December 2018

Current issue

In this month’s issue of BJM, we take a look at gestational diabetes, managing weight during teenage pregnancy, and the effect of vitamin D on postnatal depression. We also hear from midwives who share their experiences of caring for women and families who have experienced early pregnancy loss—a moving read that emphasises how midwives need to be supported if they are to provide the best care for others. In the legal section, we have a fascinating insight into midwifery in Croatia, where assisting a home birth is effectively banned, and ask whether this breaches women’s human rights.

What the editor says

It's December, which means that Christmas is coming. However you celebrate (or don't), there is no escaping that this is a period of heightened consumerism, bookended by the increasingly recognised phenomenon of Black Friday and the Boxing Day sales. This is in stark contrast to reports of increased poverty in the UK: the foodbank charity The Trussell Trust reported a 13% rise in 3-day emergency food parcels last year, and the homeless charity Shelter estimated that there are at least 320, 000 homeless people in Britain today.

Among these will be groups with more specific needs, such as pregnant women, babies and young children. As midwives know, the birth of a child is an expensive time, and products such as nappies and antiseptic cream are essential for families to provide their children with the best start in life and to care for them according to the advice of their midwife. While shoppers are increasingly encouraged to donate to foodbanks, pregnant women, children and babies risk being forgotten by the public, who lack the foresight or expertise to anticipate their needs. These may not be glamorous gifts, but with more incentives than ever to shop, it’s never been easier to donate.

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