Category: Articles

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

I [have previously] shared my frustration regarding the bias against normal birth and the ability of women’s bodies to grow, carry, birth and feed their babies (Wickham 2016). As is often the case when one starts to pay attention to…

Whatever happened to the precautionary principle?

Is anyone else feeling disgruntled at the ongoing trend in the research literature towards attempting to justify earlier and earlier induction of labour?  A year or so ago, I unpacked a meta-analysis which claimed that, contrary to the experience of…

A cautionary holiday tale

Rudolph the red-nosed quantity surveyor looked up at the camera as he pressed the bell which would let the midwives know that he was at the labour ward door. A friendly but almost unintelligible voice greeted him over the speaker…

Pondering placentophagy – part 2

This is the second part of an article in which I am reflecting upon our knowledge about placentophagy; an area in which we have no conclusive evidence of benefit or harm (Coyle et al 2015).  As my pondering continued, I…

Pondering placentophagy – part 1

I am by now used to the kind of spin that internet discussion can put on birth-related stories, and I’m not usually too surprised when, upon reading the actual research article which has inspired a headline or discussion, I find…

How are you sleeping?

In your practice, do you routinely ask women how they’re sleeping?  And if you do, what do you do with that information?  Do you use sleep-related questions as a way of triggering and exploring all manner of topics with women? …

Being clear about continuity

I remember the first time I encountered the difference between the terms continuity of care and continuity of carer.  I was a student midwife, and a senior midwife was correcting what she felt was my inappropriate use of the term…