Special project on pregnancy
This year's special project is on pelvic floor awareness in pregnancy, childbirth and beyond. The project initiatives were launched during World Continence Week, 23-29 June, 2014.
Having a baby makes a woman three times more likely to leak than a woman who hasn't had one. In fact, one in three women who've ever had a baby will wet themselves. In the majority of cases, however, urinary incontinence as a result of pregnancy and childbirth is preventable and treatable.
The importance of reaching out to pregnant women and the health professionals who work with them cannot be underestimated, and the Continence Foundation's current project aims to do exactly that.
A consultation held in May 2013 brought together experts and key stakeholders from the maternity and continence fields and highlighted three key areas of focus for the project: advocacy at a guidelines and competency level; awareness raising among pre and postnatal women; and education for health professionals. Midwives were identified as a key focus area for the project as they are critical not only for delivering babies, but also delivering best possible outcomes for mothers before, during and after childbirth.
The project was overseen by a multidisciplinary working group
, with additional input from health professionals and key stakeholders to address the main areas of focus:
- Advocating to address the amount of continence and pelvic-floor related information in antenatal guidelines and midwifery core competencies.
- The development of The Pregnancy Guide resource (in association with The Pregnancy Centre) and the Pregnancy Pelvic Floor Plan smart phone app to raise awareness of incontinence and pelvic floor muscle exercises among pre and postnatal women.
- Development of an online course, in partnership with the Australian College of Midwives, as well as providing face-to-face education forums for midwives, focusing on the impact of pregnancy and childbirth on pelvic floor dysfunction and bladder and bowel.
- Development of a marketing strategy promoting the outcomes and key messages of the project to the target audience.