NMHS32340 Maternal and Foetal wellbeing

Academic Year 2023/2024

The aim of this module is to introduce the student to the concept of maternal and infant care. The specific goals of this module are to equip the student with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively care for a woman and her baby from the pre conceptual period across the continuum to the postpartum period. This module will focus on the anatomy & physiology concerning the female reproductive tract, embryology, care and management in the first, second and third stage of normal labour and Postpartum mood disorders. Physiological adaptation of the newborn is also explored along with the care of the baby during and after birth inclusive of infant feeding. This module is also designed to assist the student to identify and manage obstetric emergencies.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion the candidate will be able to:
• Describe the anatomy and physiology related to the female reproductive system.
• Discuss pre-conceptual care
• List the signs & symptoms of pregnancy.
• Recognise and manage maternal antenatal complications.
• Discuss the care and management of a woman in the first, second and third stage of labour.
• Describe the care of the woman and her infant in the postpartum period.
• Assess, plan and implement care of the newborn or sick baby.
• Describe effective teaching of infant feeding methods.
• Identify deviation from the normal in childbirth and take appropriate and corrective actions that may include referral and the need to escalate care.

Indicative Module Content:

Terms & Abbreviations used in Midwifery & Obstetric Practice
History & philosophy of Midwifery
Definition & Role of the Midwife/Obstetric Nurse
The Female Reproductive System
The Menstrual Cycle & menstrual disorders
Embryology & the Fetal- Placental Unit
Pre-conceptual care - (Nutrition, Exercise)
Signs & Symptoms of Pregnancy
Diagnosis of pregnancy & calculating the EDD
Physiological changes in pregnancy & hyperemesis
Antenatal care, assessment, screening
Prenatal testing: Rh incompatibility, Amniocentesis, CVS, ultrasound, Biophysical profile
Abdominal palpation/ Leopold’s Manoeuvre
Antenatal Abdominal Palpation (Skills)
First Stage of Labour
Pain Management: non-pharmacological and pharmacological
Second stage of labour
Third Stage of labour
Assessment of the perineum post delivery
Examining the placenta and membranes, Estimation of blood loss
Postpartum haemorrhage
Postnatal examination
Perinatal loss
Physiology, care and management of the puerperium
Examination of the newborn including (Apgars, height, weight, head circ & length)
Vital signs of the newborn
Biological adaptations: initiation of respirations, thermoregulation, cardiovascular changes, elimination, nutrition, hypoglycaemia, jaundice, & newborn screening
Infant feeding: Breastfeeding & Formula feeding
Positioning and attachment
Preterm infant: Respiratory distress syndrome, Necrotizing enter colitis
Large for gestational age
Small for gestational age
Preterm labour, IUGR, Chromosomal abnormalities
Postpartum mood disorders
Ectopic pregnancy
Bleeding in pregnancy, Miscarriage, incompetent cervix
Antepartum Haemorrhage
Induction of Labour
Gestational diabetes
Pre-eclampsia & Hypertension in pregnancy
Preterm labour and premature rupture of membranes
Cord prolapse & Caesarean section
Community Midwifery

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Peer and group work
Clinical laboratory work
Antenatal class
Student presentations 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Students considering taking this module as an elective should be in at least Stage 3 of a Nursing, Medicine or Science related subject. Please contact the module co-ordinator for further information

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Continuous assessment for the module is provided via four quizzes during the trimester. Unspecified n/a Graded No


Examination: The final Examination for NMHS32340 Maternal Fetal Wellbeing is now an Examination (50 MCQ). 1 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
Repeat Within Two Trimesters
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Audio component Group feedback and individual feedback, prior to submission Individual feedback

