Midwifery Led Unit

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DIVERSITY IN CULTURE (MI 307) MIDWIFERY LED UNIT This report will be focused on intrapartum care excluding the pre and postnatal period which could be considered in further experiences INTRODUCTION The purpose of this report is to compare the culture of midwifery practice between a midwifery led unit (MLU) and a consultant led unit (CLU). A review of the literature prior to visiting the MLU suggested a greater degree of clinical autonomy for the midwives working at the MLU. This contributes to their empowerment and satisfaction with the profession. However, after observing the culture of practice of both units it is the purpose of this report is to demonstrate that little differences exist in midwifery practice between the two settings. In doing so, the author will try to analyse the aspects that empower the midwife as well as how clinical autonomy is enabled in each setting. The report has been written specifically for those midwives who believe that it is more advantageous to work at a MLU rather than CLU as it allows them to practice more autonomously. It aims to demonstrate that it is possible to challenge the boundaries of midwifery regardless of the clinical setting. For this to happen a change in attitudes among the midwives who work in a CLU is required, thus hoping to increase awareness of what is possible in a hospital culture and what is actually already happening BACKGROUND The “Changing Childbirth Report” launched by the Department of Health (1993) emphasised the importance of woman-centre care. One of the points discussed was the choice of women regarding where they gave birth. It was from this that MLU re-acquired their prominence within the Maternity Healthcare System. It was not just women advocating natural birth who

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