A new midwifery decision-making handbook showcases how evidence-informed decision-making can empower midwives to work together, support women’s choices and enhance the maternity experience.
Edited by Dr Elaine Jefford, a midwifery academic and researcher at Southern Cross University, Empowering Decision-Making in Midwifery: A Global Perspective, was developed to help midwives, midwifery academics and students understand how theory translates into practice across the world.
“Understanding midwives’ decision-making, the regulatory frameworks in which they operate and their high degree of professional accountability is essential,” Dr Jefford says.
“Yet there has been no dedicated midwifery decision-making book published since 2005. Instead, what has been offered is borrowed from other disciplines. The research published in the book is much-needed to address the gap.”
The book, co-edited by Professor Julie Jomeen from the University of Hull (UK), includes contributions from 38 authors across 10 countries exploring the following themes:
- Influencing factors underpinning midwifery decision-making
- Translating theory into practice
- Decision-making within the context of the socially and culturally constructed maternity care environment
The first section critically reviews decision-making theories, including the Enhancing Decision-Making Assessment in Midwifery (EDAM) tool, and their relevance to the profession.
It explores the links between midwifery governance, including professional regulation and the law, risk and safety and decision-making, as well as how critical thinking and reflection are essential elements of decision-making.
“Decision-making in midwifery is a complex process that shapes and underpins our practice and, to a large extent, the quality of care that we provide,” Dr Jefford says.
“This book enables readers to reflect on decision-making in relation to their own practice, wherever that may be around the world, but also on how, as midwives, we can truly work in partnership with women in decision-making to enhance their birth experience.”
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