‘Let’s get away from the politics and have a balanced and sensible discussion about birth, and the place of normal birth – a topic of central importance to our lives, future generations and our world.’
This is a quote from Lesley Page, former president of the RCM, and it’s from her monthly blog post on ‘All4Maternity.com’.
Have you come across this yet? It’s a new midwifery education/support site. I’m sat here in my warm jumper in my office and I’ve been sucked into a spiral of learning, following one resource after another.
All4Maternity is part of The Practising Midwife journal and organisation. The site is the passion project of Sheena Byrom (OBE, midwife consultant and editor of the epic ‘The Roar Behind The Silence’) and her daughter Anna Coonan-Byrom (editor of The Practising Midwife and senior midwifery lecturer).
Their idea is to have one midwifery site that covers all topics, with experts writing content, videos, The Practising Midwife Journal available online as part of it, access to other academic papers and a forum/sharing area.
Modules and topics I’ve seen covered include how best to cope as a newly qualified midwife, sepsis, caring for women in prison, and leadership. It’s diverse and exceptionally well referenced.
I have actually made a short module on the process of becoming a student midwife for All4Maternity. There are also wonderful learning areas for student midwives.
I asked student midwife Kristie Fisher to spend some time on All4Maternity and here’s what she had to say:
'On my first visit to ‘All4Maternity’ I was impressed with how easy the site was to navigate around and how striking the design structure of the home page appeared.
I first explored the features of the website, to see what information was free to access. Journals, forums and modules including certificates were all included making this website great for knowledge and learning without even having to subscribe.
Next, I chose the higher student package available for £6.25 per month. Subscription with the added bonus of some freebies! This process was very straightforward and within minutes I had become a member – however at this point the terms ‘aspiring student’ and ‘future midwife’ puzzled me slightly as I had never been addressed as this before, and was busy looking for ‘student midwife.’
One I got this sorted, I headed straight to the modules and found my new membership had opened up many more modules I could enrol onto. I chose a shoulder dystocia course and got to work, this course being particularly important to me as I had recently witnessed my first shoulder dystocia in practice and wanted to further my knowledge on why it may have happened and what risks there could have been had it not been handled so well.
The module was well laid out and was very easy to read and understand. A good feature I found was the further reading section, very handy to further my knowledge.
I undertook the questions which were well thought out and tested the knowledge I had just learnt. One of the questions was a multiple choice and you could choose multiple answers, but this wasn’t stated – so I did have to repeat the module to gain 100% and secure my certificate. This hint could perhaps be entered alongside the question in future modules.
The certificate was well laid out and easy to download, and will be a great addition for my portfolio.
After completing the shoulder dystocia module, I went on to explore the rest of the features on the site and came across the ‘make notes’ tab. This tab was fantastic and gave me a chance to bookmark the things I wanted to come back too on the site to read further.
Being a student midwife, I also checked out the ‘For You’ section and explored all that was on offer. My first thought was that there was a lot of information on one page, and perhaps it would be easier to have subheading for the different categories – for instance, a forum section, article section and specified module section would perhaps be quicker and easier to navigate.
The student survival guide was a particularly interesting read for me, and perhaps a student blogger with real life stories and feelings in this area would be a good addition here.
Overall the website design was easy to navigate and kept a strong theme throughout. The subscription prices were great value for money with the added extra features alongside the extra modules which were very in-depth and included great information that I feel I have gained a lot from. I can’t wait to continue using the site and gaining more knowledge by completing further modules. Would definitely recommend.’
We’re really lucky that Anna and Sheena will be joining us for a Q and A session on All4Maternity and anything else we want to ask them, in The Secret Community For Midwives In The Making on Wednesday 20th December, 7.30pm. You can join us then.
If you’re a life long learner type of person, I bet you’ll love it. Click here to find out more. Happy Christmas!
P.S. On Wednesday here on MidwifeDiaries.com I will be publishing a special Christmas post on a book I’m reading and adoring called ‘Mary: A Flesh-And-Blood Biography of the Virgin Mother’. If you’ve read ‘The Red Tent’ you’ll love this book. Lesley Hazleton weaves together Mary as a peasant villager, wise woman, healer, mother, teacher and virgin. It’s a book about a strong, courageous and often forgotten story. Can’t wait to tell you more x