Academic Someone whose interests lie in the theory and concepts of an area of study, but not the practice; a member of the academy of higher learning. Back to Ch. 11
Affective domain Development of feelings, attitudes, motivations, and values. Back to Ch. 10
Amygdala A brain structure responsible for autonomic responses associated with fear and fear conditioning. It processes many of our emotions. Back to Ch. 6
Assessment A systematic process/procedure for collecting qualitative and quantitative data to measure, evaluate or appraise performance against specified outcomes or competencies. Back to Ch. 10
Avatar birth An icon or figure that represents the user in a virtual space (typically a video game or online game). The user experiences the virtual environment through the actions of the avatar. Some companies make simulations or games where the user can experience a birth as the labourer or support partner. Back to Ch. 1
Basic The knowledge and skills that would be expected of all midwifery practitioners: e.g. core knowledge and skills. Back to Ch. 10
Binary ways of thinking Classifying things using only two distinct, opposing categories. Examples of binary thinking include gender binary (classifying gender strictly as either woman/man), or gay/straight binary. Back to Ch. 7
Bioethics The study of ethical and moral implications of health care practices and related research. Back to Ch. 13
Birth asphyxia The result of a lack of oxygen to the baby before, during or immediately after birth, causing hypoxia with resultant waste products (acids) building up in the cells where they cause temporary and/or permanent damage. Back to Ch. 3
Birth attendant An accredited health professional that is trained in the skills needed to manage normal pregnancies, childbirth and the immediate postnatal period. (1) Back to Ch. 1
Canadian Association of Midwives  Canada’s national organization for midwives and midwifery practice. Back to Ch. 8
Canadian Competencies for Midwives A document that outlines the knowledge and skills that all entry-level midwives in Canada are expected to demonstrate to be able practice. Back to Ch. 8
Clarification question Questions that may sound like open questions but actually ask for more information because you may have missed something or misunderstood something. Back to Ch. 6
Clinical epidemiology Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events in specified populations, and the application of this study to the control of health problems Clinical epidemiology applies the concepts and methods of epidemiology to problems arising from clinical practice. Back to Ch. 13
Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) Systematically developed recommendations for care in specific situations based on the best available evidence. Back to Ch. 12
Clinician scientist Someone who has both a health professional degree and is trained in research, with research being as a significant part of their work. Back to Ch. 13 
Closed question Questions that can be answered by either a “yes” or “no”. Back to Ch. 6
Co-applicant A member of the research team, usually named on the research application, who brings particular expertise to the project such as analysis skills or access to the patient population for recruitment. May also be referred to as a collaborator. Back to Ch. 13 
Co-investigator Shares many of the responsibilities of the named Principle Investigator in managing the research project; usually part of the steering committee – or management team. Back to Ch. 13 
Code of ethics A set of practices that outline the values of a profession and the practices that will maintain the honesty, integrity, and character of the profession. Members of the profession that fail to adhere to these standards can be disciplined. Back to Ch. 8
Cognitive domain Thinking/knowledge and development of intellectual skills. This includes the recall of facts or recognition of specific facts, procedural patterns and concepts that serve in the development of intellectual abilities and skills. Back to Ch. 10
Contemplative stage A stage found in the Trans Theoretical Model of Change. The client in this stage has become aware of the need to make a change in their behaviour. Back to Ch. 6
Continuing competence The ongoing enhancement, integration and application of the knowledge, skills, judgment and personal attributes needed to practice safely and ethically in a profession. Back to Ch. 8
Co-parent Any person who shares equally in the care of the child. Back to Ch. 9
Cochrane review Summarize primary research findings and are internationally regarded as the best available evidence on a particular topic. Back to Ch. 3

