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Compassionate Care Training Course for Midwives and MOU Staff


“Good beginnings make a positive difference in the world, so it is worth our while to provide the best possible care for mothers and babies throughout this extraordinarily influential part of life”

Ina May Gaskin – Midwife

Compassionate Care Training Course for Midwives and MOU Staff

Compassionate Care Experience:

The Compassionate Care Course begins with a 3 day residential intensive training programme in a peaceful environment surrounded by nature.

A follow-up programme continues thereafter for one and a half hours per person per week, on site for a further twelve weeks.

Programme champions are nominated during the training and are up-skilled to continue to manage the programme in situ, with on going check-ins, training and debriefing offered by CBP staff.

The course has 10 modules.

Each of the sessions begins with a safe listening space for a check-in and a review of the previous week’s session. The safe listening space remains as a core component of all the modules.



  • Facilitated safe listening spaces[i]
    Every class will begin with an exercise in building present moment awareness, deep breathing, a short guided relaxation and a check-in.
  • ‘Time to Think’ and ‘The Thinking Partnership’:
    Time to Think is based on the hypothesis that generative Attention and the building of Incisive Questions produce breakthrough, independent thinking which impacts on the quality of what we do and how we treat one another.
  • Mindful awareness.
    A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Health Care Professionals study showed that the stress inherent in health care negatively impacts health care professionals, leading to increased depression, decreased job satisfaction, and psychological distress.[ii]
  • NVC – Nonviolent Communication (NVC),
    NVC is based on the idea that all human beings have the capacity for compassion and only resort to violence or behavior that harms others when they don’t recognize more effective strategies for meeting needs. NVC proposes that if people can identify their needs, the needs of others, and the feelings that surround these needs, harmony can be achieved. [iii]
  • Gratitude Journals:
    Those who benefit most from the experience and expression of gratitude are grateful people themselves. In a series of experimental studies, feelings of gratitude enhanced psychological resilience, physical health, and the quality of daily life[iv].
  • Compassion tutorials:
    These interactive tutorials include discussion, listening and experiential exercises. They also cover topics such as delayed cord clamping, skin to skin care and listening skills
  • Movement creates a relaxation response and releases endorphins into the body.[v]
    Biodanza has been specifically designed to facilitate the process of releasing constricted tension to enable better interaction with others, and to become more embodied.
  • Massage training.
    Midwives will be taught massage techniques for de-stressing themselves and their patients, and will have the opportunity to receive massages from one another.[vi]
  • Singing
    As Per the intervention established by Dr Michel Odent in Pithiviers, France.
    Dr Odent commented, “I well remember the atmosphere of happiness that accumulated during singing encounters in the maternity unit at the Pithiviers Hospital in France. These singing sessions probably had more positive effects on the development of babies in the womb and also on the birth process than a series of ultrasound scans.”[vii]
  • Relaxation
    Relaxation training is used to reduce experiences of anger and tension. It is thought that an individual cannot exhibit both relaxation and anger/tension responses at one given time. Therefore, the individual learns relaxation strategies that he/she can implement when feelings of anger/tension emerge in daily life. Some examples of these techniques are progressive muscle relaxation (focused relaxation of each muscle group in the body — feet, legs, torso, etc.), guided imagery (visualizing relaxing, peaceful, or encouraging experiences), biofeedback (monitoring the relaxation response by using electrodes which monitor and provide feedback about the activity of a muscle), breathing exercises, and forms of meditation.[viii], [ix]


[i] Joan Klagsbrun, Ph.D. Listening and Focusing: Holistic Health Care Tools for Nurses.
Jessica Wooliscroft. Freedom and oppression in therapeutic space: How do trauma therapists protect the therapeutic milieu? A heuristic study.’ University of Chester. 2010

[ii] Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Health Care Professionals: Results From a Randomized Trial. Shauna L. Shapiro Santa Clara University. John A. Astin California Pacific Medical Center. Scott R. Bishop
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and University of Toronto. Matthew Cordova
Palo Alto Veteran Affairs Health Care System

[iii] Jane Branscomb (2011), Summation Evaluation of a Workshop in Collaborative Communication, M.A. Thesis, Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University.
Gates, Bob; Gear, Jane; Wray, Jane (2000). Behavioural Distress: Concepts & Strategies. Bailliere Tindall.
Inbal Kashtan, Miki Kashtan, Key Assumptions and Intentions of NVC, BayNVC.org

[iv] Emmons & McCullough 2003

[v] Harry Mills PhD, Natalie Reiss PhD, Mark Dombeck PhD. Kinetic (movement) strategies for Stress Relief.

[vi] Lindgren L, Rundgren S, Winsö O, Lehtipalo S, Wiklund U, Karlsson M, Stenlund H, Jacobsson C, Brulin C. Physiological responses to touch massage in healthy volunteers. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical. 2010; 158: 105-110.

[vii] Odent M. Birth Reborn. Pantheon (NY). 1984

[viii] Denmark & Gemeinhardt, 2002

[ix] the National Institutes of Health USA recognizes the power of “guided imagery” to elicit a relaxation response.