The MSW Journal Club provides the space needed for Maternity Support Workers across the country to develop their knowledge base and skillset within maternity care by gaining a deeper understanding of research and the place of evidence-based care within the modern healthcare system.

This free-to-use service is a specifically designed project aimed at any support worker working within maternity who wishes to develop their awareness of their profession and the wider context surrounding pregnancy as well as the people we provide care to. There are no educational requirements, this an open-to-all group that welcomes the broad spectrum of experience and insight that MSWs bring.

Within these bi-monthly sessions, we will explore contemporary evidence, learn how to assess it’s strengths, debate it’s weaknesses and discuss it’s implications to modern maternity care.

The first MSWJC Live: Safer Infant Sleep discussion

Our first session was held on 22 April, 11:00 - 12:00 on the above topic. 



The main article that will be discussed in our upcoming webinar is:

Midwives' experiences of safer infant sleep discussions at a southwest London hospital: a work-based learning project - Jolly and Gregory (2024). Click here to download this article.


Both midwives and MSWs are ideally placed to provide safe and effective advice surrounding safer sleeping practices. The most recent figures from 2021 show that there was 182 unexplained infant deaths, a rate of 0.26 per 1000 which show an 81% drop since the safer sleep public health initiative was launched in 1991. This paper assesses these conversations in a specific London hospital and how we can further improve awareness and health outcomes!

Analysis points:

  • The survey was designed to ask participants if questions regarding SIDS were asked antenatally and postnatally but not all of the participants worked with birthing people during both of these times ( e.g. some might work sole on the postnatal ward and so wouldn't see them antenatally etc.) - what do you think this would do to the data retrieved, is it going to represent it accurately?
  • Cultural influences were mentioned by a significant portion of participants, as was language barriers and the need for visual learning aids - how does this relate to recent findings from reports such as Ockenden? If language barriers are persistent issues, could you definitely be sure that the information has been understood?
  • When looking at the risk factors for SIDS outlined in the article, do you think London has a population of these that could be applied to the rest of the UK? Or would further research into other areas of the country be beneficial?


To accompany the topic of this webinar, MIDIRS is offering attendees free access to the search pack PN23 - Sudden infant death: physiology. This search pack contains 348 articles and includes physiological causes of cot death such as ethnicity, infection and breathing/ rebreathing.

Click here to download it.

All our articles are sorted by our librarians together into groups – giving you quick and easy access to everything we have on a certain topic. For a list of every topic we cover, click here.

History of Journal Club

This unique space was created in 2023, initially as an email subscription service intended to bridge the gap of access to evidence between MSWs and their colleagues. During the last year, we have covered topics ranging across maternity care including homebirth, breastfeeding, social media in pregnancy and many more in the hopes of providing an easy to access service that meets the needs of the modern MSW and the service they work in. As more people joined and chose to develop their analytical skills, it became apparent that we needed to provide the opportunity for people to come together and develop together, united in their passion for professional development and providing the highest quality care.



My name’s Rob and I currently work as a Practice Development Midwife in Birmingham. I qualified from Birmingham City University in 2019 and have worked at Birmingham Women’s Hospital since. I have been fortunate to gain experience in several areas across maternity including infant feeding, clinical education and midwifery-led care. I have also recently started to casually lecture at Birmingham City University. I have been involved with MSW service provision both locally and nationally with the aim of improving and developing the role.

I am keen on education in all its forms and with all members of the multidisciplinary team, seeking out news ways to engage colleagues and develop new ways of moving practice forward. I was a Birth Centre midwife for 2 years and midwifery-led care will always be a passion of mine. More recently I’ve become interested in staff wellbeing, pastoral care and challenging culture within maternity.