Back to Ch. 13

Coping question Questions about how the client has coped with the problem thus far. Back to Ch. 6
Cortisol A steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland. Regulates metabolic processes and can act as an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant. When under stress, blood levels of cortisol may increase. May also be called hydrocortisone, especially when used as a medication. Back to Ch. 6
Culture Beliefs, values, and behaviours that are shared and learned by people in the same historical, geographic, or institutional setting. Culture can also be transmitted or learned through rules and policies. Back to Ch. 2
Discipline An area of study. Back to Ch. 11
Discrimination Unjust or prejudicial actions or decisions that treat a person or group differently on the grounds or features such as gender, race, age, or disability. Back to Ch. 2
Electronic fetal heart monitoring (EFM) A monitoring device used to graph fetal heart activity for the purpose of assessing fetal wellbeing during pregnancy or labour. During labour the heart rate is reported in conjunction with uterine contractions. Back to Ch. 13
Embodied learning A method of teaching where a learner uses their body’s sensorimotor system and body movements to practise/learn skills. Back to Ch. 9
Episiotomy A surgical incision of the perineum. Back to Ch. 3
Epistemological A philosophical term for the study and theory of knowledge, including the creation and dissemination of knowledge. Back to Ch. 12
Equity The absence of unfair and avoidable or remediable differences in key indicators among social groups. Equity is both a process and a goal. It involves the recognition of difference in treating everyone fairly. Sometimes it means treating people differently in order to achieve equality. Back to Ch. 2

Back to Ch. 7

Ethnicity Groups with common national or cultural characteristics and elements, such as origin, history, spirituality, language, traditions, values, or beliefs. Ethnicity may be dynamic, changing in response to the natural, social, or political environment. Back to Ch. 2
Exception finding questions Questions that enhance existing and past successes Back to Ch. 6
Exploration questions Questions that explore the client’s previous attempts to solve the problem. Back to Ch. 6
Fight or Flight mode A common reaction in people who are facing a sudden and fearful event. The brain senses danger and prepares the body to fight off the danger or to run away from the danger. Back to Ch. 6
First Nations In Canada, also known as Status and non-Status Indians. In 2011, there were approximately 851,560 First Nations people in Canada and 617 First Nation communities across the country, representing more than 50 nations, cultural groups and Aboriginal languages. Back to Ch. 2
Flashbulb memory A highly detailed, vivid ‘snapshot’ of the moment in which surprising, traumatic, and/or consequential news was heard. Back to Ch. 6
Formal communication Part of a formative or summative written assessment or clinical assessment. Back to Ch. 10
Formative assessment A range of formal and informal assessment procedures, including diagnostic testing, conducted by lecturers during the learning process in order to modify teaching and learning activities to improve student attainment. Back to Ch. 10
Grantsmanship The art of obtaining grants-in-aid of research; the skill of writing grant proposals for submission to granting agencies. Back to Ch. 13
Harsh parenting A maladaptive behaviour that is characterized by or may involve threats, physical violence, and negative emotions directed at the child. (25) Back to Ch. 9 
Health economics The study of how scarce resources are allocated among alternative uses for the care of sickness and the promotion, maintenance, and improvement of health, including the study of how health care and health-related services, their costs and benefits, and health itself are distributed among individuals and groups in society. Back to Ch. 13
Health inequity Inequalities in health that stem from some form of discrimination, unfairness, or social injustice. Back to Ch. 2 
Hidden participant Specialists such as academics, interest groups, civil servants or political staff who generate, collect, and evaluate data relevant to the issue and may suggest solutions or alternate plans. Back to Ch. 4
Hierarchy of evidence Systems which guide the evaluation of evidence used in health care practice, placing the methodologies and types of evidence considered to be most reliable and scientific at the top and the least scientific at the bottom. Back to Ch. 12
Hippocampus An organ in the temporal lobes of the brain that holds one’s experiences and the things that they have learned how to do automatically, e.g. riding a bicycle, reading, managing novel situations. It is also important for associating emotions and senses, such as smell and sound, with certain memories. Back to Ch. 6
Historical institutionalism A social science method that uses a comparative approach to the study of all aspects of human organizations. It examines institutions to find sequences of social, political, economic behavior and change across time. This method relies mainly on case studies. Back to Ch. 4
Hospital rounds A type of medical education where topics of clinical relevance are presented to an audience of care providers such as midwives, obstetricians, family physicians and their learners (students or residents). Originally ’rounds’ usually involved the presentation of a particular patient, and often the patient was presented at rounds and their case discussed. Now, it is typically research findings or clinical management that is presented. Back to Ch. 13
Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis The interactions between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands. This axis is a critical part of the system that controls reactions to stress. This system also regulates digestion, the immune system, mood, sexuality, and energy usage. Back to Ch. 9
Indigenous People Similar in meaning to Aboriginal Peoples, Native Peoples or First Peoples, this term is used by the United Nations and in its Decade of the World’s Indigenous People. Indigenous means ‘native to the area’ and is usually used to refer to Aboriginal people internationally. Back to Ch. 2 
Inequitable Unfair and avoidable differences in key indicators among social groups. Back to Ch. 7
Informal communication In day-to-day encounters with lecturer/mentor; peers and colleagues; clients and their families. Back to Ch. 10
Informed-choice agenda Providing information to clients so that they can make choices and decisions for themselves, thereby maintaining control over their own care. Back to Ch. 9 
Insensitive parenting A failure to respond to the child’s needs appropriately; e.g. by ignoring distress signals, or by over-stimulation, rough handling or not expressing affection. Back to Ch. 9
Intersectionality The notion that differences are not additive, but the interaction of constituent parts has a compounding and augmenting effect. Back to Ch. 7
International Confederation of Midwives A non-governmental organization that represents and promotes midwifes and midwifery practice around the world. It also establishes global standards and competencies for midwifery practice. Back to Ch. 3

