September 2018

Current issue

In the September issue of BJM, we look at the important issue of pregnancy in migrant detention centres. With so little being written about this vulnerable group, this study aims to increase knowledge of women’s experiences of pregnancy in difficult and uncertain circumstances. We also examine the views of women with a raised BMI, and provide midwives with everything they need to know about caring for women with epilepsy. In the Birthwrite section, Karen Barker gives her top tips for writing for publication, while in the legal section, we bring the story of Hungarian midwife Ágnes Geréb up to date.

What the editor says

Natural Cycles, the first and only smartphone app to be certified as a contraceptive, is once again in the news, this time seeing its adverts banned for exaggerated claims about its effectiveness. Stories have emerged charting the numerous problems of the app, which range from stories of false positives that have led to women becoming pregnant; to accounts that the daily temperature measurements, on which the app relies, are hypersensitive and unsuited to the unpredictability of daily life. While there are issues to be ironed out, however, there’s no doubt that there are some things that Natural Cycles has done right: women want information and choice over their bodies, and many turned to Natural Cycles as an alternative to the side effects of hormonal contraception. Equally, developers tapped into the ease and convenience of smartphones, which we now use to organise numerous aspects of our lives. However, there can be no assumptions made about the likelihood of perfect use, and this was the key flaw of Natural Cycles. As the use of smartphone apps for healthcare management continues to rise, there are certainly lessons for future developers to learn from the app’s turbulent history. See our subscription options

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