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The University of Southampton

NPMS2037 Complex Midwifery Care

Module Overview

This module enables you to build on the knowledge and skills from previous experience, and modules to empower you to contribute effectively to the provision of safe and effective care for the woman and her fetus, with complex health challenges during the antenatal, intrapartum and postpartum period.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive and systematic understanding of the physiology and pathophysiology and the bio-behavioural factors that predispose the woman to an increased risk of complexity during pregnancy and birth
  • Analyse the evidence base for the care and management of the woman and her fetus/neonate where variations occur during the childbirth continuum.
  • Examine the care required for women with specific health or social needs and know how to effectively refer to other professionals or agencies where appropriate.
  • Evaluate the role of the midwife, in facilitating holistic woman centred care and transition to motherhood for women with complex pregnancies.
  • Discuss the policies (local, national and international as appropriate) and maternity services systems that influence the provision of maternity care to women with complex needs.


Application of relevant epidemiology, pathophysiology, genetic /genomics, psychosocial, ethical, legal, pharmacological, aspects across the childbirth continuum for women centred high quality care (including for her fetus), to the topics listed below included related investigations. Interprofessional /inter agency referral and working is encompassed throughout the module. This list is not exhaustive but will include: • Infertility and assisted conception • Obesity • Polycystic ovaries • Endometriosis • Unplanned pregnancy/Termination of Pregnancy / Miscarriage/ectopic pregnancy • Hydatiform mole • Bleeding in early pregnancy Medical and surgical conditions (pathological and co-morbidities) • Diabetes and other endocrine disorders such those of the thyroid • Other pre existing conditions such as Cardiac disease, Asthma, Epilepsy, Acute Kidney Injury • Maternal infection – Sexual Transmitted Infection, human immunodeficiency virus, sepsis, Hepatitis A B C • Caesarean Section Pregnancy Related Conditions • Hyperemesis gravidarum • Hypertensive disorders – pre eclampsia, Pregnancy induced hypertension, essential Hypertension, HELLP syndrome • Cholestasis/ Fatty Liver disease • Anaemia • Multiple pregnancy • Haematological conditions Intrapartum Conditions • Mal presentation • Mal Position • Preterm labour - diagnosis and management and • Post term labour/induction of labour/augmentation of labour Programme threads are linked throughout and include: • Baby Friendly principles • Medicines management • Mental health and well-being • Values Based Journey

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures Group work Practical /skills workshops Self-directed learning Technology Enhanced Learning

Independent Study118
Practical classes and workshops3
Total study time187.5

Resources & Reading list

Knight M, Kenyon S, Brocklehurst P, Neilson J, Shakepearce J, Kurinczuk JJ (2016). Saving Lives, Improving Mother’s care; lessons learned to inform maternity care from the Uk and Ireland Confidential enquiries intyo Maternal deaths and Morbidity 2009-2014. 

James DK; Steer PJ; Weiner CP; Gonik B (2011). High Risk Pregnancy: Management Options. 

Downie G and Mackenzie J (2010). Calculating Drug Doses Safely.. 

Hall M, Smith S, Noble A. (2009). A Foundation for Neonatal Care: A Multi-Disciplinary Guide. 

Stables D and Rankin J. Physiology in Childbearing.. 

Williamson A and Crozier K (2008).  Neonatal Care: A Textbook for Student Midwives and Nurses.. 

Robson S and Waugh J (2013). Medical Disorders in Pregnancy. A Manual for Midwives.. 

Hollins C and Forrest E (2013). Bereavement Care for Childbearing women and their Families: An Interactive workbook. 



Short answer questions


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


There are no identified additional costs to you anticipated, as travel between University study sites should be expected as part of the programme. Textbooks and journals are available in the library and as electronic resources; if you choose to purchase your own resources this will be at cost to you.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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