Vulnerable pregnant women throughout Europe
The aim of the project is to exchange knowledge and best practices concerning vulnerable pregnancies between midwifery practices in several European countries, in order to improve knowledge and skills of midwives.
Vulnerable pregnant women are an important and complex theme in daily practice of birth care professionals. Vulnerability is an important risk factor for maternal and perinatal mortality and morbidity. Providing care for these women is often complex. First, because it is not always easy to identify vulnerability. Secondly, vulnerable women more often cancel their appointments with midwives and finally, many professionals are involved while they do not always know each other.
Even though professionals are aware of the risks of vulnerability for future mothers and their (unborn) children and the complexity of care for these women, there is no international definition for ‘vulnerable pregnancies’. Therefore, we start this project with defining a mutual definition of vulnerability during pregnancy. In current projects of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (RUAS) we define a vulnerable pregnant woman as: a pregnant woman facing psychopathology, psychosocial problems, and/or substance abuse combined with lack of individual and/or social resources (low socioeconomic status, low educational level, limited social network).
Care for vulnerable pregnant women is fragmented and therefore it is unclear for birth care professionals which interventions are available and effective. Therefore, midwives are convinced that exchanging knowledge and best practices concerning vulnerable pregnancies between midwifery practices throughout Europe could enhance their knowledge and provide midwives (SMB partners in this project) with tools to improve care for vulnerable pregnant women.