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HLSC122 Evidence for Practice AND (MIDW127 Foundations in Midwifery OR MIDW111 Midwifery Professional Practice 1: Foundations in Midwifery Knowledge and Practice )

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit will extend foundational midwifery knowledge to provide safe, woman-centred, effective care across the childbearing continuum. The unit is required by students to consolidate their foundational learning and extend their midwifery knowledge on the role of the midwife within the available models of maternity care. The exploration of pre-pregnancy and antenatal evidence-based care and advice will prepare students for support of women during the Continuity of Care Experience (CCE) as a requirement for course registration. Commonly used medications and non-pharmacological therapies in the continuum of pregnancy care will be explored.

The aim of this unit is to build on earlier learning about the anatomy and the physiological processes of childbearing and extend students' knowledge of contemporary midwifery concepts in relation to care planning for women across the childbearing continuum.

We recognise that people who access maternity care may have diverse gender identities, that those who do can experience marginalisation and oppression, and that using appropriate terminology can help with these community members’ recognition and visibility, acknowledge the variety of pregnancy and birth experiences people may have, and respect individuals’ preferences. To reflect this, terms such as ‘pregnant person’, ‘birthing person’, ‘childbearing people’, ‘parent’ and ‘chestfeeding’ may be used in the midwifery courses at ACU in addition to ‘woman’, ‘mother’, ‘maternity’, ‘maternal’ and ‘breastfeeding’, which are used not to exclude those who do not identify as a woman, but in recognition that women continue to be marginalised and oppressed in many places around the world and to respect their own individual preferences.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Analyse selected models of care in relation to safety, collaboration, the rights and self-determination of the woman and her family;GC1, GC4, GC5, GC6, GC11
LO2Demonstrate effective communication and collaboration skills in relation to health promotion in pre-pregnancy, antenatal and early labour;GC1, GC9, GC10, GC12
LO3Apply the principles of care planning and evaluation of safe, holistic, evidence-based midwifery care for women, babies and their families in a culturally appropriate manner;GC1, GC3, GC5, GC7, GC8, GC11, GC12
LO4Apply the knowledge and principles of safe medication administration within the scope of practice and quality use of medicines framework.GC1, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11

NMBA Midwife Standards for Practice

NMBA (2018) Midwife Standards for Practice developed in this unit are: 

Standard/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

Standard 1: Promotes health and wellbeing through evidence-based midwifery practice 

1.1; 1.2; 1.3; 1.5; 1.6; 1.7

LO1; LO3

Standard 2: Engages in professional relationships and respectful partnerships  

2.1; 2.2; 2.4; 2.5; 2.6; 2.7 

LO1; LO2; LO3 

Standard 3: Demonstrates the capability and accountability for midwifery practice  

3.1; 3.2; 3.3; 3.4; 3.5; 3.6; 3.7 

LO1; LO2; LO3; LO4 

Standard 4: Undertakes comprehensive assessments  

4.1; 4.4 

LO1; LO2 

Standard 5: Develops plans for midwifery practice  

5.1; 5.2; 5.3; 5.4 

LO1; LO3

Standard 6: Provides safety and quality in midwifery practice  


LO2; LO3 

Standard 7: Evaluates outcomes to improve midwifery practice  

7.1; 7.2; 7.3 



Topics will include: 

Legal and professional practice 

  • Legal issues in midwifery care 
  • Informed consent 
  • Duty of care
  • Documentation and use of health informatics and health technologies 
  • Legal aspects of medication administration 
  • Medication knowledge and administration
  • Ethical practice 
  • Evidence-based practice 
  • Assertive communication skills

Midwifery knowledge and practice 

  • Pregnancy care 
  • Models of care 
  • Cultural competence 
  • Principles and practice of antenatal care 
  • Miscarriage 
  • Health screening and diagnostic testing  
  • Antenatal health assessment 
  • Antenatal education 
  • Advice regarding minor discomforts of pregnancy 
  • Working with women to develop birth preferences 
  • Recognition of labour 
  • Early labour care  
  • Introduction to non-pharmacological pain management 
  • Care planning  
  • Medication administration 
  • Complementary therapies and common medications in antenatal care 
  • Routes of administration and rationale 
  • Postnatal care of the well mother and baby 
  • Postnatal assessment  
  • Introduction to feeding methods 

