', JOURNAL OF PSYCHOSOMATIC RESEARCH, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 53-69.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
OWENS, PC, SMITH, R, BRINSMEAD, MW, HALL, C, ROWLEY, M, HURT, D, LOVELOCK, M, CHAN, EC, CUBIS, J & LEWIN, T 1987, 'POSTNATAL DISAPPEARANCE OF THE PREGNANCY-ASSOCIATED REDUCED SENSITIVITY OF PLASMA-CORTISOL TO FEEDBACK INHIBITION', LIFE SCIENCES, vol. 41, no. 14, pp. 1745-1750.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Through various viewpoints, and over 30 images, this book guides designers through ways to create and develop interior designs in order to improve occupants' health and well-being.
Fahy, K, Parrat, J & Foureur, M 2011, 'Birth Territory: A Theory for Midwifery Practice' in Bryar, R & Sinclair, M (eds), Theory for Midwifery Practice, Second Edition, Palgrave MacMillan, Oxford, UK, pp. 215-240.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This new edition of a highly regarded classic midwifery text encourages critical thinking about the art and science of midwifery. Promoting the idea that thinking directly affects practice, it offers a clear explanation of the concepts, theories and models that shape effective evidence-informed care for women.
Foureur, M & Sandall, J 2008, 'The challenges of evaluating midwifery continuity of care' in Homer, Brodie & Leap (eds), Midwifery Continuity of Care: A practical guide, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, Sydney, Australa, pp. 165-180.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In this chaprer) we describe some of the challenges associated with evaluating midwifery continuity of care. The notion of 'midwifery care as a complex intervention' is explored as this informs (he way it is evaluated. Midwifery models of care are complex as they consist of a package ofinrerventions. In evaluations we have often tried to reduce the cornplexity, which may actually leave out the things that arc most important. Murray Enkin, one of the original editors of Effective Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth (Chalmers et al. 1989), highlighted this underst·anding by saying "TI,e things that count cannot be counted'. This was a version of a famous quotation by Alben Einstein: 'Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; and, everything that counts) cannot necessarily be counted'. 'lhis chapter deals with these issues and the importance of maintaining the complexity in evaluations by using a framework developed by the Medical Research Council of the United Kingdom as a way of thinking through and planning an evaluation. 'This chapter also includes a briefcritique of the evidence around midwifery continuity of care presented in Chapter 2.
Foureur, M 2008, 'Creating Birth Space to Enable Undisturbed Birth' in Fahy, K, Foureur, M & Hastie, C (eds), Birth Territory and Midwifery Guardianship, Elsevier, Oxford, UK, pp. 57-78.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Lepori, B, Foureur, M & Hastie, C 2008, 'Mindbodyspirit Architecture: Creating birth space' in Fahy, K, Foureur, M & Hastie, C (eds), Birth Territory and Midwifery Guardianship, Elsevier, Oxford, UK, pp. 95-112.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Co-authored with Lepori, B and Hastie C. Examines the research evidence for the impact of the physical and emotional environment on the physiology of women in labour and birth. Proposes new principles for the design of birth spaces and sets a new research agenda.
Wood, PJ & Foureur, M 2007, 'A clean front passage: dirt, douches and disinfectants at St Helens Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand, 1907-1922' in Kirkham, M (ed), Exploring the dirty side of women's health, Routledge, Great Britain, pp. 30-44.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This chapter was an invited publication in an international, refereed book. It is based on historical research using the archives of the St Helens Hospital Wellington 1907-1922. It is one of several publications and presentations arising from the archival database which we set up in 2000. This chapter explores the relationship between puerpural sepsis at the beginning of the 20th century and notions of dirt carried within the bodies of childbearing women. St Helens Hospitals were renowned for their cleanliness and attention to aspepsis. They had the lowest rate of puerpural sepsis in New Zealand. This chapter contributes to my research platform which explores the impact of the birth environment on birth outcomes -from a number of perspectives.
Wood, PJ & Foureur, M 2006, 'A clean front passage: Dirt, douches and disinfectants at St Helens Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand, 1907-1922' in Exploring the Dirty Side of Women's Health, pp. 26-37.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Foureur, M 2005, 'Next Steps: Public Health in Midwifery Practice' in O'Luanaigh, P & Carlson, C (eds), Midwifery and Public Health: Future Directions and New Opportunities, Elsevier, Churchill Livingstone, London, UK, pp. 221-237.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The preceding chapters have provided insights into how the health agenda of governments in many developed countries has changed . The past focus on preventative health care and individual education for appropriate lifestyle choices has been recognised as limited and largely ineffectual in addressing the poor health of certain population groups. Governments have now embraced a broader understanding of the complex interactions and contributi on to health outcomes of not only individual behaviour but also socio-economic inequalities. This has led to a new public health agenda that seeks to engage communities , in concert with a range of health providers including midwives, to improve the health status of those who are currently disadvantaged.
