Being clear about continuity

Happy 2016! And as a nice gentle start to the new calendar year, and with thanks to The Practising Midwife, who kindly let me repost my Thinking Outside the Box articles here on my website six months after publication, I…

Confidential Enquiries 2015

The latest Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Death (2015) report has been published and, while it shows an overall decrease in the rate of maternal death, it has highlighted some key issues relating to perinatal mental health. For those who may…

Perpetuating Myths, Fables, and Fairy Tales…

“Electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) entered clinical medical practice at the same time bioethics became reality. Bioethics changed the medical ethics landscape by replacing the traditional Hippocratic benign paternalism with patient autonomy, informed consent, beneficence, and nonmaleficence. But EFM use represents…

Discussing the new RCOG VBAC Guidelines

Earlier this month, the RCOG released the new version of their Green-top Guideline on vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC).  In introducing this document, they note that, “There is a consensus (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence [NICE], Royal College…

Rethinking bugs (part 2)

“Last month, I wrote about my observation that bacteria seem to be ‘trending’ at the moment, and explained my hope that their current popularity might have a part to play in improving care for women and babies. In that article,…

Rethinking Bugs (part 1)

“You know those glossy pages in the Sunday paper supplements that tell you what’s going up and down in terms of style? Well every time I open them I am more and more surprised not to see bacteria featuring in…

Midwives’ views on ultrasound…

Here’s an interesting article and some food for thought. An Australian study – which was published in BMC Pregancy and Childbirth and is thus freely available if you’d like to read it in full for yourself – explored midwives’ experiences…

Ten ideas for self-care (2)

It’s that time of the month!  The time when I remind everyone (myself included) of the importance of self-care and, as with last month, I have listed ten more random ideas for self-care.  You are invited to pick one or…

Introducing … breastsleeping

This month has seen the publication of a commentary (in Acta Paediatrica) which needs very little discussion from me, because its premise and argument is so clearly laid out in the title and abstract.  Here’s the title… There is no…

Alien environments and the hormone of love

“Recent research collaboration between NASA and other agencies has led to the publication of a series of papers reviewing our knowledge about the impact of sex and gender on adaptation to Space. In this article, I look at some of…

Quote of the Month for July 2015

“Of 115,502 studied women … non-Hispanic white women were significantly less likely to experience severe postpartum hemorrhage (1.6% non-Hispanic white compared with 3.0% non-Hispanic black compared with 3.1% Hispanic compared with 2.2% Asian) and peripartum infection (4.1% non-Hispanic white compared…

The self-care club

A few weeks ago, I posted an article that I had written for TPM about self-care, and I have been receiving emails and comments about it ever since … mostly from people saying thank you for writing and posting it,…

Manipulation or understanding?

A mini-rant today, after I spotted the following abstract … the highlighting is mine: “Despite the great advances in modern medicine, our understanding of the most basic function of our complete genetic makeup is extremely poor. Our complete genetic make…

Quote of the month for June 2015

“Evidence supports the notion that women instinctively push in the most effective and safe way for themselves and their babies during birth. A birthing woman is the expert regarding when and how she pushes. Providing directions implies that she needs…

Caring for ourselves…

Despite the fact that they spend their days caring for others, midwives are not always good at taking care of themselves. But a lack of self-care can negatively impact upon midwives’ own health and well being, on their ability to…