USQ LogoCourse specification
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

MID8070 Midwifery Foundations

Semester 1, 2013 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Nursing and Midwifery
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Jennifer Kelly
Moderator: Lyn Forrest


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in the following Program: MMID


Consistent with the conceptual framework of the course students will learn about the socio-historical context of contemporary maternity services. The course introduces students to midwifery care and women's experience during the trimesters of pregnancy, including the psycho-social-spiritual, physiological and cultural factors that potentially impact upon pregnancy and birth and parenting. Physiology of conception, embryology and maternal and fetal changes over the continuum of pregnancy are studied to provide foundation knowledge.


The socio-historical-cultural context of childbearing and midwifery will be explored. The childbearing module uses a biopsychosocial approach for organising learning around episodes of care beginning pre-conceptually flowing through to late pregnancy. Aspects of pregnancy in an integrated way which is linked to midwifery practice in MID8001.


On successful completion of this course and/or clinical placements students will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise the history of midwifery and childbearing practices within Western culture comparing this with other cultures.
  2. Identify issues surrounding today's maternity services and midwifery profession.
  3. Discuss ways to interact with women, their partners, groups and communities that respect each woman's culture, beliefs, spirituality, values, expectations and previous experiences.
  4. Critically appraise the social control of sexuality, reproduction and motherhood and identify recurring factors which influence female sexual lives.
  5. Explain the ways in which women, as compared to health care practitioners, become aware of and respond to pregnancy.
  6. Revise knowledge related to foundations of sexuality, female fertility cycle, fertilisation and implantation.
  7. Develop knowledge of the physiological changes during the three trimesters of pregnancy.
  8. Describe the growth and development of the embryo and feto-placental unit and discuss the impact of teratogens, including pharmaceuticals and infective organisms.
  9. Describe the anatomy and physiology of human lactation.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Module 1: Culture, Family and Midwifery - Context: Socio-Cultural; Critical sociology: sexuality, reproduction, marriage and the family. Spirituality and Childbearing: the meaning of birth and birthing. Introduction to birth practices in other culture: indigenous borning. 20.00
2. Module 2: Conceptualising Midwifery Practice Critical History of Midwifery Role of the midwife in various practice settings. Issues in maternity care Primary Health Care 20.00
3. Module 3: Pre-Conceptual Foundations of sexuality, male and female genital systems. 20.00
4. Module 4: First Trimester Foundations Conception, First and Second Trimester - fertilisation/embryology and toxicology in early pregnancy; TORCH infections; responses to being pregnant; physiology of early pregnancy; minor disorders of the first trimester; the growing embryo. 20.00
5. Module 5: Second and Third Trimester Foundations The Second and Third Trimesters - feto-placental growth and development; physiology of mid to late pregnancy (including lactation); minor disorders second and third trimesters; infections and toxins in later pregnancy. 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Both, D & Frischknecht, K 2008, Breastfeeding: An illustrated guide to diagnosis and treatment, Elsevier Australia, Marrickville, N.S.W.
  • Pairman, S, Pincombe, J, Thorogood, C & Tracy, SK (eds) 2010, Midwifery preparation for practice, 2nd edn, Elsevier Churchill Livingstone, Marrrickville, N.S.W.
  • Pollard, M 2011, Evidence-based care for breastfeeding mothers, Routledge, London.
  • Stables, D & Rankin, J (eds) 2010, Physiology in childbearing, 3rd edn, Elsevier Bailliere, Tindall, Edinburgh.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • AWHONN Lifelines.
  • Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care.
  • British Journal of Midwifery.
  • British Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.
  • Cunningham, FG (Ed) 2010, Williamís obstetrics, 23rd edn, New York (online).
  • Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health.
  • Journal of Nurse-Midwifery.
  • Journal of Obstetrics Gynaecology and Neonatal Nursing.
  • MIDIRS, Digest - Midwifery Information & Resource Services.
  • Midwifery Chronicles.
  • Midwifery Matters.
  • Midwifery Today with International Midwife.
  • Midwifery.
  • New Zealand College of Midwives Journal.
  • The Australian College of Midwives, Women and Birth.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 40.00
Directed Study 50.00
Private Study 80.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Indigenous Maternal Health 50 35 27 May 2013
ON LINE TEST 50 50 14 Jun 2013 (see note 1)

  1. Quiz opening dates will be available during the semester. Please refer to StudyDesk.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the student's responsibility to participate in the discussion groups scheduled for them and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximize their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. Students are to participate in on-line discussion groups at a standard as per the criteria outlined in the course materials.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item. This course contains an online discussion forum where student's participation is formally assessed and successful participation in that discussion group is required to complete the requirements to be awarded a passing grade in the course. Each student must submit at least three entries to the discussion group at the required standard.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the available weighted marks for the summative assessment items.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.
    Where a student has failed to achieve a passing grade by 5% or less of the aggregated weighted marks, or equivalent in the grading scale, the examiner in agreement with the moderator will consider recommending to the Board of Examiners the undertaking of supplementary assessment by the student, if the student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must submit the assignment via EASE on the Study Desk.

  2. Assessment Items 1 and 3 must be submitted by electronic submission using EASE. Refer to your Course Study Guide and course website on Study Desk for submission details. Times and dates refer to Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).

  3. Assessments 2 and 4 are online quizzes to be completed by accessing StudyDesk . Times and dates refer to Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).The quizzes will be open in the week preceding the due date. Each quiz must be completed by the due date.

  4. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. If requested, students will be required to provide a copy of assignments submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be dispatched to USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request being made.

  5. The examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  6. The Faculty will normally only accept assessments that have been submitted via EASE.

  7. The Faculty will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile.

  8. Students who do not have regular access to postal services or who are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements.

  9. In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a Show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the EASE submission site the date of the public holiday for the Examiner's convenience.

  10. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete - Make up). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  11. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

Other requirements

  1. 1. Students will require access to e-mail and internet access to UConnect and log on to Study Desk for this course.

  2. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The USQ library provides advice on how to format information sources using this system.