SERIES 4 - EP.12: International trends: Highlights from the 32nd ICM

In this twelfth episode of Midwifery Hour series four, Neil Stewart, Editorial Director, Maternity & Midwifery Forum was joined by Kaveri Mayra, Postgraduate Research Student for Social Statistics and Demography, University of Southampton and Dianne Garland, Midwifery Consultant, Director for Clinical Governance, Waterbirth International; Author of Revisiting Waterbirth.


The 32nd ICM Virtual Triennial Congress — the world’s largest ever virtual gathering of midwives, has taken place every Wednesday over the last month, enabling the global midwife community to establish lasting relationships and meaningful connections with maternal and newborn health partners and midwife leaders. The virtual nature of this year’s event allowed more midwives than ever before to participate in collaborative sessions with exhibitors and speakers and help build a pathway towards a stronger global midwife profession.


In this session Dianne Garland reflects on her experience of her online attendance of the International Confederation of Midwives Conference, sharing her highlights, and what she misses from face to face interaction. Alongside her was Kaveri Mayra, recognised in the Women in Global Health list of outstanding women nurse and midwife leaders, currently undertaking a PhD in Southampton. She explored some of the concerns affecting midwifery practice in India, including her research relating to issues around obstetric violence.


Host Neil Stewart (Editorial Director, Maternity & Midwifery Forum) was joined by Kaveri Mayra (Postgraduate Research Student for Social Statistics and Demography, University of Southampton) and Dianne Garland (Midwifery Consultant, Director for Clinical Governance, Waterbirth International; Author of Revisiting Waterbirth),


Watch the Maternity & Midwifery Hour highlights now:


Kaveri Mayra


Dianne Garland


Read student, Rachel's review here:


In this weeks episode, the final episode of series 4, host Neil and guests Kaveri and Dianne, discussed international trends in midwifery.

Dianne began the episode by reflecting on five of the talks she heard from the 32nd International Confederation of Midwives conference.

The midwives in the media talk spoke about the impact of obstetric violence in Kenya, Afghanistan and Mexico, how high-profile this is in the media right now and what Midwives can do to have these stories heard in the media. A journalist in this discussion talked about the importance of all stories being respectful and confidential.

In the second talk, midwives from the UK, USA, Netherlands and Belgium, spoke about the experiences of vulnerable women in the maternity. One thing that really stood out to Dianne in this discussion is that, in the UK, there are no CQC specialist midwives allocated to prisons.

Next, midwives from Australia, Indonesia and India, spoke about a variety of complementary therapies from different international aspects. All these midwives agreed that more research needs to be conducted on, not only safety and effectiveness, but also on maternal satisfaction and midwife education.

A baby-friendly sponsor of the conference, Ferring International, spoke about the effectiveness of the heat-stable drug Carbetocin, in reducing postpartum haemorrhages in countries which have low-economies and have very high temperatures and humidity.

Lastly, midwives from the USA spoke about the challenges to waterbirths and that, although there is research and evidence to support waterbirths, there is no agreed consensus between midwives and doctors.

Kaveri then discussed her research into obstetric violence. She began by reflecting on the obstetric violence she witnessed as a student in India, from which she decided that she would do a Phd in obstetric violence. Although most of her research is on experiences in Indian maternity services, she looks at obstetric violence from all around the world. She very importantly pointed out that obstetric violence is not just physical violence and verbal abuse, it is also acting as a woman’s decision-maker and not having clear informed consent. The end of obstetric violence begins with acknowledging this.

Thank you to Neil, Dianne and Kaveri for a really eye-opening discussion.


Register for next week here: S4: EP.13 Nurturing and caring for the team


You can listen to the episode on your podcast app of choice: Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Anchor.


Catch up on Series 1 - 4 here.


This hour was produced by Neil Stewart Associates and filmed by Narrowcast Media Group.