Beating Burnout in Midwifery Conference
- : Melbourne VIC 3000
Are you feeling overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted? Are you struggling to gain the satisfaction you once received from practicing as a midwife? You are not alone if you are experiencing feelings of stress, burnout, and even compassion fatigue. This special conference is designed to explore the causes and conditions that can lead to burnout in midwives and offers strategies and techniques to reduce burnout. Topics include:
- How to counteract the impact of cumulative stress and vicarious trauma
- Managing birthing expectations
- The role that power, control, and politics play in midwifery
- Managing the perception of medicolegal risk
- How compassion for self and others can enhance the therapeutic relationship and decrease burnout
- Tips for building psychological safety in your team and much, much more…
8:30AM REGISTRATION FOR DAY ONE
Dr Jill BeattieWelcome and Introduction to Conference
Connecting with colleagues is a unique experience associated with attending a conference. This introductory session will provide an opportunity to understand the bond that midwives share, even in the face of adversity. It includes:
- A look at why you are here
- The impact of orientating to our environment
- How this may reduce stress…
Dr Jill BeattieThe Neurobiology of Stress
Do you feel overwhelmed by the cumulative stress in your working life? Too little stress can keep you from reaching your potential, and too much stress can be detrimental to your health, well-being, and ability to provide high-quality midwifery care. This session looks at the stress and relaxation response, what happens in the body under stress, and why it is important to recognise where your stress level might be at any given time. It’s time to consider:
- Is it stress, burnout, or compassion fatigue?
- Is it worry, anxiety, or depression?
- The neurobiology of stress – what’s happening in the body?
- How can chronic stress lead to ill health and chronic illness?
10:30 MORNING TEA
Dr Jill BeattieThe Impact of Trauma in Midwifery
Women and their partners may have experienced different types of trauma in their lives, even before pregnancy. Couples and, in particular, birthing women need support and understanding from those around them if retraumatisation is to be avoided by well-meaning health professionals. Healthcare professionals may also have experienced trauma in the past. This session explains how a trauma-informed approach to maternity practice can improve outcomes and also minimise the impact of cumulative stress and vicarious trauma on midwives. It includes:
- What constitutes trauma?
- How might this manifest antenatally, during birthing, and postnatally?
- Is it possible to counteract the impacts of cumulative stress and vicarious trauma and, therefore, burnout?
- What is a trauma-informed approach to maternity care?
Dr Jill BeattieCauses and Conditions – Overcoming Occupational Worry
Fear and occupational anxiety are pervasive in midwifery due to the ever-present medico-legal risks associated with care delivery to not only the mother but also her baby. Subsequent dependence on policies, procedures, and paperwork can play havoc on midwives as we head home from a long shift. This session will explore the causes, conditions, intentions, and attitudes that are impacting on midwifery practice. It includes:
- The causes of stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue in midwifery
- How clarity around causes, conditions, intentions, and attitudes support a reduction in occupational fear and anxiety and improve satisfaction at work
- Mindfulness practices to assist us and support the birthing process
1:00PM LUNCH AND NETWORKING
Dr Jill BeattieGreat Expectations – Accepting What Is …
The expectations that society places on conception, pregnancy, the birthing process, and postnatal wellness are phenomenal. Midwives are intrinsically tied to a woman and her partner’s perception of these experiences. What is the impact of high and even unrealistic expectations? This session considers:
- How do society’s expectations impact our own expectations?
- How can we manage these expectations and sustain a sense of control?
- Is it possible to accept what is and what will be?
3:00 AFTERNOON TEA
Dr Jill BeattieAn Antidote to Burnout and Compassion Fatigue: Going Home Satisfied
Forming therapeutic relationships lies at the heart of midwives in supporting woman and family-centred care. These partnerships during pregnancy, the birthing process, and immediately post-delivery are intimate, significant, and can be intense. Compassion for self and others can enhance the therapeutic relationship and decrease burnout. This session will consider:
- Using the B.R.A.I.N.N. to work in partnership with women, their partners, and other healthcare professionals involved in the birthing process
- What influences our ability to be assertive and how to be assertive with families and colleagues when required
- Letting go and going home satisfied
4:30 CLOSE OF DAY ONE OF CONFERENCE
9:00AM COMMENCEMENT OF DAY TWO
Jane StanfieldReclaim the Moment and Connect
Day two of the conference begins with an opportunity to sit, relax, breathe, create clarity, and reflect. Come along to this session and spend time talking to other participants about how we can maintain our wellbeing in our workplace. If you feel comfortable participating, take time to learn from, with, and about each other. This session will help us to set the agenda and flow for the day allowing us to make it more personally relevant for each of us.
