Category: Articles

Spin-Based Practice

Why do some ‘facts’ and ‘findings’ get shared and publicised more than others? Dr Sara Wickham looks at the concept of spin in relation to birth knowledge.

The New Pathology of Shortness

A 2003 article in which Sara Wickham riffed on the implications of seeing shortness as a diagnosable medical condition rather than a variation of normal.


Sara Wickham debates the language of pain relief in labour, and asks how we can get better information out about the benefits and risks of this.

The big pregnancy brain mush myth

Researchers at a recent British Psychological Society conference claim to have refuted the ‘myth’ that women’s mental capacities diminish during pregnancy (HMG Worldwide Ltd 2003). Their small study investigated whether there was any justification in the idea that pregnant women…

National breech rescue

I have talked to three women this month whose birth plans have, in one way or another, been altered by their baby turning breech. Two had planned home births, only to find that the local support available for women having…

Are we nearly there yet?

If one believes in the more radical versions of quantum theory (or watches enough Star Trek), there must be a parallel reality somewhere in which British midwives are very excited about the year 2003.  In this alternate universe, midwives all…

Epidural Fever?

Here’s a clinical mystery… On one postnatal ward in a fairly average hospital at the beginning of this year, almost a third of the women were being given antibiotics.  Several of these women’s babies were also receiving antibiotics.  In all…

Deconstructing prophylaxis – part 2

I [once] wrote about some of the issues surrounding prophylaxis, which is the category into which many of the interventions currently offered to pregnant women fall.  I offered a breakdown of some of the main questions that need to be…