Merivale Hemsworth - The Politics of the Pool
Merivale Hemsworth (she/her) is a midwife working in the Midwifery Group Practice at Barwon Health in Geelong, facilitating the learning lab for midwifery students at Victoria University, and is a PhD candidate at Western Sydney University. She has worked in public, private and independent midwifery across three states. She is continually inspired by the commitment and tenacity of midwives and believes that together we can achieve so much for birthing families.
Using deep water immersion in labour and birth has proven benefits and is well established in the Australian maternity system. Yet in practice, few women access the pool. This presentation will look at international qualitative data to explore what helps, and what hinders access to birthing pools during childbirth. The voices of midwives, doctors, students and those who are planning to - or have - birthed in water, will be heard.
Heidi Williams & Kate Levett - Acuneedling for Midwives
Kate is a practitioner and researcher, with over 20 years’ experience as an acupuncturist, researcher, birth educator and teacher. She is a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Medicine Sydney, at the University of Notre Dame Australia. Kate is a specialist in pregnancy and birth, and completed her PhD investigating the use of complementary therapies for pain relief in labour. Kate is a Mentor for the MAMPs program (Maternity Acupuncture Mentoring and Peer support) and has completed the ‘Labour and Delivery Clinical Intensive’ training for maternity acupuncturists at NYU Langone Hospital in Brooklyn. She is a consultant for the BUB App, Hypnobirthing Australia™, CalmBirth™, Lamaze International and the Obstetrical Acupuncture Association in Canada. She has produced an online video course on acupressure and massage techniques for labour for parents and practitioners to access.
Heidi is a Privately Practicing Endorsed Midwife (PPEM) with postgraduate research studies on acupuncture during pregnancy and the perinatal period. Heidi is passionate about midwives providing acupuncture/acuneedling treatments to women in their care and working with hospitals in Australia to develop guidelines/policies for midwives. Heidi is a PhD student looking at malposition in labour and birth.
‘Acuneedling’ is simply acupuncture by a midwife, specifically for pregnancy, labour, birth and early postpartum period. Acupuncture during pregnancy and the perinatal period aims to increase normal birth and enhance a woman’s birth experience by decreasing intervention and adverse birth outcomes. Acuneedling for Midwives is purposely designed to the specialised scope of practice of midwives to enhance and complement the care provided to women during pregnancy, labour and postpartum.