‘In Your Own Time: how western medicine controls the start of labour and why this needs to stop’ is Sara Wickham’s most popular book.
Published in 2022, it offers a masterclass in what the evidence really says about induction of labour and a fascinating insight into how birth has come to be controlled and undermined by Western medicine.
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What’s it all about?
Pregnant women and maternity services are facing an induction epidemic. As medical guidelines include more “at risk” categories, women and our already overwhelmed and under resourced maternity systems are increasingly pressured to induce birth before labour begins spontaneously. Women are deemed to be too large and too old, while babies are estimated to be too big and too overdue. But is “better-out-than-in” really a safer option than waiting to birth in your own time?
Staggeringly, over a third of all pregnant women have their labour medically induced, and this is accompanied by a tsunami of avoidable medical interventions. Worldwide, this trend is growing at an alarming rate. This is despite both a lack of evidence demonstrating its benefits and a wealth of evidence indicating the significant short- and long-term negative impacts of induction on the health and wellbeing of mothers and their babies.
In this timely book, Dr Sara Wickham demystifies the evidence and highlights the significant discrepancies between guidelines and what we really know about the benefits of supporting women to birth spontaneously. With her renowned ability to make complex issues understandable, her holistic approach and more than twenty-five years’ experience as a midwife and researcher, Dr Wickham draws on a wide range of evidence, including the voices of women and practitioners, to answer vital questions such as: How accurate are due dates? Is it really that risky to wait? Does induction make a difference? And, perhaps most importantly, what can we do about this situation?
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You can also order In Your Own Time from your local indie bookshop, the IBSN is 978-1-914465024.
*We have affiliate accounts with some of these retailers. Any profit goes to the Birth Information Project.
What are people saying?
“This is such a vitally important book.
With her brilliant brain and extensive experience, Dr Sara Wickham has pulled together and clearly interpreted the complex evidence about induction of labour. This book provides clarity about why increasing numbers of women are having their labours induced, and the problems with current guideline recommendations. It also offers suggestions about what we can all do to reclaim the parameters of normal and support women to birth in their own time. Anyone who cares about women and their experiences of birth needs this book.” Dr Rachel Reed, midwife and researcher.
“Sara can ‘think outside of the box’ in such a way that few others can. Sara asks questions that others haven’t considered and she isn’t afraid to challenge our perceptions and to ask us not to take things for granted and accept the perceived norm, without careful and thoughtful analysis of the rationale and, crucially, the evidence. Sara also has the rare ability, not only to process complex research-based evidence and data herself, but to translate and explain them in such a way that they become easily understandable and make complete sense, even to the least research-minded among us. The amount of reliable, useful and powerful information in this book is, quite simply, staggering!” – Julie Frohlich, consultant midwife.
“This book by the fabulous Sara Wickham is so needed right now.
It couldn’t be more timely.
For women being advised to accept an induction, it’s an absolute must read. This book provides you – as a woman, partner, midwife or birth worker – with the information you need to question routine and unnecessary induction of labour and get the detailed, accurate information you need to be able to make the right decision about going ahead with an induction or waiting for labour to start. Sara has managed to collect together all the research on the topic, analyse it and present it in such an accessible way. This book is a giant and will be much read over the coming months and years.” – Dr Nadine Edwards.
“There are several excellent books on induction out there, but this one is really something special. Dr Wickham has years of experience as a midwife, a researcher and academic and she wrote this book over a period of about six months while in lockdown in the UK. She doesn’t waste a single word, and it is researched to the absolute hilt. I don’t say that lightly – there is a twenty-five-page long reference list at the end of this book, with studies as recent as 2021.” Katelyn Commerford, Doula.
About the Author
Dr Sara Wickham is a midwife, author, educator and researcher. She has been writing and lecturing about birth and midwifery for more than twenty years.
Sara is the author or editor of seventeen books and has edited three midwifery journals. She provides in-person and online educational and consultancy services for midwifery, medical and health-related practitioners and organisations around the world.
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