Midwives as Adult Educators: An investigation of midwives’ perceptions about the educational dimension of their profession

Published: Jan 15, 2024
perinatal education midwives’ educational role trainers’ training adult education women’s education
Ira Papageorgiou
Eleni Kostourou

This article deals with the educational dimension of Midwifery, as manifested in the context of perinatal education programmes in Greece. Despite the internationally recognized value of childbirth education in reducing perinatal mortality and morbidity, and despite the rich activity of midwives in terms of perinatal education, their role as adult educators has received limited scientific attention and support. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether and to what extent midwives teaching in perinatal programmes perceive their role as educators, as well as whether and in what way they are prepared for this role. It also investigates whether and what form of training midwives receive to their role in perinatal education. The study followed the specifications of qualitative design and data was collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews with twelve (12) midwives - trainers in perinatal education, as well as with eight (8) women and men who have participated in childbirth classes in Greece. The findings highlight the need to further support midwives in their educational role and to enhance their educational practice by integrating the principles of Adult Education. 

Article Details
  • Section
  • Articles
Download data is not yet available.
Barger, M. K., Hackley, B., Bharj, K. K., Luyben, A., & Thompson, J. B. (2019). Knowledge and use
of the ICM global standards for midwifery education. Midwifery, 79, 102534
Bron, A. & Jarvis, P. (2008) “Identities of Adult Educators: Changes in Professionality”. In E. Nuissl & S. Lattke (eds.), Qualifying Adult Learning Professionals in Europe, Bielefeld: W.Bertelsmann Verlag
Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2018). Research Methods in Education. London: Routledge
Creswell, J. & Guetterman, T. (2020). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Global Edition: Pearson Education
Fabian, H. M., Radestad, I. J., & Waldenstrom, U. (2005). Childbirth and parenthood education classes
in Sweden. Womens opinion and possible outcomes. Acta Obstetricia Et Gynecologica Scandinavica,
(5), 436–443.
Iliodromiti, Ζ., Papamichail, D., Ekizoglou, Ch., Nteka, Ε., Mavrika, P., Zografaki, Ε., Koutentakis, Κ., Zidropoulos, S., Stavrou, D., Panagiotopoulos, Τ. & Antoniadou-Koumatou, Ι. (2018). National Study for the Estimation and Frequency Determinant Factors for Breastfeeding. Athens: Institute for the Health of Children
Theodoridou, Α. (2005). The Training of Midwives-Obstetricians: A two-day continuous professional and personal development. Eleutho, (10), 102–106
Jarvis, P., (2010) Adult Education and Lifelong Learning: Theory and Practice, London: Routledge
Karalis, Th. & Papageorgiou, I. (2012). Designing, Implementing and Evaluation Lifelong Education Programmes. Athens: INE GSEE
Kegan, R. (2003). In Over our Heads: The mental demands of modern life. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard
University Press.
Kokkos, A. (2019). The process of transformation: Kegan's view through the lens of a film by Wenders.
European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 10(2), 161-167
Mezirow, J. (2000). Learning to Think like an Adult. Core Concepts of Transformation Theory. In J. Mezirow, & Associates (Eds.), Learning as Transformation. Critical Perspectives on a Theory in Progress. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Nolan, M. L., & Hicks, C. (1997). Aims, processes and problems of antenatal education as identified by three groups of childbirth teachers. Midwifery, 13(4), 179–188. doi: 10.1016/s0266-6138(97)80004-6
Nolan, M. (2010). Childbirth Education: Politics, Equality and Relevance. In D. Walsh & S. Downe (eds). Essential Midwifery Practice: Intrapartum Care, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell
Norling-Gustafsson, A., Skaghammar, K., & Adolfsson, A. (2011). Expectant Parents' Experiences of
Parental Education within the Antenatal Health Service. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 4, 159–167
O'Sullivan, C., O'Connell, R., & Devane, D. (2014). A Descriptive Survey of the Educational Preparation
and Practices of Antenatal Educators in Ireland. The Journal of Perinatal Education, 23(1), 33–40.
Otogara, M., Karimi-Shahanjarini, A., Hazavehei, S., Poorolajal, J., Radnia, N., Akrami, F., & Bagheri,
F. (2017). Exploring Perceptions of Instructors about Childbirth Preparation Training Courses: A
qualitative study. Electronic Physician, 9(4), 4215–4224
Papageorgiou, I. (2008). The Problematic of the Professionalization of Adult Education: Exploring the Concept and Prerequisites for Advancing the Field. Proceedings of the 3rd Conference of the Hellenic Adult Education Association “Adult Educators: Their Education and Professionalization”, Athens, 14-16 March 2008
Papageorgiou, I. (2022). Humanistic Approach to Adult Education, in Th. Karalis & P. Lintzeris (eds) Adult Education Dictionary, Athens: HAEA
Polomeno, V. (2000) “The Polomeno Family Intervention Framework for Perinatal Education: Preparing Couples for the Transition to Parenthood” in The Journal of Perinatal Education, 9(1): 31–48
Renkert, S., & Nutbeam, D. (2001). Opportunities to Improve Maternal Health Literacy through Antenatal Education: An exploratory study. Health Promotion International, 16(4), 381–388,
Robson C. (2011). Real World Research, London: Wiley
Stamler L.L. (1998). The Participants' Views of Childbirth Education: is there congruency with an enablement framework for patient education, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 28(5), 939-947
WHO. (2016). Statement on Caesarean Section Rates, Retrieved June 4, 2023, from https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/161442/WHO_RHR_15.02_eng.pdf?sequence=1
WHO. (2019). Strengthening quality midwifery education for Universal Health Coverage 2030. Retrieved June 4, 2023, from https://www.who.int/maternal_child_adolescent/topics/quality-of-care/midwifery/strengthening-midwifery-education/en/
Most read articles by the same author(s)