Reading List

Coad, J. and Dumstall, M. (2011) Anatomy and Physiology for Midwives. London: Churchill Livingstone.
England, C. (2014) Recognising the healthy baby at term through examination & newborn screening- Chapter 28. In Myles Textbook for Midwives 16th edn. (Marshall & Raynor eds.), Pgs. 592-609
Downe, S. Byrom, S. (2019) Squaring The Circle. Normal birth research, theory and practice in a technological age. London: Printer and Martin.
England, C. (2014) Resuscitation of the healthy baby at birth- Chapter 29. In Myles Textbook for Midwives 16th edn. Pgs. 611-615.
Fealy, G.M. (ed) (2005) Care to Remember: Nursing & Midwifery in Ireland. Cork: Mercier Press.
Fraser, D.M. and Cooper, M. (2012) Survival Guide to Midwifery. 2nd edition, Elsevier: Churchill Livingstone
Fraser, D., Cooper, M. (2018) A-Z Midwifery. Edinburgh: Elsevier.
Health Service Executive/ (2009) Safe Food. How to Prepare Your Baby’s Bottle Feed. Dublin. Available at http://www.safefood.eu/SafeFood/media/SafeFoodLibrary/Documents/Publications/Consumer/PIF-leaflet.pdf
HSE (2015) Caring for Your Baby- Birth to 6 months. Available at: http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/publications/Children/cfyb0-6.pdf
HSE (2015) Breastfeeding- A Good Start in Life. An information leaflet on breastfeeding your baby. Available at: https://www.healthpromotion.ie/hp-files/docs/HPM00367.pdf
HSE (2016) A Practical Guide to Newborn Bloodspot Screening in Ireland- 6th edition. Available at: http://www.hse.ie/eng/health/child/newbornscreening/newbornbloodspotscreening/PracticalGuide.pdf

Johnson R. Taylor W. (2016) Skills for Midwifery Practice, 4th Edition, Elsevier,London (2010 3rd edition available as e-book in UCD library)
Johnson & Taylor (2016) Assessment of the baby: assessment at birth- Chapter 37. In: Skills for Midwifery Practice 4th edn. Pgs. 292-299.
Leifer, G. (2019) Introduction to Maternity and Pediatric Nursing. Missouri: Elsevier.
Lomax, A. (2016) Examination of the Newborn, An Evidence-Based Guide, 2nd ed. Wiley Blackwell
Lumsden, H. and Holmes, D. (2010) Care of Newborn by Ten Teachers. Holder Arnold.
Marshall, J. and Raynor, M (2014) Myles Textbook for Midwives. Sixteenth edition. London: Churchill Livingstone.
Mavrides, E., Allard, S., Chandraharan, E., Collins, P., Green, L., Hunt, B.J., Riris, S., Thomson, A.J. on behalf of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Prevention and management of postpartum haemorrhage. BJOG 2016;124:e106–e149.
Medforth, J., Ball, L. (2017) Oxford Handbook of Midwifery. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Edinburgh:Elsevier.
Montgomery A., Hannon G., Muhammad, S., Das, S., Hayes, K. (2017) Tubal ectopic pregnancies: Risk, diagnosis and management. British Journal of Midwifery. 25 (11) pp 700-705.
McDonald, S. & Johnson, G. (2017) Mayes Midwifery: A Textbook for Midwives. (15th edition). London: Elsevier.
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (2014) Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics for Registered Nurses and Midwives. Dublin: Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (2015) Practice Standards for Midwives. Dublin: Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (2015) Scope of Nursing and Midwifery Practice Framework. Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, Dublin.
O' Connell, M., Leahy Warren, P., Kenny, L., Khasan, A. (2019) Pregnancy outcomes in women with severe fear of childbirth. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 120 pp.105-109
O' Connell, R. (2018) Midwifery 1918-2018: Coming full circle. World of Irish Nursing and Midwifery, Dublin: INMO
Petrocnik, P., Marshall, J. (2015) Hands Poised technique: the future technique for perineal management of second stage of labour? A modified systematic literature review. Midwifery 31 (2), 274-279.
Pollard, M. (2018) Evidence-based care for Breastfeeding Mothers: A resource for Midwives and Allied Health Professionals. 2nd edition. London: Routledge
Rankin, J. (2017) Physiology in Childbearing: With Anatomy and Related Biosciences. Balliere-Tindall.
Raynor, M. Catling, C. (2017) Myles Survival Guide to Midwifery. Edinburgh: Elsevier
Name Role
Ms Elizabeth Greene Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Sally Horton Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Ciara Kirwan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Aoife Claire MacCormac Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 5 Mon 14:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 2, 4 Mon 14:00 - 15:50
Laboratory Offering 1 Week(s) - 3 Mon 14:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 6, 7 Mon 14:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 14:00 - 15:50
Laboratory Offering 1 Week(s) - 22 Thurs 14:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 23, 25, 26 Thurs 14:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 22 Thurs 14:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 30, 31, 33 Thurs 14:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 24 Thurs 16:00 - 17:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 29 Thurs 16:00 - 17:50