From the Ground Up: Improving Pregnancy and Birth Experiences Through the Provision of Extraordinary Learning Opportunities in Australia

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A collaborative project formally titled “Working together to improve pregnancy and birth experiences for women and provide extraordinary learning opportunities for midwifery students” was launched in April 2017, after several years of consultation and planning. The opportunity to adopt an integrated response to the needs of incarcerated pregnant women and the learning needs of midwifery students was identified and supported by the university offering a graduate-entry midwifery program, a women’s correctional center, and a health service in a regional area of Australia. Incarcerated women who are pregnant require pregnancy, birth, and postnatal support distinct from their clinical care, while at the same time, midwifery students need to recruit pregnant women for continuity-of-care experiences. This article presents an overview of the implementation of the pilot project. It also discusses the project team and the challenges and successes of and unanticipated opportunities for practice modification and change.

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