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Ruth Deery
British Journal of Midwifery, Vol. 7, Iss. 4, 01 Apr 1999, pp 251 - 254

The first part of this article focused on the way the midwife–client relationship has evolved, and how this has affected the way midwives relate to each other and the women for whom they care. Recent policy initiatives (Department of Health, 1993; Department of Health, 1997) have, to a certain extent, made midwifery practice more daunting, challenging and complex, and some midwives have stated that they do not get the support they require within the current model of statutory supervision (Association of Radical Midwives, 1995; M Kirkham, 1998; personal communication). Therefore supporting midwives and equipping them with the skills to take innovative and truly woman-centred care forward must become a priority. This article addresses the therapeutic relationship that exists between midwives and their clients, and encourages supervisors of midwives and midwifery managers to consider alternative ways that they and their organizational structures could offer support to midwives. The concept of clinical supervision is introduced and offered as one possible alternative to supporting midwives, as well as to help them build on the positive aspects of their practice.

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