Discussion| Volume 33, ISSUE 6, e505-e510, November 2020

Neonatal resuscitation training for midwives in Australia: A discussion of current practice

  • Jessica Williams
    Corresponding author at: RW225 Richardson Wing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia.
    University of Newcastle, Faculty of Health and Medicine, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
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  • Lyn Ebert
    University of Newcastle, Faculty of Health and Medicine, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
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  • Jed Duff
    University of Newcastle, Faculty of Health and Medicine, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
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Published:January 18, 2020DOI:



      More than 300,000 babies are born in Australia each year, with almost 20% of newborns requiring some form of neonatal resuscitation at birth. The most common first responders to a neonatal resuscitation emergency are midwives. While the Australian and New Zealand Council on Resuscitation guides midwives’ practice during a neonatal resuscitation, each state and territory uses varying strategies to train and assess midwives proficiency in neonatal resuscitation.


      To examine the neonatal resuscitation training requirements for midwives and raise awareness for the lack of consistency in training in Australia.


      A significant variation was found in the teaching methods and frequency of training for neonatal resuscitation across Australia. Neonatal resuscitation is mandated through a state-wide guideline or policy in only four of the states with seven formal neonatal resuscitation training programs used across seven states and territories. Although a multi-modal approach to learning is present in all of the programs, the combination of teaching methods differ.

      Conclusion and Recommendations

      A standardised, evidence-based training program is required to ensure consistency in training for midwives in Australia. Multi-modal learning is common across all current training programs; however, the best combination of multi-modal teaching methods needs to be determined. Neonatal resuscitation training needs to occur at least annually, as recommended by the Australian and New Zealand Council on Resuscitation.


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