University of Technology Sydney

92018 Building Resilience in Mothers and Midwives

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2023 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks


This subject focuses on the concept of resilience and provides midwives with the knowledge and skills needed to promote emotional well-being in childbearing women as well as themselves and their colleagues. Resilience is the capacity to bounce back or respond to adversity. In this subject the student develops a greater appreciation of emotional/mental health issues affecting midwives, childbearing women and families, the impact of personal communication, and the impact of programs such as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. Students are provided with opportunities to personally experience a range of evidence-based strategies such as Mindfulness that have been demonstrated to positively affect well-being and contribute to personal resilience. Evidence demonstrating that the skills of meditation and compassion effectively enhance the care we can offer will be explored as powerful antidotes to compassion fatigue and burnout. The underlying neural basis of the effects of mindfulness will also be explored. Through an emerging and/or increasing awareness of mindful midwifery practice, students will develop a greater appreciation of how to create and nurture resilience in themselves and their colleagues and in families that have not yet been able to acquire it.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Discuss the notion of resilience
B. Critically analyse and synthesise the literature in relation to midwive's emotional wellbeing.
C. Describe the role of critical reflection to enhance clinical practice
D. Identify and discuss the importance of clinical supervision
E. Discuss the development of a supportive network and other skills needed to maintain physical and emotional health as midwives
F. Critically analyse and synthesise the literature in relation to women's emotional wellbeing and mental health during the childbearing period.
G. Identify family protective factors that enable parents to provide a nurturing environment for children
H. Identify family risk factors that place children at risk
I. Explore the role of midwives in facilitating the nurturing and protection of children
J. Discuss the realities of new motherhood
K. Identify the behaviours, communication styles and strategies appropriate when working with parents(families)

Teaching and learning strategies

Mixed mode including face to face teaching in 2 intensive 2-day workshops, supported via on-line learning

Content (topics)

  • Resilience
  • Models of clinical supervision
  • Mindfulness based stress reduction
  • Self-care for midwives
  • Self compassion
  • Midwives nurturing positive parenting


Assessment task 1: On-line discussion forum

Weight: 30%

Assessment Item 1: On-line discussion forum

Each posting will be a short commentary on the module viewed during the week, usually 50-100 words (worth 30% of final grade).

Assessment task 2: Seminar Presentation

Weight: 50%

30-40 minutes followed by a 15 minute guided discussion

Assessment task 3: Develop a Poster

Weight: 20%

The length is restricted by the poster template.

Required texts

Leap, N. Fowler, C. & Homer CSE. 2010, Nurturing and Protecting Children: A Public Health Approach: A Teaching and Learning Resource for Midwifery and Nursing Education, University of Technology Sydney and Australian Centre for Child Protection, viewed 26th June 2012,

Australian Nursing & Midwifery Council. 2008, Code of Ethics for Midwives in Australia, viewed 2nd July 2012, codes_project/ New Code of Ethics for Midwives August 2008.pdf

Australian Nursing & Midwifery Council. 2008, Code of Professional Conduct for Midwives in Australia, viewed 2nd July 2012, /Code-of-Professional-Conduct/default.aspx

Redshaw, M. 2006, First relationships and the growth of love and commitment, Chapter 2, In L.A.Page & R. McClandish (eds.), The New Midwifery: Science and Sensitivity in Practice, 2nd edn, pp. 21-47, Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Recommended texts

Kabat-Zinn, J. 2009, Full Catastrophe Living. Using the Widsom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness, 15th edn, Random House Inc, New York.

Kabat-Zinn, M., Kabat-Zinn, J. 1997, Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting, Hyperion, New York.

Deveson, A. 2003, Resilience, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest.

Frankl, V.E. 2004, Man's Search For Meaning, Random House Great Britain, London.

Seligman, M. 2011, Flourish. A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, Random House Australia Pty Ltd, North Sydney.

Neenan, M. 2009, Developing Resilience. A Cognitive-Behavioural Approach, Routledge, New York.

Hanson, R. 2009, Buddha's Brain, the practical neuroscience of happiness, love and wisdom, New Harbinger Publications Inc. Oakland, C.A.


Shapiro, S.L., Oman, D., Thoresen, C.E., Plante, T. G. & Flinders, T. 2008, 'Cultivating Mindfulness: Effects on Well-Being', Journal of Clinical Psychology, vol. 64, no.7, pp. 840-62.

Cardaciotto, L., Herbert, J.D., Forman, E.M., Moitra, E. & Farrow, V. 2008, 'The Assessment of Present-Moment Awareness and Acceptance: The Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale', Assessment, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 204-23.

Burke, C.A. 2010, 'Mindfulness-based approaches with children and adolescents: A preliminary review of current research in an emergent field', Journal of Child and Family Studies, vol. 19, pp. 133-144.

Semple, R.J. & Burke, C.A. 2011, Changing Paradigms: Treating Children and Adolescents with Mindfulness Child and Adolescent Therapy: Cognitive- Behavioral Procedures, 4th edn, Guilford Press, New York.

Meiklejohn, J., Phillips, C., Freedman, M.L., Griffin, M.L., Biegel, G., Roach, A., Frank, J., Burke, C., Pinger, L., Soloway, G., Isberg, R., Sibinga, E., Grossman, L., & Saltzman, A. 2012, 'Integrating mindfulness training into K-12 education: Fostering the resilience of teachers and students', Mindfulness: Online First

Other Resources:
Germer, C. K. 2009, The mindful path to self-compassion: Freeing yourself from destructive thoughts and emotions, Guildford Press, New York.

Bennett-Goleman, T. 2001, Emotional alchemy: How the mind can heal the heart, Three Rivers Press, New York.

Brown, B. 1999, Soul without shame: A guide to liberating yourself from the judge within, Shambala, Boston.

Brown, B. 2010, The Gifts of Imperfection, Hazelden, Center City, MN.

Gilbert, P. 2009, The compassionate mind, Constable, London.

Neff, K. nd, Self Compassion. A healthier Way of Relating to Yourself, viewed 26th June 2012,

Neff, K. 2011, Self-compassion. Stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind, William Morrow,

Other resources

UTS Student Centres

Building 10
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:
For other resources/information refer to the Faculty of Health website (, the Health Student Guide ( and UTSOnline at:

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at both City and Kuring-gai Libraries. Phone (02) 9514 9733

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.