Maternity Care: Building Relationships Really Does Save Lives’ is open for enrolment now and enables learners to see how quality relationships between mothers, midwives and other health professionals transforms maternity care and saves lives.

Griffith University’s leading midwifery expert and award-winning university teacher, Professor Jenny Gamble leads the global discussion regarding why we need relationship-based care in maternity services now.

“Unfortunately, many women around the world receive insufficient or fragmented maternity care which contributes to poor health and well-being including avoidable deaths of mothers and babies. Simultaneously the opportunity to enhance health and the health of communities is overlooked” says Professor Gamble.

Described as too much too soon, maternity care in high-income countries is often medicalised and intervention rates are too high. Conversely, in low-income countries care is often simply not available and is described as too little too late. Regardless of setting, women around the world may experience dehumanised and disrespectful care. Poor quality maternity care has long-term consequences for the health of women and their families.

“International research confirms that maternity services are often not working well for health professionals either with high rates of stress and burnout for midwives, doctors and other health care providers” she says.

Available on FutureLearn, the social learning platform, ‘Maternity Care: Building Relationships Really Does Save Lives’ will connect individuals from around the world where they will have the opportunity not just to explore why care is not currently meeting the needs of women, but to hear from international experts on how they can be part of a global movement that begins the change the world needs – relationship based care.

Learners in this course will explore how people from a variety of backgrounds can make a difference and together we can contribute to the transformation of maternity care globally.

The course runs for three weeks from November 20 and the learning modules are in bite-sized chunks and available 24/7 to enable flexible study. Learners are provided with the tools they need to be informed about how to produce better outcomes for the mothers and babies.

“The course is designed for everyone concerned about the quality of healthcare for mothers and babies including parents and other members of the community, midwives and other health professionals, researchers, educators, policy makers, politicians and health system funders.

Laying out a compelling case for change, Professor Gamble says the course shows learners how to apply the Lancet series on Midwifery evidence-based Framework for Quality Maternity and Newborn Care.

“Our role is to explain why we need relationship-based care during pregnancy and early mothering and how this produces better outcomes for the mother, baby, midwife and other maternity care professionals.

“We then provide learners with the tools and skills to enable them to make a difference in changing the design and delivery of maternal and newborn care and save lives.”

 “Using a wide range of interactive learning methods such as videos, animations and discussions, we explain the case for integrated care for women and their babies that addresses their holistic needs.

“Learners are provided with opportunities to reflect and connect with other learners and international experts to discuss and share ideas about how to build a community of practice to improve maternity care.

“There are also lots of opportunities to see at first-hand how ordinary people are taking extraordinary action and making a real difference to maternity services in their local community. For example, one of our short videos documents how a woman in a low-income country started an integrated birthing service.”

The course ‘Maternity Care: Building Relationships Really Does Save Lives’ is open for enrolment now and is due to begin 20 November. If you could really help save lives – why wouldn’t you? More details here.

About FutureLearn

Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform, enabling online learning through conversation. With over 6.5 million people from over 200 countries across the globe – a community that is continuously growing – it offers free and paid for online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, as well as organisations such as the European Space Agency, the British Council and Cancer Research UK. FutureLearn’s course portfolio covers a wealth of areas to promote lifelong learning for a range of applications including general interest, an introduction to university studies, continuing professional development and fully online postgraduate degrees.