Challenges for midwives: pregnant women and illicit drug use

Miles, Maureen, Francis, Karen and Chapman, Ysanne 2010, Challenges for midwives: pregnant women and illicit drug use, Australian journal of advanced nursing, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 83-90.

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Title Challenges for midwives: pregnant women and illicit drug use
Author(s) Miles, Maureen
Francis, Karen
Chapman, Ysanne
Journal name Australian journal of advanced nursing
Volume number 28
Issue number 1
Start page 83
End page 90
Total pages 8
Publisher Australian Nursing Federation
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2010
ISSN 0813-0531
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Illicit drugs
antenatal care
Summary Objective - The purpose of the paper is to introduce illicit drug use as a societal problem and describes the response of the Australian Government. Specifically the paper examines the use of illicit drugs by pregnant women and the role of midwives in supporting these women throughout pregnancy and birth.

Setting - Maternity services, specifically antenatal care clinics.

Conclusion - In Australia the rate of pregnant women who use illicit drugs is escalating. These pregnancies are high obstetric risk with potential for harm to both the mother and the baby. Pregnancy however is seen as ‘window of opportunity’; a time to provide education, choices and support. The literature describes that for health professionals working with pregnant women who are illicit drug users is challenging and for some health professionals their interaction can be negative. Australia advocates harm minimisation and encourages harm reduction strategies. Midwives are in a position to implement these strategies within the maternity setting. Further research is recommended as well as professional development programs for midwives to upgrade knowledge and cultivate engagement skills to enable appropriate and positive interaction with pregnant women who use illicit drugs.
Language eng
Field of Research 111006 Midwifery
Socio Economic Objective 920210 Nursing
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2010, Australian Nursing Federation
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Nursing and Midwifery
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