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Articles - Abstracts Table of Contents
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Books - Abstracts

Maternal Health & WellBeing

--- Online Certificate Course ---

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Pregnancy and birth are significant social and cultural events. Particularly in this time of ever increasing changes to gendered practice across the social system - what it means to be a mother and/or practices within families are changing. There are high levels of maternal depression, high levels of marital dissatisfaction and issues related to identity for many women as new mothers. There are significant intersections between class, ethnicity and gender particularly in these early years after the birth of an infant.

According to Barbara Pocock our era is characterized by a 'work-family clash' and Anne Summers believes we have reached the 'end of equality'. Particularly in this context of change, the birth of an infant is most importantly a social and cultural event that has been highly medicalized. There is much work taking place that is highly relevant to practitioners who are working with women and their families.
The full course Beyond the clinical perspective: Perinatal depression and the mother's life includes six fortnightly sessions. These will cover findings on the Ttop, relevant materials from within Midwifery and Maternal and Child Health Nursing which includes ways to think about mother-infant connections, and contemporary literature on being a mother.
Through online discussion participants will engage with topics that arise from the course content while maintaining a continuing dialogue about program development and practical outcomes. You can download this Course Outline here. A second option is to complete one of the FOUR themes from the above mentioned program in a three session fortnightly course. These are:
  • Transition to Parenthood: findings from international research Course Outline;

  • Becoming a mother issues and debates from Midwifery and Maternal and Child Health Course Outline;

  • Maternal Role Attainment to Intersubjectivity: new ways to think about mother-infant connections Course Outline;

  • Becoming a mother a burgeoning field from across the Humanities Course Outline.


The courses have been set-up on the internet site at: This provides the facilities for PowerPoint, word documents, and audio and visual files. The site is commonly used for educational purposes. Once you have paid for your enrolment I will send on the details for joining the online group.


In order to attain the certificate for the course, participants will be asked to submit:

  • Each fortnight a comment (200-250 words) to the theme at hand, on the wikispaces discussion site;
  • A 1-2 page draft proposal for a program that responds to issues raised during the course or a 1-2 page summary of key points.
  • For the longer six session course I ask that you submit a 2,000 to 3,000 word essay or report on one of the themes.


The cost of the full course is $500 or for the shorter versions $200 each. Preferred payment is by Paypal but Direct Debit is acceptable. For Direct Debit bank account details click here

If you have problems connecting to the above email account contact me at:

For payment by PayPal, click the "Buy Now" image below

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Joan's research is in Sociology and Gender. In December 2010 Joan was awarded a doctorate from the Australian National University and her thesis was titled: Maternal Ambivalence in contemporary Australia: navigating equity and care. Since completing her studies Joan launched an internet site at: She has four years experience working with the Australian National University as an Online Moderator for a unit on Gender and Development. This is an elective for a Masters of Participatory Anthropology. Joan has completed a semester with the Australian Catholic University as a Lecturer on Introduction to Sociology. She has presented papers at a dozen conferences, including the Australian Institute for Family Studies, the Australian Sociology Association, and the Association for Research on Mothering at the University of Queensland, York University in Toronto, and in New York. Joan recently presented a paper at an Insight Forum organized by Women's and Children's Healthcare Australasia. She completed a Master of Arts in Women's Studies and Human Geography in the early 1990s and has worked with both the Asia Partnership for Human Development and Australian Council for Overseas Aid. Joan was both a mature aged student and a mature aged mum and her children have now blossomed into teenagers.

You can find my thesis called: Maternal Ambivalence in contemporary Australia: navigating equity and care online: here

If you would like more information or to enroll please send an email: click here