Foureur, M & Hunter, M 2005, 'The Place of Birth' in Pairman, Pincombe, Thorogood, Tracy & Livingstone, C (eds), MIdwifery Preparation for Practice, Elsevier, London, UK, pp. 1-25.
This chapter provides further evidence of my research platform and international standing. The chapter continues to explore the complex nature of the birth environment. It focuses on the place of birth and how this contributes to birth outcomes. The chapter was invited to be submitted following a conference presentation of the research on which it is based at the 7th ICM (International Conference of Midwives) Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Honk Kong, 27-28 November 2003.where I was the keynote speaker. This chapter was published as one of two sample chapters in the book to coincide with the international Confederation of Midwives Congress in Brisbane in July 2005 and will be included in the book of the same name to be published in 2006.
Foureur, M & Wood, P 2005, 'Exploring the Maternity Archive of the St Helens Hospital Wellington New Zealand' in Mortimer, B & McGann, S (eds), New Directions in the History of Nursing, Routledge, Oxford, pp. 1907-1922.
This chapter, is an international publication, provides further evidence of my research platform in exploring the contributions of the complex nature of the birth environment to birth outcomes - this time from an historical perspective based on the maternity archives of the first St Helen's Hospital in New Zealand. This was an invited chapter following the presentation of the research which it is based to the conference celebrating the launch of the UK centre for the History of Nursing in Edingburgh in 2000. The ongoing research on which this chapter is based discovered that the reportedly low maternal mortality rates attributed to midwifery practices at the St Helen's Hospitals were due to the almost total absence of puerpural spesi. Maternal mortality from other causes was however the same as in the rest of the country. This chapter also provides further evidence of the international standing, and of the collaborative nature of my research, this time with a nurse historian.
Wood, PJ & Foureur, M 2005, 'Exploring the maternity archive of the St Helens Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand 1907-1922: an historian and a midwifer collaborate' in MOrtimer, B & McGann, S (eds), New Directions in the History of Nursing: International perspectives, Routledge, London, UK, pp. 179-193.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
An analysis of the maternity archive of the first publicly funded maternity hospital in New Zealand which opened at the turn of the 20th century. This was a midwifery led hospital with one consultant medical practitioner. The hospital was renowned for its high standards of cleanliness. The analysis critiques the understanding that most maternal deaths at the time were due to puerpural sepsis. At this hospital puerpural sepsis was a rare event and maternal deaths were due to a range of other causes.
Braye, K, Xu, F, Ferguson, J & Foureur, M 2017, 'Is exposing around a third of our birthing population to Intrapartum Antibiotic Prophylaxis (IAP) for prevention of Early Onset Group B Streptococcal infection (EOGBSI) doing more harm than good?', Women and Birth, Elsevier, pp. 24-24.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Catling, C, Coddington, R, Foureur, M & Homer, CSE 2014, 'Publicly-funded homebirth in Australia: outcomes over 6 years', International Confederation of Midwives 30th Triennial Conference, Prague, Czech Republic.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Catling, C, Coddington, R, Foureur, M & Homer, CSE 2013, 'Maternal and neonatal outcomes from publicly-funded homebirth models in Australia', Australian College of Midwives 18th Biennial Conference, 'Life, Art and Science in Midwifery, Australian College of Midwives Biennial Conference, Hobart.
Catling, C, Coddington, R, Foureur, M & Homer, CSE 2013, 'Publicly-funded homebirth in Australia: outcomes over 6 years', Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand 17th Annual Congress 'Controversies in perinatal care, Adelaide.
Foureur, M 2010, 'Changing the Birth Environment to Facilitate Optimal Birth Experiences for Women', Nepean Midwifery Conference, Sebel Resort, Windsor.
This paper explored the current research understanding of the physiology of stress in childbirth and how this impacts outcomes in labour and birth for women and babies. It proposed innovative strategies for focussed attention on aspects of the birth environment that are amendable to change and how optimal birth environments could lead to reduced intervention in childbirth.
Foureur, M 2010, 'Epigenetics and the Birth Environment', Royal Hospital for Women "Celebrating Midwifery Excellence" Conference, Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick, Sydney NSW.
This keynote addressed presented new research understanding of the influence of the birth environment -from preconception, through conception, pregnancy, labour, birth and the early postnatal period, on the human epigenome
Foureur, M 2010, 'How the Birth Environment impacts the Human Epigenome', Canterbury Hospital Inaugural Midwifery Conference "From small beginnings, big things grow", Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury, Sydney, NSW.
