NURS 7011 Childbirth in the Australian Context

Credit Points 20

Legacy Code 401089

Coordinator Leanne Luck Opens in new window

Description This subject provides students with the knowledge to work, using a primary health care approach, with women and their families during childbirth including the transition to parenthood. Emphasis will be placed on the biological, psychosocial and cultural aspects of the pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period and understanding of the role of the midwife in maintaining a woman and family focus within a continuity of care model. The neonatal period will also be examined. Childbirth in our culturally diverse maternity health system will be explored, investigated, analysed and discussed with a specific focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This will include the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and how events in history have impacted on their health and birthing practices. Experiences of women from other countries and cultures will be examined.

School Nursing & Midwifery

Discipline Midwifery

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 20cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject


Students must be enrolled in 4697 Graduate Diploma in Midwifery and be a registered nurse employed in a participating NSW Health Local Health District facility in the position of a midwifery student.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Critically analyse and explain the role of the midwife, within a continuity of care framework, in the provision of care to a woman and her family including knowledge of the legal and ethical issues related to the woman and her newborn/s
  2. Apply knowledge of the biological, physiological, psychological and social needs of women pre-conceptually, during pregnancy, labour and birth and the postnatal period to facilitate an optimal experience for the woman including transition to parenthood;
  3. Critically analyse the impact of birth on a woman�fs sense of self and her emotional, psychological, social and cultural needs and those of her newborn and her family
  4. Apply knowledge of the principles of adult learning, primary health care and public health policy to facilitate opportunities for health promotion with the woman, her family and community particularly relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
  5. Critically evaluate the socio-cultural, economic, political and personal context of infant feeding decisions in Australia
  6. Critically analyse historical events that have impacted on the life and c

Subject Content

1. Midwives Working with Women
- primary health care approach to Pre-conceptual health, conception and pregnancy.
- partnership in care/Continuity of Midwifery care and Midwifery led antenatal care
- Midwifery care to support The individual needs of women in labour and birth
- Facilitating normal birth
- Addressing cultural needs
- Transitions of care
2. Midwifery Care - Pregnancy
- role of The midwife
- assessment and Screening during Pregnancy
- Pharmacological substances commonly used in Midwifery practice
- Working with women and their families
- psychosocial and emotional needs during Pregnancy, labour and birth
- health promotion and skills in facilitating Adult learning opportunities for women in Pregnancy including nutrition, oral health care, physical Activity, Pelvic floor health
- options for childbirth education and preparation for birth and parenting
- Addressing The cultural needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and women from CALD backgrounds
3. Midwifery Care - Labour
- Midwives role in Assessing and Monitoring labour and birth
- Promoting physiological labour and birth; Rationale for upright positions and movement, Physiology of pain, perception of pain and pain control theories, Midwifery care for comfort eg massage, complementary therapies, heat and water, Nitrous Oxide, ster
- Supporting Birth Discussions; Preparation for birth, Midwives role in supporting the birthing woman (including waterbirth), Physiological and active third stage, Examination of the placenta.
- Midwives role in care of the newborn; Newborn pharmacology, Nutritional requirements, Initiating skin to skin, Supporting the first breast feed.
4. Midwifery Care - Postnatal
- The Midwives role in Postnatal care
- Working with women and their families post birth
- partner inclusive practice
- physiological, psychosocial and emotional changes and needs
- options Postnatal education and preparation for parenting
- newborn care and Immunisation
5. Cultural Awareness
- historical events that impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples
- traditions around birth and mothering
- women?fs experiences of childbirth
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and ?gbridging The gap?h
- Working in partnership
- cultural Factors effecting birth outcomes
6. Infant feeding decisions in Australia
- politics of breastfeeding
- who Code for The Marketing of breast milk substitutes
- Baby Friendly health initiative in Australia
- supporting women in their feeding decision


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
Essay - Development of an antenatal education session 1,500 words 30 N Individual
Presentation - Expanding on a topic that is part of the unit content 10 minute class presentation 20 N Individual
End of session closed book examination: MCQ & short answer 2 hours 50 Y Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Davies, L., & McDonald, S. (2008). Examination of the newborn and neonatal health: A multidimensional approach. Edinburgh, Scotland: Churchhill LivingstoneElsevier. Australia
  • Pairman, S., Tracy, S., Dahlen, H. & Dixon, L. (2019). Midwifery: preparation for practice (4th ed.). Chatswood, N.S.W: Elsevier, Australia

Structures that include subject