Background: Obstetrics and midwifery are changing rapidly due to maternal demographic evolutions, risk-management, policy changes and medical-technological developments. Without a doubt, all these aspects have an impact on the future of the midwifery profession, organization of midwifery care and educating future midwives. Although it is difficult to anticipate on and be prepared for the changes and to foresee the exact challenge. When we discuss the future of midwifery, we always include the element of time. With regard to foreseeing the future the research question was formulated as follows: “What will midwifery practice and education look like in ten years’ time, the year 2030?”
Aim(s): To construct exploratory scenarios into the future of midwifery in Antwerp Belgium, to foresee a clear focus for midwifery practice and education.
Methods: The framework of Structuration Theory and Intuitive Logics scenario planning method were used to structure contextual midwifery scenarios. First, we’ve identified key drivers/trends and developments. Second, we’ve built a scenario matrix where the labels of each quadrant indicate factors that are certain/uncertain and factors that have a great/small impact on midwifery practice and midwifery education. Last, we’ve constructed three exploratory scenarios.
Results: Exploratory scenarios represent a typical western high-income municipal environment, including complex factors such as migration, inequity and the covid-19 pandemic. The focus is on key trends and developments in midwifery care in Antwerp, including aspects such as: socio-demographics factors, politics, technology and economy.
Discussion: A continuous learning process as well as a basis to test the impact with critical uncertainties but also the predictable or pre-determined elements has arisen. This includes slow changing phenomena, constraints and decisions or events already in the pipeline.
Implications and future perspectives: A reliable answer helps to develop a strategic plan and concurrent proactive behaviour for midwifery practice and education, allowing us to make decisions and choose a focus and direction based on considering outcomes and implications.
Kuipers, Y., Bleijenbergh, R., & Mestdagh, E. (2022, February). Antwerp's 'Black mirror' of midwifery practice and education: forecasting the future. Paper presented at CARE4: International Scientific Nursing and Midwifery Conference, Online