Welcome message to the delegates of the first European Midwifery Unit Network Conference
Childbirth affects the public health of every citizen and every country in Europe. The overuse of childbirth interventions has raised concerns about the growing costs and detrimental impact of inappropriate perinatal care, and the potential public health consequences. Midwifery continuity models, one to one care and midwife-led units are some of the well-documented solutions but implementation across Europe has been slow.
The midwifery Unit Network is a not-for-profit community of practice which aims to support and promote the development and growth of midwifery units (birth centres). We want midwifery units to be a primary care, easily accessible, mainstream option for women with uncomplicated pregnancies and their partners everywhere in Europe. In this vision midwifery units become a public health intervention which is associated with better outcomes and reduced costs.
At MUNet we are supporting this shift through research, policy, leadership, quality improvement, training, influencing, information, support and networking activities.
We are delighted to be working in partnership with City, University of London, the Spanish group of the Midwifery Unit Network, the Federación de Asociaciones de Matronas de España and Blanquerna-Universitat Ramon Llull.
We have collaborated with outstanding researchers, service users, maternity services leaders and clinicians across Europe to design an exciting programme for the conference as well as ground-breaking workshops.
The theme is ‘the interdisciplinary effort’ in implementing midwifery units in Europe. The message is clear: the improvement of maternity services and optimisation of skills and resources has to be ‘everybody’s business’. We need to work collaboratively with service users, midwives, obstetricians, neonatologists, commissioners, politicians and policy-makers to co-produce new sustainable plans and pathways putting the woman and the family at the centre.
We are hoping that you will find our First European MUNet Conference inspiring and energising.
We expect that you will go back home with new tools and a rejuvenated motivation to be the change you want to see happening in the world of respectful and holistic maternity care.
Dr Lucia Rocca-Ihenacho
María Jesús Domínguez
Dr Ramón Escuriet Peiro
Francisco Postigo Mota
Dr Fátima León Larios
Irene González Pérez