NURS 2042 Psychosocial Issues in the Perinatal Period

Credit Points 10

Coordinator Virginia Schmied Opens in new window

Description In this subject students will gain knowledge of the psychosocial risk and protective factors that influence outcomes for women and their babies. Students will explore issues related to perinatal mental health. This will include antenatal and postnatal depression and anxiety, substance misuse, domestic violence and the midwife’s role in supporting women and their families in perinatal grief and loss situations. Through interactive discussions and role play students will strengthen their skills in psychosocial assessment and working in partnership with women and families to explore concerns, facilitate behaviour change in individual and group-based learning contexts and identify effective early intervention strategies and referral pathways. There will also be a focus on the importance of self-care for midwives.

School Nursing & Midwifery

Discipline Midwifery

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Equivalent Subjects NURS 3027 - Midwifery Practice – Teaching and Learning


Students must be enrolled in 4684 Bachelor of Midwifery.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Apply a socioecological health care model to determine risk and protective factors that influence outcomes for a woman, her children and family.
  2. Explain the impact of perinatal depression, anxiety and trauma on the woman, her infant and family and the potential consequences for the mother-infant relationship.
  3. Evaluate the impact of domestic/family violence and parental substance misuse on the health and wellbeing of women, infants and families.
  4. Discuss the role of the midwife in managing grief and loss situations for the woman, and her family
  5. Discuss the assessment, planning and implementation of specific midwifery care for women and their neonates with complex psychosocial needs.
  6. Evaluate appropriate early intervention and referral pathways for women experiencing complex psychosocial issues including individual and group-based learning and support.
  7. Critically analyse and discuss adult learning principles and communication skills required by midwives to work in partnership with women, promote health improvement and facilitate behaviour change in complex situations.

Subject Content

  1. Socio-ecological model
  2. Psychological and social risk factors that influence outcomes for the woman, newborn and family
  3. Family support and other protective factors that influence outcomes for the woman, newborn and family
  4. Perinatal mental health (depression and anxiety)
    • Signs and symptoms of Perinatal mood disorders
    • Using the EPDS
    • Treatment & Management
    • Strategies to support families
  5. Grief and loss
    • Supporting women and their families
    • Stillbirth/neonatal death, SIDS
    • maternal grief/ family grief
  6. Trauma
    • Acute, chronic, complex, intergenerational, vicarious
    • Trauma informed care
    • Birth interventions and birth trauma
  7. Domestic violence and substance misuse
    • Defining DV and its associated factors
    • Substance misuse (alcohol and other drugs)
    • Early intervention strategies and programs
    • Impact on parenting and childhood outcomes
    • Child protection
  8. Psychosocial risk assessment and depression screening
  9. Cultural considerations including experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and families and women and families from migrant and refugee backgrounds
  10. Midwives role in supporting women with complex psychosocial needs
    • Models of care and referral pathways
    • Working in partnership with women and families in the perinatal period including:
    • Skills needed to explore to gain a clear understanding of a woman’s concerns or situation; recognising skills and qualities needed in a midwife to work in partnership
    • Communication skills needed to promote health improvement and facilitate behaviour change in individual and group-based learning contexts
    • Adult learning principles
    • Skills in group facilitation
    • Working in partnership with other professionals to support women and families with complex psychosocial needs
  11. The midwife
    • Clinical supervision and reflective practice
    • Resilience and self-care

Special Requirements

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.

Teaching Periods

Spring (2024)

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Virginia Schmied Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

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