NURS 1009 Midwifery Knowledge 1

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 401030

Coordinator Emma Collins Opens in new window

Description This subject introduces students to the meaning of birth in society and the historical and social contexts of midwifery, from its early beginnings, to its current professional standing. The philosophy of midwifery and the role of the midwife within a continuity of care framework will be explored with a particular focus on the provision of care in the antenatal period. This will include approaches for working in partnership with women and their families. Students will investigate, identify and access scientific information and research in order to develop academic literacy at a beginning level. They will identify the principles of communication and explore educational resources for childbirth.

School Nursing & Midwifery

Discipline Midwifery

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 1 subject

Co-requisite(s) NURS 1023 AND NURS 1012 for students in program 4684


Students must be enrolled in 4684 Bachelor of Midwifery.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Discuss the philosophy of midwifery and the historical development of midwifery as a profession and how Primary Health Care (PHC) principles relate to the provision of midwifery care.
  2. Describe the role and professional responsibilities of the midwife in the provision of safe woman centred midwifery care during pregnancy.
  3. Describe the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their traditions around pregnancy and identify culturally safe maternity care practices and resources in urban, rural and remote settings.
  4. Explain Cultural Safety and Cultural Competence and appreciate the impact of culture on the meaning of birth for yourself and others
  5. Demonstrate the concepts of lifelong learning, reflection and critical thinking, as they relate to midwifery practice
  6. Describe the models of care available for women and the benefits of midwifery continuity of care.

Subject Content

Conception to 12 weeks

  • Overview of antenatal care and NSW policies and guidelines
  • Early signs of pregnancy
  • Routine screening and diagnostic testing to 12 weeks
  • Assessment and monitoring of pregnancy to 12 weeks
  • Common medications and supplements in the antenatal period

13-26 weeks

  • Routine screening and diagnostic testing to 26 weeks
  • Booking in visit – taking a comprehensive health assessment
  • Psychosocial assessment
  • Assessment and monitoring of pregnancy to 26 weeks
  • Antenatal health promotion – nutrition and oral health

27 weeks to term

  • Routine screening and diagnostic testing to term
  • Assessment and monitoring of pregnancy to term
  • Parenting and pregnancy classes

Historical and Political Context of Childbirth

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ history of pregnancy and birth throughout the ages and contemporary considerations such as the Birthing on Country movement
  • Impact for culturally and linguistically diverse women accessing maternity care and identify cultural and religious considerations requirements during pregnancy of women from other cultures
  • Feminism, women’s rights, advocacy and empowerment
  • The impact of over-medicalisation of pregnancy and childbirth

Preparation for Professional and Academic Life

  • Language and literacy for professional and academic life
    • professional language of Midwifery
    • midwifery and health care abbreviations and terminology
    • introduction to Evidence Based Practice Midwifery
    • Understanding published research articles
    • Academic writing and referencing styles
    • Commence a professional portfolio
  • Learning and the relationship to professional and academic life
    • being a learner and learning styles
    • lifelong learning and reflection
    • critical thinking
    • Support networks, stress management and self-care

Midwife’s Role in Pregnancy

  • Global and national standards and perspectives (AHPRA, ACM, CATSINaM, International Confederation of Midwives, World Health Organization)
  • Cultural Safety Framework
  • Models of care
  • Midwifery continuity of care
  • Philosophy of midwifery and role of the midwife
  • Pregnancy Care Guidelines, ACM Consultation and Referral guidelines
  • National Safety and Quality Health Services Standards

Special Requirements

Essential equipment

Essential Equipment: Access to an internet enabled device is essential in order to be able to: access course materials; to participate in discussion groups; and to access additional resources provided by the lecturer during the session. See for further information.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Portfolio 1500 words 40 N Individual
Portfolio Revision is of the 1500 words. Reflection 400 words 20 N Individual
Intra-session Quiz 1 hour 40 N Individual

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Emma Collins Opens in new window

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