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Sheena Byrom, OBE

  • Speaker Type: GOLD Midwifery 2016, Sheena Byrom - Why Midwives Matter
  • Country: UK

Sheena Byrom is a practising midwife of 40 years, having worked in the NHS for most of that time. Sheena 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. As well as being an international speaker, Sheena provides consultancy services to both NHS Trusts and to organisations globally; helping them to support normal, physiological childbirth. Sheena and her midwife daughter Anna Byrom are the proud new owners of The Practising Midwife, and an exciting online platform – the go to place for maternity workers to learn, share and care.

Sheena’s midwifery memoirs, Catching Babies, is a Sunday Times bestseller, and her seminal book, The Roar behind the Silence: Why Kindness, Compassion and Respect Matter in Maternity Care jointly edited with Soo Downe, is being used as a resource to improve maternity care throughout the world. Sheena and Soo are currently editing a second book, ‘Squaring the Circle: Researching Normal Childbirth in a Technological World’, will be published in 2019.

Sheena was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to midwifery, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Midwives in 2015. In 2016 and 2018, Sheena received Honorary Doctorates from Bournemouth University and the University of Central Lancashire, and in 2017 she was made a Visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University. Her personal and midwifery related website is

CE Library Presentation(s) Available Online:
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Note: Currently only available through a bundled series of lectures
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: Birth Advocacy, Scope of Practice for Midwives
Watch Today!
View Lecture
Note: Currently only available through a bundled series of lectures
The Past, Present and the Future: Why Midwives Matter
According to the International Confederation of Midwives, a midwife is ‘recognised as a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with women to give the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period, to conduct births on the midwife’s own responsibility and to provide care for the newborn and the infant. This care includes preventative measures, the promotion of normal birth, the detection of complications in mother and child, the accessing of medical care or other appropriate assistance and the carrying out of emergency measures’. Although there is overwhelming evidence that the implementation of midwifery and deployment of professional midwives in all countries would be a vital solution in improving maternal and infants health and well-being, there continues to be lack of understanding of the role of the midwife, and inequalities in access to midwifery care. This talk will touch on the historical context of the midwife and midwifery, review the current global position and offer potential solutions for the future.
Accreditation, Main Category, Product Type
Presentations: 1  |  Hours / CE Credits: 1  |  Viewing Time: 4 Weeks
Hours / CE Credits: (details)  |  Categories: Birth Advocacy