Category: Research Updates

Continuing the electronic fetal monitoring debate

“Four centuries ago, the Catholic Church declared heliocentrism to be heretical, banned all heliocentric books, and ordered Galileo to refrain from holding, teaching, or defending heliocentric ideas. A similar effort is taking place today. It seeks to suppress debate over…

Fetal monitoring and cherry picking evidence…

Two senior doctors have written to the British Medical Journal to commend them for publishing a recent debate which highlights the way “in which the doctors supporting monitoring seem to cherry pick evidence” (Bewley and Braillon 2018). During this debate,…

Four recent birth-related revelations…

Since I got back from our latest trip, I’ve been catching up with the research, blog posts and thinking that went on while we were away, and I found so many interesting things that I decided to write a summary…

More benefits of water for birth

The results of two recent research studies have added to our knowledge about the benefits of water for labour and birth. The first, a Swedish comparative study by Ulfsdottir et al (2017), found that women giving birth in water had…

Castor oil for labour induction

A study has looked at birthing outcomes of 323 women who used castor oil as part of an attempt to induce their labour, with interesting results. The study was carried out in the US where, in contrast to countries like…

More evidence for rebozos…

I’ve been really amazed by the number of people who have been in touch to thank me for the two-part article that I have shared over the past few weeks about the evidence for rebozo use. (You can read part…

Protecting the perineum: midwifery expertise

A recent study has added to our knowledge about the views and skills of midwives who have expertise in protecting women’s perineums during birth. The research, known as the ‘MEPPI study’ is described as a qualitative exploratory study and the…

Understanding more about birth and story…

I often hear midwives and birth folk lamenting the way that one-sided, fear-based, sometimes mysogynistic and frequently inaccurate depictions and representations of birth permeate modern culture, and I share their concerns. Participants in my workshops and online courses note the…

Vaginal seeding – more data required?

A review article written by Danish doctors and published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology has stated that the benefits of vaginal seeding “do not outweigh the risks”. This paper and the inevitable news stories which have been…

Antibiotics and operative vaginal birth

The authors of an updated Cochrane review entitled ‘Antibiotic prophylaxis for operative vaginal delivery’ have drawn the same conclusion as in previous versions of the review: that routinely giving antibiotics to women who have forceps or ventouse births leads to…