World Congress of Perinatal Medicine: interdisciplinary and ethical practice: Tokiko Oishi, of the International Committee of the Japan Academy of Midwifery, reports from Osaka, Japan, where ICM Director Joyce Thompson gave a keynote address.

AuteurOishi, Tokiko

The World Association of Perinatal Medicine held its 6th World Congress of Perinatal Medicine on September 13-16 in Osaka, Japan. The Congress consisted of three sections, relating to obstetrics, neonatology and midwifery. The midwifery section was supported by the Japan Academy of Midwifery. The whole congress involved 1,300 participants from 59 countries and the midwifery section was very successful with about 300 participants.

Women-centred midwifery care

The two-day midwifery section had the main theme of 'Women-centred Midwifery Care', and it opened with the keynote address given by Dr Joyce Thompson, Director of the ICM Board of Management and Lacey Professor of Community Health Nursing at Western Michigan University, followed by sessions about 'Evidence-based midwifery and practice'.

Epidemiologists from Japan and the Netherlands suggested that midwives could play crucial roles in promoting the normalcy of birth. Practitioners in the community from various countries demonstrated their evidence-based practices.

Midwifery for women

The focus of the second day was on 'midwifery for women'. Barbara Katz Rothman, Professor of Sociology at the City University of New York, and author of the Encyclopedia of Childbearing, led the sessions with her talk titled 'Midwifery as feminist praxis'. The topics of violence against women and midwifery education were then discussed in terms of midwifery for women.

Special midwifery lectures were given in the main hall along with the lectures in obstetrics and neonatology. Joyce Thompson talked about 'Interdisciplinary professional practice: midwives, nurses and physicians' as she showed evidence of midwives' great contribution and the importance of collaboration among the three professions to the benefit of maternal and child health.

Dr Horiuchi, president of the Japan Academy of Midwifery gave a paper entitled 'Towards the creation of a women-centred care system'.

Recently, midwifery education and the relationship between midwives and nurses have become important issues in Japan. It was very timely and informative that the situations in various countries with regard to those issues were exchanged and discussed in this midwifery conference.

Ethical issues in perinatal care

Joyce Thompson, co-author of the ICM's International Code of Ethics for Midwives, spoke about the need to address some of the complex ethical issues facing individuals, families and professional health workers during the childbearing...

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