Back to Ch. 8

Inuit Aboriginal people largely inhabiting the northern regions of Canada. In 2011, there were approximately 59,440 Inuit people in Canada, the majority living in 53 communities in one of four regions known collectively as Inuit Nunangat: Nunatsiavut (Labrador) Nunavik (Quebec); Nunavut; and Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories. Each of these four Inuit groups has settled land claims that together cover one-third of Canada’s land mass. Back to Ch. 2
Investigator Also known as the Principal investigator (PI) – the lead researcher on a project, usually grant funded and administered through a university. Back to Ch. 13
Knowledge translation The activity involved in moving knowledge or findings derived from research into practice. Often abbreviated to KT. Back to Ch. 13
Knowledge users An individual or group of individuals who will use research findings to inform decisions around health or health policy. Back to Ch. 13
Learning communities A group of learners that are eager to share their knowledge on a given topic in pursuit of a common goal. This is usually done by meeting in person or online to discuss and collaborate on academic work. Back to Ch. 7
Learning style Ways in which an individual learns (e.g. visual learner, kinaesthetic learner, aural learner, etc). Everyone has a mix of learning styles, although one learning style may be dominant. Some people may find that they use different styles in different situations. Back to Ch. 10
Likert scale A scale measuring the degree to which people agree or disagree with a statement, usually on a 3-, 5-, or 7-point scale. Back to Ch. 6
Logic model A tool to evaluate the effectiveness of a programme both during planning and implementation. Back to Ch. 9
Meta-analysis A method which combines data from multiple studies to draw conclusions that have greater statistical power. Back to Ch. 12 
Métis Aboriginal people who trace their descent to mixed First Nation and European heritage. There were 451,800 Métis people who identified in the 2011 National Household Survey, almost one third of all Aboriginal People in Canada. Back to Ch. 2
Microbiome The microorganisms that populate the body or a part of the body. Back to Ch. 9 
Mindfulness Paying attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you. In relation to parenting, mindfulness involves paying attention to the behaviour of the baby. Back to Ch. 9
Motherese The way in which mothers (and adults in general) talk to babies and small children – using a high-pitched voice, a sing-song tone, simple sentence construction and repetition. Back to Ch. 9
Motivational interviewing Using specific questions to tap into the client’s intrinsic motivation for behavioural change, help them overcome reluctance or ambivalence to change, set clear goals, and motivate them to initiate the change. Midwives can utilize this style of counselling to engage a client who wants to make a difficult change in behaviour or who is ambivalent about making a change. Back to Ch. 6 
Multiculturalism Equal respect for all cultures. Back to Ch. 7
Multiparous Someone who has previously given birth. Back to Ch. 13
Normative Creating, establishing, or conforming to, a standard. In cases of evaluation, deeming something ‘normal’ (good) means that something that does not match can be deemed ‘abnormal’ (bad). Back to Ch. 7 
Nulliparous Not yet having delivered a child. Nulliparous clients may have had a miscarriage or abortion. Nulligravid clients have never had a pregnancy of any outcome. Back to Ch. 13 
Open questions Questions that invite the answerer to open up or explore an idea. These types of questions may start with, “Tell me how you…” and “How did you…”. Back to Ch. 6
Paradigm shift A total and complete change in the way things are done, or thought about. In a scientific discipline, this may be a revolutionary change that completely replaces the old way of doing or viewing things. Back to Ch. 12 
Paraphrasing Rewording the client’s statement using your own words to demonstrate empathy and understanding. Back to Ch. 6
Passive information Information that is available for the client to access on their own initiative. Back to Ch. 6
Path dependence Describes how the decision options one faces for any given circumstance is limited by the decisions made in the past, even though past circumstances may no longer be relevant. It can refer either to outcomes at a single moment in time, or to a process. May be phrased in common parlance as, ‘history matters’. Back to Ch. 4
