Dr Rachel Reed
Dr Rachel Reed is a midwife, author, teacher, researcher, and international speaker. Her focus is childbirth physiology, care provider practice, and women’s rights (and rites). Rachel co-hosts The Midwives’ Cauldron podcast and writes the award-winning blog MidwifeThinking. She is widely published, and her most recent book is Reclaiming Childbirth as a Rite of Passage.
New expectations: Shifting roles and relationships in the childbirth rite of passage
Childbirth has always been a holistic and transformative rite of passage for women. In recent decades childbirth culture and context has changed significantly. This presentation will discuss the role of care providers and birth partners in the modern childbirth rite of passage.
Dr Laura Biggs
Dr Laura Biggs is a midwife and postdoctoral researcher in the Refugee and Migrant Program, Intergenerational Health, Murdoch Children's Research Institute. Laura's research focuses on innovative policy and practice change in maternity care, particularly relating to trauma informed care, maternal suicide prevention, and health inequities. She also has a strong interest in workforce wellbeing, and the role of lived experience in health professional practice and education.
A grounded theory of the evolution of perinatal suicidality
As a leading cause of maternal death, there is an urgent need to generate deeper understandings of how suicidality manifests and evolves in the perinatal period. Several perinatal studies have examined the incidence of suicidal thoughts and behaviours and associated social and obstetric risk factors, however there is very limited research offering insights into women’s experiences of suicidality at this time in their lives. Making Sense of the Unseen, a collaboration between Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, James Cook University, and PANDA Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia, sought to address this knowledge gap by generating a theory to explain how suicidality evolves during pregnancy and the following year. Our overall goal was to generate knowledge to support communities, health professionals, and health services and systems to improve maternal suicide prevention initiatives. More broadly, we also aspired to bring attention to maternal suicide prevention as a core responsibility of quality maternity care. In this presentation, Laura will share the grounded theory and highlight the unique position of midwives to contribute to maternal suicide prevention efforts.