NURS 7054 Foundations of Postnatal and Newborn Care

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 401348

Coordinator Elisha Stein Opens in new window

Description This subject is centred on using a primary health, with continuity of- care approach to the care of women and their families during transition to parenthood. Students will investigate the biological, physiological and psychosocial aspects of the postnatal period and the midwife's this time. Culturally diverse practices, including those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and women from other countries and cultures will be explored. Students develop midwifery skills working with women in a continuity-of- care model and gain experience in maternity practice areas. The subject commences with a one-week intensive workshop exposing students to an elementary level of understanding and application of midwifery care in a maternity setting in preparation for employment. Postnatal care concepts introduced during this intensive practice week will be covered in more detail during subsequent weeks.

School Nursing & Midwifery

Discipline Midwifery

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Co-requisite(s) NURS 7053


Students must be enrolled in 4775 Graduate Diploma in Midwifery.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify and describe the normal biological and physiological processes related to the postnatal period
  2. Describe physiological changes that occur at birth and growth and development of the newborn to six weeks of age
  3. Apply evidence-based knowledge of the biological, physiological, psychological and social needs of women during the postnatal period to facilitate an optimal experience for the woman including transition to parenthood
  4. Undertake screening, assessment and care of women and newborn during the postnatal period
  5. Critically analyse and explain the role of the midwife, within a continuity of care framework, in the provision of postnatal care to a woman and her family including knowledge of the legal and ethical issues related to the woman and her newborns
  6. Apply knowledge of the principles of adult learning, primary health care and public health policy to facilitate postnatal opportunities for health promotion with the woman, her family and community particularly relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
  7. Critically evaluate the socio-cultural, economic, political and personal context of infant feeding decisions in Australia
  8. Implement and evaluate strategies for providing culturally safe practice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Culturally and Linguistically diverse (CALD) women and their families
  9. Demonstrate safe Midwifery standards of practice and capacity to critically reflect on the professional requirements for midwifery practice

Subject Content

1. Intensive week skills workshop
- introduction to Postnatal care
- introduction to newborn assessment
- introduction to supporting breastfeeding
- communication
i. Respectful communication
ii. Midwifery language for working with women
iii. Midwifery terms and acronyms
- resilience and Preparing to commence role as Midwifery student
- orientation to library and databases
- introduction to Midwifery practice portfolio
i. Midwifery log of practice experience
ii. Midwifery continuity of care notes
iii. Midwife standards for practice and Australian Midwifery Standards Assessment Tool (AMSAT)
iv. Professional practice experience guide
2. Postnatal physiology
- Maternal physiological changes
- physiology of The newborn at birth
- newborn growth and development to six weeks
3. Midwifery Care (Postnatal)
- The midwives role in Postnatal care
- Working with women and their families post birth
- partner inclusive practice
- physiological, psychological, social and emotional changes and needs
- Perinatal mental health, social and emotional awareness
- options for Postnatal education and preparation for parenting
- newborn care and Immunisation
- Escalation procedure for deviations from normal
- Nutritional requirements of The newborn
- initiation and support of breastfeeding
- Pharmacology, Maternal and newborn
- An introduction to The specific needs of women with complex pregnancies
- apply legal and Ethical aspects associated with Pregnancy, labour and birth e.g. documentation and consent
4. 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
5. Midwifery Skills - Postnatal
- communication skills for Working in partnership
- skills of reflecting on practice
- APGAR assessment, and initial newborn Examination including weight and measurements
- assessment of The woman post birth
- breastfeeding support
- preparation of breastmilk Substitute
- newborn blood Screening, Intramuscular and subcutaneous injections and blood glucose level testing.
- Receiving The Baby at LSCS
- Postnatal assessment and discharge assessment (Maternal)
- Postnatal assessment and discharge assessment (newborn)
6. Cultural Awareness
- traditions around The Postnatal period and mothering
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and Postnatal care that considers (closing The gap)
- Working in partnership
- cultural Factors effecting Postnatal care
7. Health Informatics

Special Requirements

Legislative pre-requisites

Legislative requirements would have been attended to by employing NSW Health Local Health District facility or private hospital.


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
Reflection 30 minutes x2 (Peer Review), 1,000 words x2 (Self-Assessment) 50 N Individual
Final Exam 2 hours 50 Y Individual
Professional Placement Performance Not specified S/U Y Individual
Portfolio Not specified S/U Y Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • De-Vitry Smith, S. & Bayes, S. (2018). Skills for midwifery practice (Aust & New Zealand ed.). Chatswood, N.S.W.: Elsevier.
  • Pairman, S., Tracy, S. K., Dahlen, H., & Dixon, L. (2022). Midwifery preparation for practice (Fifth edition.). Elsevier.
  • Rankin, J. (2017). Physiology in childbearing: With anatomy and related biosciences (4th ed.). Edinburgh, UK: Elsevier.

Teaching Periods

Autumn (2024)

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Elisha Stein Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

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