Category: Articles

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…

Let there be mood lighting…

There can’t be many midwives or birth supporters who don’t already know about the advantages of low lighting for labour and birth. While we are still learning about whether and how darkness and light relate to the release of oxytocin…

The ALTE mysteries

“Last month, I shared my frustration regarding the bias against normal birth and the ability of women’s bodies to grow, carry, birth and feed their babies. As is often the case when one starts to pay attention to an area,…

Whatever happened to the precautionary principle?

Ethically, medical intervention has to prove itself against nature. Not the other way around. Thanks to The Practising Midwife, I’m sharing an article I wrote recently about this, which was written partly as a response to the increasing volume of…

A cautionary holiday tale

I’m sharing a bit of holiday cheer today, and am thinking especially of my friends who are in the Southern hemisphere and heading towards their midwinter. The nice people at The Practising Midwife let me share my Thinking Outside the…

Pondering placentophagy – part 2

“A recent systematic review, which looked at whether there are any benefits to placentophagy – the consumption of one’s placenta after birth – has concluded that there is no evidence of benefit or risk and that these require further investigation.…

Pondering placentophagy – part 1

“A recent systematic review which looked at whether there are any benefits to placentophagy – the consumption of one’s placenta after birth – has concluded that there is no evidence of benefit or risk and that these require further investigation.…