Service learning with student midwives: giving something back. The breast feeding baby on the go square mile project at DMU




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Peer reviewed



As part of the University’s innovative Square Mile community engagement initiative (, student midwives at De Montfort University were involved in creating a booklet for breast feeding mothers in the local community. This innovative teaching and learning strategy involved a group of first year student midwives going out into the local community to source information useful for breast feeding mothers. They then returned to the University and fed back the information collected and provided written information to be collated into a booklet for breast feeding women. This is an example of service learning where students learned and at the same time provided a service to the women of Leicester. This presentation will outline a) how the project was planned and implemented using a comprehensive stakeholder engagement approach, b) the teaching and learning strategy utilised (with reference to service learning) and c) present the evaluation of the effect of participation on student knowledge of breastfeeding. Ethical approval for the project was provided by the University Research Ethics Committee. Questionnaire and focus groups were conducted. Questionnaires were analysed utilising IBM SPSS. Pre and post descriptive statistics were produced to compare student’s knowledge levels concerning breast feeding in the local community. Inferential statistics used non parametric techniques to compare the pre and post values. These showed consistent findings, that there was a statistically significant increase in perceived knowledge across the full range of questionnaire items. The focus groups were audio recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis and demonstrated perceived value to participating in the activity and in improving knowledge of breast feeding in the community. Study findings indicate the value of utilising this teaching and learning approach to develop student midwife knowledge about breast feeding in the community.



Service learning, breast feeding, midwifery education


Nyombi, S., Harris, T., Doughty, R. (2014) Service learning with student midwives giving something back. The breast feeding baby on the go square mile project at DMU. ICM 30th Triennial Congress. 1-th June 2014. Prague. Concurrent paper


Research Institute

Centre for Reproduction Research (CRR)