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The University of Southampton

NPMS6021 Maternity Care for women with Complex Needs

Module Overview

This module enables you to build on the knowledge and skills from previous experience, and modules to enable you to contribute effectively to the provision of safe and effective care for the woman and her fetus, with complex health challenges across the childbearing continuum

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To analyse the theory and practice of a range of complex health challenges that could be encountered predominantly during the antenatal and intrapartum periods for the woman and her fetus including for the neonate. To critically evaluate the role of the midwife in identifying complexities and working as part of a multidisciplinary team to manage care effectively

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive and systematic understanding of, and the ability to critically analyse the physiology and pathophysiology and the bio-behavioural factors that predispose the woman to increased risk of complexity during pregnancy and birth
  • Explore critically the evidence base for the care and management of the woman and fetus/neonate where variations occur during the childbirth continuum.
  • Examine and analyse critically the care required for babies with specific health or social needs liaising effectively with the multi-disciplinary team where approriate
  • Critically analyse the role of the midwife, in facilitating holistic woman centred care and transition to motherhood for women with complex pregnancies
  • Analyse and debate 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 including appropriate investigations, for women centred high quality care (including for her fetus), to the topics listed below. 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 • 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

Special Features

Anatomy and physiology online learning resources

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

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

Practical classes and workshops3
Independent Study118
Total study time187.5

Resources & Reading list

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

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

Stables D and Rankin J. Physiology in Childbearing. 

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

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

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

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



Individual written plan


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & 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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