McMaster University’s Midwifery Education Program has released the final instalment of a collection of interactive ebooks that comprise Canada’s first midwifery textbook.

The three-volume suite, entitled Comprehensive Midwifery: An Interactive Approach to the Theory & Evidence of Practice, is for midwifery students and midwives.

“McMaster’s Midwifery Education Program is known internationally for its midwifery education and research, so it seems appropriate we would release the first Canadian midwifery textbook,” said Liz Darling, assistant dean of the McMaster Midwifery Education Program and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology.

“I am proud of everyone involved in this extensive project, and in particular, want to acknowledge the leadership and hard work of Dr. Beth Murray-Davis who lead this four-year project. The innovative interactive and online format of this textbook makes it a unique contribution to midwifery education globally.”

The textbook’s three volumes focus, respectively, on professional roles; normal pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and newborn care; and the management of complications arising in pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and newborn care.

It is the first to discuss the Canadian scope of midwifery practice, and combines clinical skills with the ethics and philosophical underpinnings of the profession.

The ebook includes a variety of interactive online learning tools, such as pop-up definitions, quizzes, videos, animations, reflective learning questions, case studies and links to additional resources.

The second volume was released in June 2017, the first in September 2018, and the third this month.

The project took four years of planning, writing and developing by a team in the midwifery program, led by Murray-Davis, Eileen Hutton and Bruce Wainman. The books include the contributions of a team of technical and creative designers, more than 50 authors, 10 medical illustrators, and 40 midwives across Ontario who participated in videos outlining tips for best practice.

The published volumes, including the two previous midwifery e-books produced by McMaster, are being used at six universities across Canada and the United States, with additional schools in Canada and Australia looking to come on board. The editing team also anticipates that the books will be a useful learning tool in international settings where learners may have limited access to textbooks.

“Our contributing authors are renowned nationally and internationally their fields, making this an excellent contribution to the profession of midwifery,” said Murray-Davis, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at McMaster who teaches midwifery and is a practicing midwife. “We know our students and educators love the e-books as educational resources and as a source for evidence-based practice.

“We also think the price point is helpful for midwifery students who are normally paying hundreds of dollars for a single printed textbook.”

The textbook development was funded by the Midwifery Education Program, and grants from the Faculty of Health Sciences and E-Campus Ontario.

The complete suite of three books is available online and costs $170. It can be purchased here.

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