Peer reviewed A journal that includes only papers that have undergone a review and approval process by scientific peers, expert in the field. Back to Ch. 13
Person-centred practice A method of counselling that places the client in the driver’s seat – the client determines the goals of counselling. The counsellor is expected to observe and understand the client’s world view, the context of their life, values and beliefs, and most importantly, their strengths and resources. This observation cannot take place without the development of a trusting helping relationship through the use of PANG skills. Back to Ch. 6
Personal power Influence over others, the source of which resides in the person instead of being vested by the position he or she holds. Back to Ch. 6 
Phocomelia Congenital malformation of the limbs, but may include the face or ears. Thalidomide is a known cause of this disorder. Back to Ch. 1
Policies Rules, principles, or guidelines that are adopted to help achieve an outcome and/or instruct decision making. Back to Ch. 4
Policy entrepreneurs A highly influential participant that invests much of their own energy or finances to achieve their goal. They advocate for self-serving items, and have the ability to push items higher up the agenda. Back to Ch. 4
Policy legacies Policy legacies refer to the lasting effects of decisions. Past decisions influence subsequent policymaking. Back to Ch. 4
Policymaking The formulation or creation of policies. Back to Ch. 4
Population-based study Examines outcomes in a population that shares a common characteristic or exposure. The individuals studied should be representative, or include all, of the defined population. Back to Ch. 11
Population databases A dataset that includes standardized information collected from all members of a specific population. They can be used to report on incidence and prevalence of outcomes or conditions of interest, including those that are rare or infrequent in the population. They can provide estimates for survival outcomes, patterns of use for specific practices, and consequences of new interventions. These data sets can also inform changes in populations, types of care and outcomes over time. Back to Ch. 13
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) A mental illness that often results from exposure to trauma, such as an event that involved death, the threat of death, or serious injury to one’s own person, or others. It may also be caused by emotional trauma, such as an abusive relationship. Common symptoms include flashbacks to the traumatic event, nightmares, mood changes, nervousness, or feelings of detachment. Back to Ch. 6 
Postpartum hemorrhage Blood loss exceeding the normal amount. For vaginal birth this is >500ml, and >1000ml for cesarean birth. Back to Ch. 13
Praxis Practice, as distinguished from theory. In this context, the continual interplay between reflection and action. Back to Ch. 2 
Precontemplative stage A stage found in the Trans Theoretical Model of Change. The client in this stage is unaware of the need to make any change in their behaviour. Back to Ch. 6 
Professionalism An essential set of attitudes and behaviours expected throughout all stages of a career, including time as a learner. Back to Ch. 8
Prolactin A hormone produced by the pituitary gland that enables milk production. Back to Ch. 9
Psychomotor domain Manual tasks that require development of coordination and motor/physical skills. These physical skills require practise to develop precision, accuracy and efficiency. Back to Ch. 10
Psychoprophylaxis A method of preparing women to labour without pharmacological pain relief, by means of education, psychological and physical conditioning, and breathing exercises. Back to Ch. 9
Race A socially constructed category of identity based on physical characteristics and/or geographic origin. It is based on an ideology that places humans in a hierarchy of social value. Back to Ch. 2
Randomized controlled trial (RCT) A trial design which aims to minimize bias. Participants in the trial are randomly placed into either the group that will receive the intervention/treatment or the ‘control group’ that will receive a placebo or the current/standard treatment. The outcomes of the groups are then compared. Back to Ch. 11

