Author Archives: MidwifeThinking

About MidwifeThinking

Midwife and Academic

Cord Blood Collection: confessions of a vampire-midwife

Updated: September 2019 When I was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed student midwife I was awarded with a certificate and a box of chocolates. My achievement was collecting the most ‘cord’ blood in the hospital. At that time the Local Health … Continue reading

Posted in baby, birth, intervention, law | Tagged , , , , , , | 178 Comments

Asynclitism: a well aligned baby or a tilted head?

Asynclitism is when the baby’s head is moving through the pelvis ‘tipped’ to one side. This is usually diagnosed by a vaginal examination in labour. However, asynclitism is rarely caused by the baby having his/her head tilted to one side … Continue reading

Posted in birth, midwifery practice | Tagged , , , | 124 Comments

Supporting women’s instinctive pushing behaviour during birth

This article was published in The Practising Midwife journal in June 2015 along with ‘practice challenge’ questions for midwives (not included here). Introduction Clinical guidelines recommend that women should be guided by their own pushing urges during birth (National Institute for Health … Continue reading

Posted in birth, midwifery practice | Tagged , | 56 Comments

Shoulder Dystocia: the real story

Updated: August 2019 There is a lot of unwarranted fear about ‘big babies’ getting stuck. The media reflects the usual story – that women are creating a problem that doctors have to fix. The incidence of shoulder dystocia does increase … Continue reading

Posted in birth, intervention, midwifery practice | Tagged , , , , , | 196 Comments

Nuchal Cords: the perfect scapegoat

Updated: January 2020 To get this blog going I decided to write about a slight obsession of mine: The fear of, and routine midwifery management of nuchal cords at birth (umbilical cord around the neck). I have written and presented … Continue reading

Posted in baby, birth, intervention, midwifery practice | Tagged , , , | 335 Comments

Vaginal examinations: a symptom of a cervical-centric birth culture

Updated: January 2019 This post is about routine vaginal examinations (VE) during physiological birth ie. an uncomplicated birth without any medical intervention. The VE is a useful assessment in some circumstances, but it’s routine use in an attempt to determine … Continue reading

Posted in birth, midwifery practice | Tagged , , | 114 Comments

Induction: a step by step guide

Updated: August 2019 This post has been inspired by conversations I’ve had with women about their experiences of induction. Induction of labour is increasingly common, yet women often seem to be very mis-informed about what it involves, or what was … Continue reading

Posted in birth, intervention | Tagged , , , , , , | 169 Comments

An actively managed placental birth might be the best option for most women

The birth of the placenta is my least favourite part of the birth process. I know I have ‘issues’ and I’m working on them. Hopefully writing this blog post will be therapeutic as well as informative. I am going to … Continue reading

Posted in birth, intervention | Tagged , , , , | 294 Comments

The Curse of Meconium Stained Liquor

When meconium is noticed in amniotic fluid during labour it often initiates a cascade of intervention. A CTG machine will often be strapped onto the woman reducing her ability to move, labour in water, and increasing her chance of having … Continue reading

Posted in baby, birth, intervention, midwifery practice | Tagged , , , , | 202 Comments

Pushing: leave it to the experts

Updated: July 2019 A birthing woman is the expert regarding when and how she pushes. Providing directions implies she needs our guidance and we are the experts. Of course each woman and birth situation is different and in some circumstances … Continue reading

Posted in birth, intervention, midwifery practice | Tagged , , , , | 116 Comments