MID446 Pharmacology for Midwives (4)

This subject builds on undergraduate pharmacology knowledge extending it to the midwifery context. The content will help students to develop their understanding of the cellular mechanisms and physiological outcomes of drug actions and interactions on the woman and neonate during pregnancy, labour and the post postpartum period. Changes in pharmacokinetic parameters, together with pharmacodynamics, will also be explored with a focus on their influence on dosing and drug administration. In addition to prescribed and over the counter medications, this subject will consider complementary therapies as well as the impact of smoking, alcohol and illicit drug use on the woman and neonate during pregnancy and postpartum periods. Legal and ethical pharmacology issues will also be explored.


Session 1 (30)
Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 2 (60)
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: MID446. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health

Enrolment Restrictions

Graduate Diploma of Midwifery

Assumed Knowledge

Undergraduate nursing pharmacology.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a sound knowledge of the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics associated with midwifery practice including the impact of medications, alcohol, tobacco (first and second hand) and illicit drugs on the mother, the newborn, the fetus, placental transfers and the legal and ethical responsibilities.
  • be able to apply numeracy skills for drug calculations/administration and critically appraises a pharmacological regime for a woman during the maternal period.
  • be able to critically analyses how medications affect the physiological, biochemical and pathophysiological processes during pregnancy, birth and postnatal period incorporating knowledge of pharmacokinetics.
  • be able to explain and apply the legal and ethical principles of medication management as it relates to midwifery.
  • be able to understand the role of complementary therapies in midwifery practice.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Module 1: Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics - Absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs, and pharmacodynamics, in antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care
  • Module 2: Physiological changes during antenatal, intrapartum and the postnatal period that can impact on drug effectiveness
  • Module 3: Alcohol and other drugs in midwifery practice
  • Module 4: Complementary therapies in midwifery practice

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of MID446 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Recorded presentation
Online examination

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.