Category Archives: midwifery practice

The Human Microbiome: considerations for pregnancy, birth and early mothering

This post was co-authored by Jessie Johnson-Cash and based on her presentation at the USC Midwifery Education Day. The human microbiome is rather fashionable in the world of science at the moment. The NIH Human Microbiome Project has been set up to … Continue reading

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Perineal Protectors?

Updated: September 2019 Most women will sustain some damage to their perineum during birth (AIHW 2018). Around 50% will have a tear or graze in the skin and/or vaginal wall (1st / 2nd degree). Occasionally (1% of non-instrumental vaginal births) … Continue reading

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In Defence of the Amniotic Sac

Artificial rupture of membranes (ARM) aka ‘breaking the waters’ is a common intervention during birth. However, an ARM should not be carried out without a good understanding of how the amniotic sac and fluid function in labour. Women need to … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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Nuchal Cords: the perfect scapegoat

Updated: February 2018 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

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