Category: Articles

We’ve always done it that way (part 3)

The previous two articles on this topic (part 1 here and part 2 here) explored some of the issues around the advantages and disadvantages of habits, customs and traditions and took a backwards look in order to see how some…

We’ve always done it that way (part 2)

I [recently] wrote about some of the advantages and disadvantages of habits, customs and traditions and suggested that, as well as looking at the bigger issues of the routine interventions that need to be challenged, it may also be beneficial…

We’ve always done it that way (part 1)

Aren’t habit, custom and tradition marvellously labour-saving devices?! It doesn’t matter how rational we might seek to be when making a decision that we have time to ponder; during the course of a day, we each have to make hundreds…

Regulation threatens women’s rights

The UK Nursing and Midwifery Council has been deemed to be acting irresponsibly by denying choice to women and “directly jeopardi[sing] the health and safety of the women it is supposed to safeguard”. On January 13th 2017, the independent midwifery…

The madness of modern measurement

Cassie, who has given me permission to tell her story and who chose her own pseudonym, became pregnant via IVF. She was thus one of those women who know the exact date when they conceived, and she and her midwife…

To feel, or not to feel?

A midwife friend asked me recently whether, during a baby’s birth, I routinely felt for the cord around the baby’s neck as it emerges. I replied that I didn’t, not least because I tend to be quite ‘hands-off’ about catching…

Midwives matter more than monitors

I had only been a midwifery student for a few months when I first heard the late, great Marsden Wagner speak about the lack of evidence for electronic fetal heart monitoring (EFM). At the time, he told us, more than…

The importance of everyday birth wisdom

I love research papers that tell me things I already know. I especially love those that tell me things I already know about everyday midwifery practice that I don’t think about on a daily basis but which, when I read…