GOLD Learning Speakers


Sheena Byrom, RM, MA, OBE

  • Speaker Type: GOLD Midwifery 2016
  • Country: uk

Sheena Byrom is a freelance midwifery consultant, using the knowledge and skill she developed during an extensive midwifery career in the NHS.  She was one of the UK’s first consultant midwives, and as head of midwifery successfully helped to lead the development of three birth centres in East Lancashire. She is a board member of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), a member of the RCM's Better Births initiative, Patron of StudentMidwife.Net, and Chair of the Iolanthe Midwifery Trust.With esteemed colleagues, she lead the Midwifery Unit Network, an initiative which aims to support the development and success of midwifery units through connecting and sharing resources.

Her midwifery memoirs, Catching Babies, is a Sunday Times bestseller, and her absolute passion is promoting normal physiological birth, and a positive childbirth experience for all women. Her latest book, The Roar Behind the Silence: why kindness, compassion and respect matter in maternity care is jointly edited with Professor Soo Downe OBE, and they hope the book will used as a resource to promote positive childbirth throughout the world. 

Sheena was awarded an Order British Empire in 2011 for services to midwifery, and actively lobbies for maternity service improvements through several social media channels. She is a member of the @WeMidwives team, running regular online chats for student midwives and midwives. She lectures nationally and internationally on midwifery and childbirth related topics, and the benefits of using social media. In 2015 Sheena  was made an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Midwives.

CE Library Presentation(s) Available Online:
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Kindness, compassion and respect in maternity care: turning silence into a roar
Kindness and compassion are absolutely fundamental to good quality maternity care, although for those using and delivery maternity care, this is a missing element, resulting in dissatisfaction, distress and in some instances, birth trauma. For many years there has been a growing concern about the culture of fear that is penetrating maternity services (Kirkham 2013, Dahlen 2014), potentially contributing to a lack of kindness and compassion (Byrom and Downe 2014). For midwives and obstetricians, fear of recrimination, litigation, negative media exposure and loss of livelihood potentially contributes to defensive practice (Symon 2000). Over- treatment ‘just in case’ not only increases workload stress and error (Youngson 2012), but potentially causes iatrogenic damage to mothers and babies (Dahlen et at 2013, Renfrew et al 2014). Whilst safety and effective health care treatment is the usually the intent and expectation of care givers and receivers respectively, Ballatt and Campling (2011) warn that when control is external it is toxic and doesn’t encourage kinship and reciprocity. Over-regulation and control, they believe, feeds a culture where those whose intention is kindness and caring are forced to behave defensively.
Accreditation, Main Category, Product Type
Presentations: 18  |  Hours / CE Credits: 17.25  |  Viewing Time: 8 Weeks
Hours / CE Credits: 1.25 (details)  |  Categories: Midwifery