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Qualitative study–other
Greater support and debriefing may help student midwives to process traumatic birth experiences
  1. Ellen Kitson-Reynolds
  1. Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Ellen Kitson-Reynolds, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Nightingale Building, 67 University Road, Highfield, Southampton, Hants SO17 1BJ, UK; elkr{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • Incorporating resilience training and a multidisciplinary debriefing approach within clinical and academic environments would develop a culture of support and compassion for the workforce and ultimately effective care for women using maternity services.

  • Further research surrounding the effectiveness of resilience education for student midwives is required to elicit greater understanding of the effect on woman-centred care.


The definition of a midwife is ‘being with woman’. Student midwives typically embark on a 156-week education programme developing knowledge and skills predominantly in ‘normality’ and within the context of normal birth. The reality for many students encompasses exposure to more high-risk complex cases and to services that are resource constrained. Students …

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  • Competing interests None declared.