Knowing the way…

“Today a pregnant womyn who wants a loving presence, no interventions, and a sense of excitement and joy for the upcoming mystery has to birth against a modern current of pressure bigger than a tsunami: a force that finds its…

Revisiting the world wide wonder

A few things happened to me last week which led me to decide to re-share an article that I first wrote in 2002. First, someone asked for it, which is always interesting with an older article. I’m aware that students…

Book and instagram news!

I have two pieces of news to share today! First, a new, shiny, updated version of my book Inducing Labour: making informed decisions launched on Thursday, 10th May! The new version includes discussion of new research, practice-related issues and thinking…

The birth of a midwife?

About sixteen years ago, I attended my friend Megan’s home birth in what was at the time a new role for me; as the support person for her 3 year old daughter Eleanor. Eleanor and I had a marvellous time;…

Happy Spring!

Happy Spring! And happy Autumn, to our friends down under! I’ve not written a blog post for today, as I’m hoping you’re all enjoying some time off, but I wanted to say hello to anyone who was online, whether at…

Pinard Wisdom (part 2)

Over the years, I have been repeatedly asked by student midwives for a reference to an article that gives basic information on how to use a Pinard to listen to a baby’s heartbeat, either to supplement learning in practice, or…

Pinard Wisdom (part 1)

Over the years, I have been repeatedly asked by student midwives for a reference to an article that gives basic information on how to use a Pinard to listen to a baby’s heartbeat, either to supplement learning in practice, or…

The wisdom of storks

The stork is well loved as an image associated with birth and midwives; a good number of midwifery practices in the English-speaking world feature the word in their name, and images of the birds often appear on logos and web…

What really matters?

“Factors that have eroded midwifery skill are largely political; embedded in midwifery laws in the form of practice guidelines … A model of perinatal care that offers insight, continuity and intuition; respects birth as an altered state; shows reverent curiosity…

Midwives are heroes…

“Being a midwife is similar to being an Apache pilot. That may sound strange, but it’s true. One may suppose flying gunships in combat as far removed from delivering babies as can possibly be, but the truth is, there are…

Untangling tocophobia

A year or so ago, a pregnant woman asked me a really good question, which I answered briefly in a blog post (Wickham 2016). ‘What is it called,’ she asked, ‘when you’re fearful of medicalisation?’ I couldn’t come up with…

What’s an Aqua APGAR?

“What’s an Aqua APGAR?” After I wrote a blog post sharing the results of some new studies highlighting the benefits of water in labour, a few people contacted us to ask for more information on the Aqua APGAR, which was…

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…

The perils of cyberchondria

My working day got off to a slow start on the day I originally wrote this article, mainly because of Wikipedia! Within minutes of turning my computer on, I was contacted by a woman whose births I attended a few…

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!  This is my last blog post of 2017 … as always, we are going to turn off our computers and turn on the festive away message over the holidays. This year, we’ve had loads fun hanging out with…

Number Crunching

When I first wrote the article that this blog post is based upon, I had just finished reading a superb book, The Tyranny of Numbers by economist David Boyle (2001). In it, he critiqued our society’s reliance on and obsession…

Vitamin K Resources

This post is a collection of links to articles and resources that I have authored on the subject of vitamin K and I have now updated it to reflect the publication of the second edition of my book – which…

Yoga on YouTube!

I’ve shared several studies relating to the benefits of yoga on social media recently, and earlier this summer I had the pleasure of joining the YogaBirth teachers for their annual retreat, in order to offer an update on birth-related research.…

The ungentle art of persuasion

One of the great things about being allowed to write in midwifery journals is that, when you come across an article or idea that pleases you, annoys you or just makes you think harder than usual, you can share those…

Objectivity and post-it notes

Over the last few years, evidence-based practice has become a standard expectation of Western health care systems, rather than a topic whose value is debated by clinicians. Concurrently, rules of convention have developed, and it has now become politically correct…

On corporatization…

“Corporatization of medicine has led to a phenomenon found in all or most industries in a corporate system: the “productivity campaign.” This is an effort to get employees to work better and faster, although the “better” quickly falls away when…

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…

The evidence for rebozos – part 2

Last month, I shared the story of my own introduction to the rebozo: a Mexican shawl whose popularity has grown in midwifery conferences and workshops to the extent that it is now used and taught by a number of midwives…

Updated UK GBS guideline

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has published an update to their guidance on preventing early onset group B strep (GBS) disease. The guidance calls for all pregnant women to be provided with appropriate information about GBS to support…

What is person-centred care?

A student midwife recently asked, ‘Do you have a good explanation of ‘person-centred care’?’ Yes, thanks to a recent editorial in the British Medical Journal. “People-centered care moves away from traditional care models where care is determined by uniform procedures…

Engendering rather than endangering trust

“Heavy-handed persuasion tactics and the aggressive language of some medically-focused papers and websites on the subject of vitamin K are not only inappropriate, but they harm relationships and make it less likely that parents will reach out for help if…