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For vulnerable families, continued postnatal care, provided by family midwives, is associated with improved maternal care and parent–child relationship
  1. Anne Lazenbatt
  1. Department of Social Policy and Social Work, School of Sociology, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Anne Lazenbatt
    Department of Social Policy and Social Work, School of Sociology, Queen's University Belfast, Room 1.027, 6 College Park, Belfast BT7 1LP, Northern Ireland, UK; a.lazenbatt{at}

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Commentary on: Ayerle GM, Makowsky K, Schücking BA. Key role in the prevention of child neglect and abuse in Germany: continuous care by qualified family midwives. Midwifery 2012;28:E469–77.

Implications for practice and research

  • This paper illustrates how findings from two related studies can enhance nursing and midwifery practice through the evaluation of the effectiveness of a family midwives (FMs) intervention.

  • Midwives educated about the health impact of infant maltreatment can be trained to support and strengthen maternal competencies in caring and relating to their infants’ needs.

  • FMs learn more about the multiple risk factors that families have to cope with, can promote stronger infant–parent relationships and support parents in meeting their children's nutritional and well-being needs.

  • Further research is needed to assess the efficacy of a universal FM service to provide the opportunities for positive, non-violent family interactions, as appropriate treatments to meet the …

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  • Competing interests None.