Jane StanfieldThe Protective Effect of Resilience
Our capacity to respond healthily in the face of challenges is known as resilience. Resilience is recognised to help us adapt positively to stress, recover from trauma, and grow and develop through adversity. This session will explore:
- Resilience – are we born with it or does it develop?
- Are there certain behaviours that boost resilience?
- How can resilience assist with the emotional consequences of stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue?
10:30 MORNING TEA
Jane StanfieldSelf-Care and Wellness for Midwives
Contemporary woman-centred midwifery care is grounded in a wellness model. While acknowledging that timely interventions may sometimes be appropriate, pregnant women are predominantly well because pregnancy and birth is a normal physiological event. Paradoxically, many midwives who are experiencing feelings of stress, burnout, and even compassion fatigue may need to take time out to support their own wellbeing. This session encourages you to consider:
- How can we develop self-awareness around our own wellbeing?
- What does engaging in regular self-care activities do for our long-term health?
- What is resilience?
- How does self-care develop resilience?
Jane StanfieldThe Secret to Meeting Midwifery Challenges?
Midwives are increasingly working in more fast-paced, high-giving, high-pressure environments. Workplace issues, such as staffing and time pressures, are increasingly associated with maternity services. “Stressing” about this is a habit and, like any habit, it can be rewired. Using the principles of neuroscience and neuroplasticity and concepts of managing our energy rather than managing our time, we will step through ways to increase our awareness of what we are in control of and what we aren’t. This session explains:
- Managing energy (vs managing time) – how to replenish and renew depleted energy
- How to “manage your mind”
- How to develop your own toolbox of ideas to balance your energy levels
1:00PM LUNCH AND NETWORKING
Jane StanfieldTrust and Psychological Safety in Teams
Trust between professionals reflects a recognition and respect for each others’ roles. It is a necessary aspect of effective interprofessional collaboration and essential across all midwifery models of care. Being a part of a trustworthy team, within a psychologically safe workplace is vastly helpful in addressing workplace stress and feelings of burnout. This session discusses:
- What is trust and how does it operate in your work environment?
- How can communication build trust?
- How can you lead by example and create psychological safety amongst your team?
3:00 AFTERNOON TEA
Jane StanfieldThe Power of Positivity
What we focus on matters. When we experience burnout, it is a challenge to have fun, relax, and experience happiness, pleasure, and joy. Applying positive psychology approaches to midwifery practice may assist in meeting modern challenges, particularly when we might benefit from increased optimism. This final session considers:
- Why is it that we can commonly fall into negative states of mind?
- Can positive psychology and self-talk change thought patterns?
- When is “attitude” a learned behaviour?
- What is the relationship between positivity and feelings of stress and burnout?
4:30 CLOSE OF CONFERENCE AND EVALUATIONS
The Goal Need for Program
High levels of emotional exhaustion, a decreasing sense of achievement, and subsequent depersonalisation are sadly affecting many health professionals. Midwives are reporting feelings of stress, burnout, and even compassion fatigue. Professional costs include decreased staff morale, increased sick leave, with lower levels of satisfaction among midwives and those in their care. In order to address the current impact of burnout in midwifery, there is a need for an educational program to unpack the causes and offer strategies to develop the resilience required to prevent these insidious professional threats from occurring.Purpose of Program
To provide midwives with knowledge and skills to reduce stress and burnout, and to increase personal wellness, job satisfaction, and psychological safety in the workplace, ultimately enhancing women and family-centred approaches to maternity care.Your learning outcomes:
Gain further insight into the factors that cause cumulative stress amongst midwives, which will assist with early recognition and prevention of burnout
Be able to apply a trauma-informed approach to maternity care
Improve the therapeutic relationship with the woman, her partner, and the newborn baby, resulting in a reduction in compassion fatigue
Have a toolbox of practical strategies to assist you to gain greater satisfaction from work and the ability leave it behind when you go homePresenters
Dr Jill Beattie is a senior research fellow at Monash University, Victoria. Jill is also a mindfulness-based emotional fitness consultant ... Read More
Jane Stanfield (RN, RM) is a Health Service Improvement Coach. She comes with 30 years’ experience in healthcare, half as ...Read More