Presented animal and human research findings that describe the impact of stressful birth environments on short term birth outcomes and long term health behaviours of infants - and in particular focussed on changes to the epigenome
Hoang, DB & Foureur, M 2009, 'Welcome from the technical program chairs', 2009 11th IEEE International Conference on e-Health Networking, Applications and Services, Healthcom 2009, p. 2.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Davis, DL, Homer, CS, Foureur, M, Leap, N & Forbes, I 2008, 'Birthing units: Designing homely delivery spaces to promote natural birth', Health Facilities Design and Development 2008, Brisbane, Australia.
Hoang, DB, Lawrence, EM, Ahmad, N, Balasubramanian Appiah, V, Homer, CS, Foureur, M & Leap, N 2008, 'Assistive Care Loop with Electronic Maternity Records', 2008 10th IEEE International Conference on e-Health Networking, Applications and Services, International Conference on e-Health Networking, Applications and Services, IEEE, Biopolis, Singapore, pp. 118-123.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Surprisingly women-held pregnancy health records (paper based) are still predominantly used in most hospitals in Australia. These records are not standardized as each hospital or state has a slightly different version. Early efforts have been made to standardize pregnancy records and make them available electronically. Electronic record systems do not allow dynamic interaction between users and they are not accessible when users are mobile. This paper describes an assistive maternity care (AMC) system that addresses a number of important issues: 1) transforming a women-held paper-based record for pregnancy care into an electronic maternity record (EMR); 2) investigating mechanisms to make the record active; 3) creating a system whereby details of the pregnant women and their carers can be recorded, updated over wired and wireless networks; and 4) creating a pregnancy care loop over which midwives and doctors and pregnant women under their care can communicate effectively anywhere, anytime for the duration of pregnancy.
Foureur, M 2007, 'Creating Positive Birth Space', Supporting Normal Birth Seminar for the Otway Division of General Practice, Corangamite Managed Clinical Network, Terang, Victoria.
Foureur, M 2007, 'Enacting the principles for creating positive birth space (part 2)', Midwives Riding the Wave of Innovation and Evidence Based Practice, Legends Hotel Surfers Paradise Queensland.
Foureur, M 2007, 'Establishing the principles for creating positive birth space (part 1)', Midwives Riding the Wave of Innovation and Evidence based Practice, Legends Hotel Surfers Paradise Queensland.
Fisher, K, Foureur, M & Hawley, J Capital and Coast DHB 2005, Maternity and Gynaecology Report 2004, pp. 3-98, Wellington, New Zealand.
Analysis of Maternity and Gynaecology Service processes and outcomes. Recommendations for practice and policy changes made. Co-authored with Keith Fisher and Jackie Hawley.
Farquhar, C, Lethaby, A, Guilliland, K, Cole, S, Foureur, M, Buist, R, Banks, M, Waller, N & Yates, A New Zealand Guidelines Group 2004, Care of Women with Breech or Previous Caesarean Birth- Evidence-based Best Practice Guideline, Evidence Based Practice Guideline, pp. 1-106, Wellington, New Zealand.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Member of the NZ Guidelines Group to develop a Ministry of Health Commissioned Guideline. This was a multidisciplinary group who worked for two years reviewing the evidence and preparing a summary and then developing the guideline. The guideline is available from firstname.lastname@example.org or www.nzgg.org.nz
Davis, D, Davey, R, Williams, LT, Foureur, M, Nohr, E, Knight-Agarwal, C, Lawlis, T, Oats, J, Skouteris, H & Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, M, 'Optimizing Gestational Weight Gain With the Eating4Two Smartphone App: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial (Preprint)'.
Approximately 50% of women gain excessive weight in pregnancy. Optimizing gestational weight gain is important for the short- and long-term health of the childbearing woman and her baby. Despite this, there is no recommendation for routine weighing in pregnancy, and weight is a topic that many maternity care providers avoid. Resource-intensive interventions have mainly targeted overweight and obese women with variable results. Few studies have examined the way that socioeconomic status might influence the effectiveness or acceptability of an intervention to participants. Given the scale of the problem of maternal weight gain, maternity services will be unlikely to sustain resource intensive interventions; therefore, innovative strategies are required to assist women to manage weight gain in pregnancy.
The primary aim of the trial was to examine the effectiveness of the Eating4Two smartphone app in assisting women of all body mass index categories to optimize gestational weight gain. Secondary aims include comparing childbirth outcomes and satisfaction with antenatal care and examining the way that relative advantage and disadvantage might influence engagement with and acceptability of the intervention.
This randomized controlled trial will randomize 1330 women to control or intervention groups in 3 regions of different socioeconomic status. Women will be recruited from clinical and social media sites. The intervention group will be provided with access to the Eating4Two mobile phone app which provides nutrition and dietary information specifically tailored for pregnancy, advice on food serving sizes, and a graph that i...
Northern Sydney Local Health District
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University of Newastle
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Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand