MID5006 - Public and primary health care in midwifery - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Nursing and Midwifery



Not offered in 2017


This unit introduces students to the interrelationship of midwifery practice, maternity care and public health. The impact of maternity care on maternal and infant health will be discussed within the context of its social determinants. The role of midwifery and maternity care in improving perinatal outcomes for disadvantaged women and families will be discussed and debated. Against these factors the role of midwifery as primary health care will be explored in relation to health promotion and education in pregnancy, birth, parenting and lactation, and fertility regulation. This unit works to put into context for the student, the nature and scope of midwifery practice and places it as central to securing improved maternal and infant health outcomes.


On completion of this unit the student will be able to:

  1. Examine women's experiences as recipients of health and maternity care, paying particular attention to socio-economic and cultural difference;
  2. Examine the particular health and cultural needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander childbearing women and families in historical context;
  3. Develop an understanding of their own values and beliefs, and the challenge presented when working with women who are different from themselves;
  4. Analyze the concept of cultural safety and the implications for midwifery practice;
  5. Discuss the social determinants of health and ill health in relation to childbearing and their impact on perinatal outcomes;
  6. Demonstrate theoretical understanding and skills development in education and counselling for health promotion in relation to breastfeeding and fertility regulation, and preparation for childbirth and parenting;
  7. Critically examine the role of the midwife as primary health care provider for women of diverse cultures and ethnic backgrounds;
  8. Describe the various models of midwifery care available for the childbearing woman and analyse the factors that limit or facilitate the choices they might make;
  9. Critically examine screening in pregnancy in its public health context and the ramifications for maternal and infant health;
  10. Explore the impact of contemporary living and lifestyle factors on maternal and infant health during the childbearing year and beyond;
  11. Discuss maternity care and its impact on long term maternal and infant health;
  12. Critique the role of midwifery in the broader context of public and primary health care provision;
  13. Demonstrate competence in the provision of discerning, discriminating, safe midwifery care in a variety of contexts and complexity of environment based upon the ANMC National Competency Standards for the Midwife (2006).


  • Written assignment (3,000 words) (30%)
  • Guided questions (2 x 1,000 words) (30%)
  • Abstract and poster presentation (public health issue) (40%) (Hurdle)
  • Assessment of midwifery practice skills (Pass / Fail)

Workload requirements

24 hours per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


Off-campus attendance requirements

Attendance at study blocks held on-campus at Gippsland and Clayton.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Nursing and midwifery