MW0515 - First Line Management of Complications in Childbearing Women

What will I learn on this module?

What will I learn on this module? (SRS 0001) Please give a brief indication of the content of the module including the main topic / subject areas studied

The Nursing & Midwifery Council , identify that midwives need “to recognise the warning signs of abnormality in the mother which necessitate referral to a doctor and assist the latter where appropriate; to take the necessary emergency measures in the doctor’s absence…”, this module will therefore build on existing knowledge of the normal physiology to introduce you to emergency and high dependency scenarios within midwifery care. This is in keeping with the framework for Quality Maternal and Newborn Care for all childbearing women and infants with complications . You will explore the theory and evidence underpinning childbirth emergencies to develop your ability to recognise, diagnose and manage serious complications. You will identify when to summon appropriate aid, select and justify the first line management of childbirth emergencies, within the scope of midwifery practice. You will also be introduced to aspects of high dependency care that will facilitate the application of knowledge relating to pathophysiology and underpin clinical practice in a variety of care settings. You will achieve the recognised competencies required by midwives caring for acutely ill women at point of registration and have addressed the core skills identified by the Intercollegiate Maternal Critical Care Sub-committee of the Obstetric Anaesthetist Association.

How will I learn on this module?

The teaching and learning strategy for this module will be a mix of lectures, seminars, directed and independent learning. The lectures will provide key sources of policy, knowledge and theoretical evidence and will encourage you to connect to sources for independent learning. You will experience a diverse range of input from university lecturers with a wide range of experience in the topic areas covered. The workshops and seminars will challenge your integrative ability and encourage application to practice via case based discussions and reflection on experiences from clinical practice and research evidence. Practical sessions in the skills centre will enable you to rehearse the management approaches that have been discussed in lectures, enabling you to apply theory to practice and gain confidence in the first line management of childbirth complications.

You will be expected to engage with technology enhanced learning, for example on-line information and pre-reading. The learning in this module will provide sources of evidence that will contribute to your practice development and assessment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

As with all other modules on the programme successful academic achievement requires a robust system of support and guidance to help you focus on your learning needs. The lecturer’s delivering this module will provide guidance and academic support to enable your engagement with the academic rigour of the module during lectures, seminars and a group tutorial. This support will contribute to the assessment of learning for the module. There is also extensive support accessible on-line as part of the university’s commitment to technology enhanced learning, for example the use of the eLearning portal and collaborative tools.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Apply and discuss the relevant theory underpinning childbirth emergencies and high dependency care for women across the childbirth continuum.
2. Analyse the care and management of childbirth emergencies and high dependency care to maintain maternal, fetal and neonatal safety and wellbeing.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Critique the role of the midwife in relation to managing childbirth emergencies and caring for the seriously ill woman with high dependency needs.
4. Demonstrate an awareness of the collaborative nature of maternity care when dealing with a childbirth emergency or caring for a women requiring high dependency care.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Identify and reflect upon your ability to communicate with women, families and members of the healthcare professions team during difficult/stressful occasions.

How will I be assessed?

On-line learning materials, that are self-assessed relating to childbirth emergencies, pathophysiology and high dependency care (LO 1 & 2).

Simulated practice scenarios and case based discussions in lectures and seminars, with peers and lecturers will serve as formative feedback on your progress and engagement with the subject content (LO1, 2, 3, 4 & 5).


Observed structured clinical assessment of a range of childbirth emergencies; 30 minutes (LO 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5).





Module abstract

Whilst for the majority of women, childbirth is a normal life event, for some it will require emergency interventions and high dependency care. As midwives we are coordinators of care for all women, we are pivotal in organising and referring women to the appropriate health professions therefore, it is essential that you have the knowledge and skills to provide high quality, seamless care for these women. It is imperative that you are aware of the scope of the midwives practice in relation to childbirth emergencies and high dependency care, this module will enable you to identify deviations from the normal, institute emergency measures and work collaboratively with the multi-disciplinary team to ensure the safety and wellbeing of women and their babies.

Course info

UCAS Code B720

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time (45 weeks per year)

Department Nursing, Midwifery & Health

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2021 or September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of online and face to face teaching due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Students will be required to attend campus as far as restrictions allow. Contact time will increase as restrictions ease, or decrease, potentially to a full online offer, should restrictions increase.

Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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