Supervision and attendance: control or compassion?

medium_2722825304I’ve been having a number of conversations about midwifery supervision in various arenas recently, and I realised that the article that I wrote a few years ago for The Practising Midwife comparing supervision of midwifery to being attended as a birthing woman wasn’t yet up here.  I’ve now recified that, and uploaded Supervision and attendance: control or compassion? for anyone who is interested.

‘Just as there are parallels between midwifing women and midwifing midwifery students, there are also interesting similarities between the experience of being supervised as a midwife and the experience of being attended in labour as a birthing woman. In both cases, the relationship can range from being controlling and directive to being supportive, encouraging and compassionate towards the needs of the person being supervised or attended. Can we learn anything about midwifery supervision as well as midwifery practice by exploring the question of how much control women currently have about the support and supervision of her birth and, in particular, the nature and number of her birth attendants?’  (Wickham 2005: 26)

In this article, I reflected on the way in which some women seem to enjoy having a number of people (of their choice) present during their births, while others decide to not even have one midwife.  Yet this decision isn’t always made by the woman herself, and I also ask how is it OK that institutions limit the number of people that the woman can invite to her birth, but not the number of staff that can enter the room?  And why are women often delighted when they are asked if a student midwife can look after them during labour? Click here to read the article.

Wickham S (2005) Supervision and attendance: control or compassion? Practising Midwife 8(8):26-7.

photo credit: Kenyaboy7 via photopin cc

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