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Please contribute to this resource
If you have any information or resources that you think might be useful to share please feel free to add content to this wiki. For this to be a valuable resource for midwives in New Zealand or internationally it needs your input.
Clicking on any of the links below will take to to a new website. You will need to hit the 'back' button to return here.

Who might use this resource?
This resource was begun in October 2007 while Carolyn was engaged in a course in facilitating online learning communities through Manukau and Otago Polytechnics in New Zealand. It has principally been designed for those interested in midwifery education, as educators or students, however others may also be interested in this web site. Midwives might use this to access material relevant to midwifery practice in New Zealand. If you have any new information to add to this website please feel free to do so. I intend to continue to build and grow this site as time and resources permit.
I am continuing to develop this website, particularly the page related to free on-line resources [1].

What is a midwife?
The Midwives Work DVD [2] premiered at the International Confederation of Midwives Congress in Durban South Africa in June 2011. This conference is the largest, global international midwifery conference with around 3000 participants from 100 countries. The video explains the role of midwives around the world and describes some of the challenges midwives face. It suggest actions that could be taken to make sure that every birthing woman has access to a skilled, compassionate and well educated midwife, during pregnancy, birth and in the first hours of her child's life.

International midwifery
According to the World Health Organisation [3] midwifery encompasses the care of women during pregnancy, labour, birth and postpartum and also care of the newborn. Midwives have a key role in primary health service provision and health promotion and also need to identify when additional care is required, seeking medical assistance as necessary for complications but providing emergency measures in the absence of medical help. The international confederation of midwives [4]seeks to support and advance midwifery associations around the world securing women's rights to midwifery care before, during and after childbirth. Much information can be gained about the profession of midwifery from these two organisations. Here are some pictures of amazing midwives [5]

Midwifery in New Zealand
The midwifery profession in New Zealand pioneered a partnership model of care . Midwives work in partnership [6] with women providing or supporting continuity of care and co-ordinating support from other health professionals when necessary. Midwives are either employed within maternity facilities through District Health Boardsor they are self employed through the Primary Maternity Services Notice, Section 88 contract with the Ministry of health.The midwifery profession is governed by the Midwifery council of New Zealandand is supported by the New Zealand College of midwiveswhich is the professional voice of midwifery. Midwives in New Zealand are autonomous health professionals and work within the scope of their practice as outlined by the Midwifery Council of new Zealand.

Midwifery education in New Zealand

Midwifery education in New Zealand is a three year, direct entry bachelor degree program. It is therefore an academic program which also has a strong clinical component.
There are two schools of midwifery in the South Island of New Zealand. In Christchurch (CPIT) and In Dunedin (Otago Polytechnic). These two schools have recently worked together on a joined midwifery programme which is delivered through online and face to face learning resources from both schools.
Starting in 2009 the South Island midwifery program is being taught through a flexible model with students able to remain in their home town for most of their midwifery education. There are weekly face to face small group tutorials and four two week blocks scattered throughout the first year of the program and a similar arrangement in year two. In year one and two the students have extensive midwifery practice experience with local midwives and local maternity facilities. In year three the students are on midwifery placements with midwives in practice. They will need to travel to most of these practice placements and can be placed anywhere in New Zealand and occasionally overseas if they wish. Overseas women interested in this program will still need to come to New Zealand as it is necessary to work alongside midwives in our communities.

About this wiki

At the top left hand side of this wiki you will see a tab labeled discussion. You can click on this tab and you will find some topics for discussion. Please feel free to click on the edit tab and add your comments. It would be useful to us if you sign your name with comments. The questions listed here are only a guide you can add any other comments you wish. Remember to hit the save tab when you have finished adding your comment.If you feel you have something useful to add to this main page then you may do so. Consider this carefully before doing so, please use the discussion area if you are leaving a comment or suggestion.

Communities of practice

Midwifery practitioners need to engage in a process of life long learning, midwives need to be familiar with recent developments and to identify how these can be applied in their own practice. The importance of communities of practice for adult learning has been discussed since first described by Wenger and Lave in 1991. Communities of practice cannot be created but need to be given the opportunity to grow and develop. By providing online networking tools and resources, for midwives in the undergraduate degree programs, midwives in the future might continue to use online resources to support their continuing professional development. In this audio link Sheryl Nesbaum-Beech discusses building Virtual communities this. This next link is a recording of a 10 minute lecture by Nancy White on the topic of peer assistance achieved through communities of practice .
Follow this link [ communities of practice ] to more information about communities of practice for midwives and students in the undergraduate midwifery degree program.
Otago Polytechnic and Christchurch Polytechnic have developed an online resource to assist midwives to connect with each other and the wider profession as well as providing useful information and links to learning resources for midwives in New Zealand. It is hoped that this will provide a mechanism for midiwfery communties of practice in New Zealand. The Midwifery Junction hopes to build partnerships and develop communities by providing mechanisms for communication, networking, learning, reflection, and developing practice. The website provides access to a wide variety of resources including a ‘digital toolbox’ for those wanting to build confidence in using various digital technologies for learning and communicating.