Midwifery as primary health care  

  • Health promoting behaviours 
  • Family care  

Reflective and ethical practice 

  • Evaluation and reflection within care planning and provision

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit fosters student-centred active learning and accommodates diverse student needs. It includes a combination of self-paced, online learning and real-time classes. Early and additional feedback on learning, and tailored support, are provided to facilitate students’ transition to university. Modes of delivery in this unit include learner-centred resource sessions, tutorials and online classrooms. Consistent with adult learning principles, the teaching and learning strategies used within these modes of delivery will provide students with foundational knowledge and skills relevant to professional midwifery practice. These strategies will also support students in meeting the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit and the broader course learning outcomes. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively with peers. Scenario-based learning, case-based learning, problem-based learning and inquiry-based learning are all used to support the development of students' independent learning ability. 

Learner-centred resource sessions are utilised to convey content and central principles while tutorials deliver interactive learning sessions. These sessions include formative feedback to build foundational tertiary study skills while also providing an opportunity to establish group-work and community learning skills. Online materials are introduced to provide students with a foundation for ongoing, self-directed, self-motivated, off-campus study. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures consistent with University assessment requirements will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes.  

Students will work in groups to develop an oral presentation exploring discipline specific skills and knowledge of health promotion for childbearing women. The group work enables students to experience and reflect on working within the midwifery team, the wider multidisciplinary team and in health promotion teams. The written assignment provides students with the opportunity to explore the evidence base regarding care planning for women across the childbearing continuum. The examination enables students to demonstrate a sound knowledge base in addressing content and process questions related to unit content. 

These assessments are required to build student knowledge and skills which, by the conclusion of this programme, will enable the student to graduate as a safe and effective midwife. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment Task 1 - Group Work (including Oral Presentation) 

Enables students to achieve sound communication and team skills and demonstrate understanding of key concepts in health promotion for childbearing women.


LO2, LO3

Assessment Task 2 - Written Assignment (1200-1500 words)

Enables students to achieve skills in academic writing and referencing and to articulate their knowledge and understanding of care planning for childbearing women.  


LO1, LO3, LO4

Assessment Task 3 - Written Examination (2hrs) (Central Examination Period) 

Enables students to demonstrate overall knowledge and understanding of content in the unit. 


LO3, LO4

Representative texts and references

Johnson, R., Taylor, W., De-Vitry Smith, S. & Bayes, S. (2019). Skills for Midwifery Practice (Australia & New Zealand edition). Elsevier.

Leap, N., & Hunter, B. (2022). Supporting Women for Labour and Birth: A Thoughtful Guide (2nd ed.). Routledge.  

MacDonald, S., & Johnson, G. (Eds.). (2017). Mayes' Midwifery (15th edition.). Elsevier.

Marshall, J., & Raynor, M. (Eds.). (2020). Myles Textbook for Midwives (17th ed.). Elsevier

Page, L., & McCandlish, R. (2006). The New Midwifery: Science and Sensitivity in Practice (2nd ed.). Churchill Livingstone. 

Pairman, S., Tracey, S., Dahlen, H., & Dixon, L. (2018). Midwifery: Preparation for Practice (4th ed.). Elsevier.

Rankin, J. (2017). Physiology in Childbearing: with Anatomy and Related Biosciences (4th ed.) Elsevier.

Taylor, J., O’Hara, L., Talbot, L., & Verrinder, G. (2020). Promoting Health: The Primary Health Care Approach (7th ed.). Elsevier.

Wambach, K., & Spencer B. (2021). Breastfeeding and Human Lactation (6th edition.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Wylie, L. & Bryce, H. (2016) The Midwives' Guide to Key Medical Conditions. (2nd ed.). Elsevier.

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