Sustainability in midwifery work - Development of a curricular element for midwifery primary training and further education
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Katholische Stiftungshochschule, University of Applied Sciences, Munich, Germany
Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University, Stuttgart, Germany
Publication date: 2023-10-24
Corresponding author
Karolina Luegmair   

Katholische Stiftungshochschule, University of Applied Sciences, Munich, Germany
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A35
Over the past decade, midwifery training in Germany has undergone a process of change and development. Since 2020, midwifery training has to be performed at University level, with the obligation to develop a study curriculum following competences specified in the law1. Those competences include a variety of midwifery expertise covering pregnancy, labor and postpartum care, always referring to women’s and families’ special needs and resources. This offers the chance of focusing also on aspects of planetary health and climate change as they affect women´s and families’ health intensively.

Material and Methods:
The object of this work is to demonstrate the development of a curricular element for midwifery primary training and further education studies with a concentration on sustainability and planetary health in midwifery work, following the competences from midwifery law texts in Germany.

A module is presented that aligns with 10 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) points in the curricular frame of midwifery training programs on Bachelor or Master level or in further scientific education. Since sustainability in midwifery work has not been part of the midwifery curriculum so far, there is a need for further education for all midwives. Therefore, this module is universally applicable. It comprises elements about planetary health education and literacy allover, with differentiations leading to counseling and escorting women and families regarding questions of sustainability and health along the whole continuum of pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal care. Topics covered include, for example, nutrition and breast-feeding, care products, and equipment. Students will learn about shared-decision-making processes and evidence-based counseling regarding planetary and individual health (climate-sensitive health counselling2), while keeping an eye on individual needs and possibilities of each family. Furthermore, the midwife’s own working process will be analyzed, looking for possibilities to contribute to sustainability in maternity care settings.

Through the implementation of the developed curricular module, midwifery students and midwives in further education will gain a clear understanding of the connection between planetary health, climate change, and midwifery work. This will enable them to effectively integrate these topics into their everyday work, contributing both to environmental sustainability and the health of women and families.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
There is no funding for this research.
HebStPrV. Study and examination regulations for midwives. Gesetze-im-internet. Published January 8, 2020. https://www.gesetze-im-interne...
Krippl N, Mezger NCS, Fischer H, et al. Climate-sensitive health counselling: a quantitative survey on addressing climate change. European Journal of Public Health. 2022;32. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckac130.069
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