Otago Polytechnic online courses supported by wikis

Nutrition for pregnancy

Otago Polytechnic have several free online short courses for midwives. Information about how to register for these is available on The Midwifery Junction website under 'Midwifery Practice Topocs'. These courses are run through the Otago Polytechnic Moodle site , not Wikis. You need to register and create an account on Otago Polytechnic Moodle to access these courses, this is free to do.

Free online learning resources. Videos, animations, interactive learning resources

There are several excellent open-source learning resources, for clinical midwifery skills, available online. Lecturers at the school of midwifery have reviewed these and selected those that they feel will most benefit New Zealand midwifery students. Following this link will take you to these resources Free online learning resources. Videos, animations, interactive learning resources

Sustainability and midwifery

The midwifery model of care promotes and supports intervention free labour and birth, supporting the judicious use of resources. Midwives consider women as individuals involved in a normal physiological process. Sustainability is a topic of importance to everyone. We all have a responsibility to consider how we impact on the planet and consider how we can reduce this impact. Women need midwives however we have a looming midwifery shortage and need to sustain and support midwives currently in practice. Midwives have an opportunity to consider how they can best promote sustainability in use of resources, promoting sustainability in the community and sustainability of midwifery practice.
Sustainability is a feature of the joint midwifery program at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology and Otago Polytechnic. Lorna Davies from Christchurch Polytechnic developed a Wiki resource to support this program. You will find this here, or click on the link above. Lorna has an extensive list of publications, amongst these is an article on this topic.

Annie Leonard has produced a very good slide show discussing the impact of consumerism and sustainability. Well worth a look. Check it out at the is link.

Online Etiquette

Online communication, particularly text communication, differs from face to face communication. Without body language to aid our understanding of mood, demeanor and meaning, extra care is required to make sure messages are not misunderstood. Follow this link to more information about online etiquette for students using electronic communication in the Bachelor of Midwifery Degree program Netiquette


The term blog is short for weblog. More information is available here [7]


Wikis are websites which allow those visiting to edit or add content. This is a Wiki. For midwifery students wikis might allow joint development of material for course work, for example putting together a group presentation. Wikis are much more than this however. More information on wikis is available here [8]


Are you interested in Eportfolios to track your professional development and growth as a midwife? Sarah Stewart has a free and mostly open Eportfolio which will help you to understand how to make a start with this process. You might want to maintain a portfolio online. As a midwife you should consider carefully what information you share and what you keep private for your eyes only. There should always be careful consideration for client confidentiality. You can access Sarah's portfolio here; [9]
You might enjoy this class presentation about Eportfolios from Nellie Deutsch explaining Eportfolios and their usefulness. [10].

Peer support

Secure online chating
Otago and Christchurch schools of midwifry developed the Midwfery Junction website [11]. One of the aims for this website is to have a safe and secure place for students, midwives or educators to chat on-line. The website also provides information about midwifery education and is a popular and excellent resource for students, midwives, educators and women, with lots of useful information and links. You do need to register with the website and you will be given instructions how to do so when you go there.

Open access webchat
Facebook is a popular social networking medium many people are connected through facebook. It is possible to create closed groups in facebook which are invitation only and are not accessible to users who are not members of the group. Do not be fooled that this will give you the opportunity to say anything you like online. Be aware that once you write something down it is there for ever, even if you subsequently delete it. Others can and usually will have copied and kept your words. All those involved in health care provision are bound by the duty to confidentiality, which means you can only share information if there is medical need to do so and only with those who need that information for the provision of care. You cannot share any information about the women you are caring for online in any way at all. Midwifery students in our programme work in groups who are bound by the code of confidentiality and they have a supervisor working with them. It is only is these forums that information can be shared by students and this is to support their learning. However facebook is a wonderful support network and may be very useful to you for sharing the trials a tribulations of student life and theory courses. You might also be able to offer each other tips and tricks to help you get by.

Developing skills in critique of online resources

This guide from Cornell University [12] will help you to decide the validity and value of sources you find on the internet. It is an easy website to work through and will guide you through how to recognise if the information you find is from a reliable source.

Otago Polytechnic School of Midwifery on Facebook

Link [13] to the Otago Olytechnic School of Midwifery Facebook page. This is an open group page where may articles and items of interest to midwifery are posted.


There is a lot of material on networked learning at: Networked learning or you could link to the relevant sections from your page. This should save you some time. Perhaps if you want something added about networking you could add it to Networked_learning pages on WikiEducator first and then link to it. The developers are looking for input.--bron 01:29, 13 November 2007 (CET)