NURS 7057 Professional Foundations of Midwifery

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 401374

Coordinator Athena Sheehan Opens in new window

Description This subject will introduce students to the profession of midwifery from a philosophical, historical, global, and Australian perspective. It will highlight the important role Midwifery plays in the provision of cost effective, high quality care to both women and newborns globally. It will focus on policies and practices that promote respectful and collaborative woman centred care and the value of continuity of midwifery care to achieving these goals. Students will be required to reflect on beliefs around childbirth including their own personal beliefs.

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

Equivalent Subjects NURS 7037 Midwifery as a Profession


Students must be enrolled in 4775 Graduate Diploma in Midwifery and be a registered nurse employed in a participating NSW Health Local Health District facility or Private Hospital in the position of a midwifery student.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Discuss the history and philosophy of midwifery
  2. Analyse the role midwives play in optimising women�fs health in Australia and Globally
  3. Appraise different beliefs and practices around childbirth
  4. Apply the language of midwifery
  5. Discuss contemporary issues related to childbirth in Australia

Subject Content

History of Midwifery
Midwifery as a Profession
- The ICM Definition of a Midwife
- The Philosophy of midwifery
- Woman centred care/the midwife woman relationship
- The Practice of Midwifery: what makes a good midwife
- The Language of Midwifery
- Professional Midwifery organisations ACM/ICM
- Registration requirements for practicing Midwifery in Australia
A Global Perspective of Midwifery
- Primary healthcare and midwifery
- Social determinants of health affecting maternity care
- The framework for quality maternal and newborn care
- Midwifery the universal pathway of health: The importance of Midwifery care
- Human rights in childbirth
Childbirth in Australia
- The Australian healthcare system and maternity care
- Towards Normal Birth Policy (currently under review)
- The First 2000 days Framework
- Why does normal physiological birth matter ? (including the human Biome)
- The role of the midwife as protector of normal physiological birth
- The birth space
- Continuity of Midwifery care as the Gold Standard of care
Cultural and Personal beliefs around childbirth
- Personal beliefs
- Cultural beliefs and practices
- Fear and Risk around childbirth
- Birthing outside the system


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 800 words each 50 N Individual
Essay 1,500 words 50 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Pairman, S., Tracy, S., Dahlen, H. & Dixon, L. (2019). Midwifery: Preparation for practice (4th ed.). Chatswood, N.S.W: Elsevier, Australia.

Teaching Periods

Block A Session (2024)



Subject Contact Athena Sheehan Opens in new window

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