Back to Ch. 12

Reflective functioning The capacity to understand behaviour in light of a person’s (baby’s) underlying mental states. Back to Ch. 9
Reflective listening Developed by Carl Rogers, this communication strategy seeks first to understand a speaker’s idea, then to repeat the idea back to the speaker in order to confirm that it has been understood correctly. Empathy is at the center of this client-centred approach to counselling. Back to Ch. 6
Reflective practice Critically evaluating the care that you are providing and considering any changes that could lead to enhanced care. Back to Ch. 13
Reflexive A qualitative research term that contributes to trustworthiness (rigor) as a way to acknowledge personal experiences or bias. Back to Ch. 7
Regulations A form of law that describes how an act will be implemented, applied and enforced (e.g. what situations the act covers, and any penalties). Back to Ch. 8
Reinscribes Re-establish a particular context. Back to Ch. 7
Relationship questions The care-provider asks the client what a friend, partner, or family member would notice if they made a change in mood, thinking, or behaviour. Back to Ch. 6
Reliable The degree to which an assessment tool produces stable and consistent results. Back to Ch. 10
Representation A portrayal or depiction of something (a person or experience). Back to Ch. 1
Righting reflex The tendency to advise clients about the right path for good health. Since most people resist suggestions when they are noncommittal about change, this approach often just reinforces the client’s desire to stay the same. Back to Ch. 6 
Sage-femme ‘Wise woman’ in the French language, and the French Canadian term for midwife. Back to Ch. 1
Scaling questions Questions that allow the client to describe the problem qualitatively. Back to Ch. 6
Scepticism A method of suspended judgment and systematic doubt. Back to Ch. 7
Scholar A specialist in their area of study; one who studies in a specific branch of knowledge. Back to Ch. 11
Self-reflexivity The ability to reflect and consider who one is in relation to others. (6) Back to Ch. 7
Self-regulated A profession or occupational group that is able to set the standards and practices for the profession instead of these being set by the government. Back to Ch. 8
Situatedness Meaning and/or identity that is dependent on the specifics of particular context (sociohistorical, geographical, cultural, etc.). Back to Ch. 12
Social justice Fair and equal distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges for all in society. Social justice issues include: unfair tax laws, labour laws, sexism, ableism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and unequal access to education. Back to Ch. 7
Social markers Individual attributes such as race, class, nationality and gender that impact access to resources. Back to Ch. 7
Social research methods Involve both qualitative and quantitative approaches to answer questions of interest to those in the fields of social science such as political science, sociology, media studies, program evaluation. Back to Ch. 11
Solution-focused therapy model A goal-oriented approach that assumes that all clients know the solution they need, and encourages the client to envision that life and take steps toward it. Counselling then focuses on what clients can do to actuate this solution. Back to Ch. 6
Statute An act or law passed by a legislature or parliament. Back to Ch. 8
Summarize Pulling related statements together into a cohesive statement. Back to Ch. 6 
Summative assessment An evaluation of student learning, skill acquisition and academic achievement at the conclusion of a defined instructional period. Back to Ch. 10
Sympathetic nervous system A part of the nervous system that serves to accelerate the heart rate, constrict blood vessels, and raise blood pressure. The sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system constitute the autonomic nervous system. Back to Ch. 6
Synthetic oxytocin Used in obstetrics to induce or accelerate labour. Pitocin and Syntocinon®️ are brand names for synthetic forms of oxytocin. Back to Ch. 9
Systematic bias Systematic error in research when sampling or testing encourages one outcome over another. Back to Ch. 12
Systematic review A structured literature review that identifies, selects and critically analyses multiple research studies on a topic. A high quality systematic review identifies all potentially relevant studies and decides which studies it will include and exclude based on the quality of the research. It presents a summary of the findings and implications for practice, acknowledging the limitations of the evidence. Back to Ch. 12
Targeted services Parent education programs for mothers and fathers who are at risk of, or already experiencing difficulties in their lives, such as addiction, domestic violence, poverty or criminality. Back to Ch. 9
Teachable moment A time or period in people’s lives – often a period of transition – when they are highly motivated to learn about a particular topic or acquire particular skills Back to Ch. 9
Theory of change Makes explicit how the program activities will lead to the desired goals being achieved. Back to Ch. 9
Transtheoretical model of behavioural changes Also known as the ‘stages of change’, this method of counselling focuses on the client’s desire for change and ability to work through the six stages of change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and termination. Back to Ch. 6
Universalism The idea that the same ethics apply to all people of all cultures, regardless of circumstance. Back to Ch. 7
Validity The extent to which an assessment accurately measures what it is intended to measure. Back to Ch. 10
Visible participant Heads of state and other individuals occupying highly visible positions that use their media presence to highlight broad issues, solutions, or viewpoints. Back to Ch. 4
White Ribbon Alliance An international non-profit that campaigns for and promotes the right for all women to give birth and raise newborns in safe and healthy environments. Back to Ch. 3 


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