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Britain’s top midwife inspires students to become champions of change at seminar

Britain’s top midwife delivered an inspiring message to students at a seminar hosted by the College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare at the University of West London (UWL), this week.

Professor Cathy Warwick, the chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), paid a visit to the University to share her knowledge and advice with around 90 trainee midwives at Paragon House, on Wednesday.

Prof Warwick called on the students to have confidence to be champions of change in their workplace. ‘Challenge any attitude which says ‘midwives can’t do this,’ and have the confidence to challenge practises which aren’t woman-centred or do no good,’ she said at the event, entitled ‘Midwifery Seminar: Challenging Attitudes.’

Prof Warwick also delivered a presentation entitled ‘Better Births’, which emphasised the importance of continuity of relationship between midwives and expectant mothers, based on evidence which suggests it produces better outcomes.

UWL midwifery lecturer Tina South organised the seminar. She said: ‘We were delighted to welcome Cathy Warwick to the College and so pleased that she could attend as it was very inspiring for our students.

‘A midwife has to be a life-long learner, so we want our midwifery students to be up to date with evidence-based practice and research which enables them to be the best advocates for women they can be. Events like this complement the teaching that is provided by the midwifery lecturers to help students to think outside the box about practises so they can become agents of positive change in the workplace.'

Also speaking at the seminar was Dr Kim Russell from the University of Nottingham, who shared her PhD research on challenging attitudes toward water-births, infant feeding specialist midwife, Debra Sloam of Frimley NHS Foundation Trust, who spoke on her MSc research about student midwives attitudes towards breast feeding and also Margaret Nyuydzewira, who spoke about the harmful cultural practice of ‘breast ironing’ - which students had requested be covered.

Third year midwifery student Tina Rakhra, who attended the seminar, said: ‘It was fascinating and the speakers were passionate about midwifery, which is inspiring for me. It was really helpful to learn about these topics from experts in the field. Events like this are the reason why it’s great to study at the university of West London; the network we have access to is first class.’

The seminars were open to all midwifery students and staff at the University’s College of Nursing Midwifery and Healthcare and the link hospitals at which students train; Hillingdon, Northwick Park, Royal Berks, West Middlesex, Wexham Park and Chelsea and Westminster.

RCM chief executive Cathy Warwick addresses midwifery seminar at UWL

Find out more about the College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare. Check out the College on Twitter: @UWL_CNMH