Tag Archives: birth

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: 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 , , , | 334 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

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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

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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

Early Labour and Mixed Messages

Updated: October 2019 This post is about early labour and the mixed messages women are given about this important part of the birthing process. Defining the indefinable The concept of ‘early’ or ‘latent’ labour emerged as a result of the birth … Continue reading

Posted in birth, intervention, midwifery practice, uncategorized | Tagged , , | 133 Comments

Midwifery Practice During Birth: rites of passage and rites of protection

Finally I have completed my Phd! It took me six years – the last two mostly writing… and writing… and rewriting. Entire chapters did not make the final ‘cut’. There is so much more I wanted to say (and did) … Continue reading

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