2nd Edition

Evidence and Skills for Normal Labour and Birth A Guide for Midwives

Edited By Denis Walsh Copyright 2012
    224 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    224 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Evidence-based care is a well established principle in contemporary healthcare and a worldwide health care movement. However, despite the emphasis on promoting evidence-based or effective care without the unnecessary use of technologies and drugs, intervention rates in childbirth continue to rise rapidly.

    This new edition emphasises the importance of translating evidence into skilful practice. It updates the evidence around what works best for normal birth, aspects of which still remain hidden and ignored by some maternity care professionals. Beginning with the decision about where to have a baby, through all the phases of labour to the immediate post-birth period, it systematically details research and other evidence sources that endorse a low intervention approach. The second edition:

    • has been expanded with new chapters on Preparation for Childbirth and Waterbirth
    • highlights where the evidence is compelling
    • discusses its application where women question its relevance to them and where the practitioner's expertise leads them to challenge it
    • gives background and context before discussing the research to date
    • includes questions for reflection, skills sections and practice recommendations generated from the evidence.

    Using evidence drawn from a variety of sources, Evidence and Skills for Normal Labour and Birth critiques institutionalised, scientifically managed birth and endorses a more humane midwifery-led model. Packed with up-to-date and relevant information, this text will help all students, practising midwives and doulas keep abreast of the evidence surrounding normal birth and ensure their practice takes full advantage of it.

    Chapter 1. Knowledge, Evidence and Skills for Normal Birth  Chapter 2. Preparation for Childbirth  Chapter 3. Birth Setting and Environment  Chapter 4. Rhythms in the First Stage of Labour  Chapter 5. Fetal Heart Monitoring in Labour  Chapter 6. Mobility and Posture in Labour  Chapter 7. Pain and Labour  Chapter 8. Rhythms in the Second Stage of Labour Chapter 9. Care of the Perineum  Chapter 10. Rhythms in the Third Stage of Labour Chapter 11. Water Birth  Chapter 12. Changing Midwives Practice  Appendix. Relevant Journals for Childbirth


    Denis Walsh is Associate Professor in Midwifery at the University of Nottingham, UK. He lectures on evidence and skills for normal birth internationally and is widely published on midwifery issues and normal birth.

    Praise for the 1st edition:

    'A well written and powerful book which is a must for midwives, mothers and the medical profession. Denis Walsh eloquently exposes the faults and failures in our current provision of maternity services and offers alternatives that challenge the orthodoxy of the biomedical model.' - Professor Paul Lewis, Academic Head of Midwifery and Child Health, Bournemouth University, UK

    'This scholarly, readable book provides a springboard for practitioners to jump into the deep pool of their own and their client's experiences...Throughout, this book celebrates the dignity of childbearing women, emphasizing their need for kind, respectful, and compassionate care.' - Jane Pincus, Birth, September 2008

    'In his multi-faceted book Denis Walsh explores research-based evidence about birth, examining practices in the orthodox medical method and empirically-based and more adventurous midwifery practice. He raises the questions that need to be asked about the medical management of birth, and considers ways in which it might be changed to focus instead on women's needs and spontaneous psycho-physiological processes. Denis Walsh stimulates creative thinking...he is essential reading for all student midwives.' - Sheila Kitzinger, birth activist

    Praise for the 2nd edition:'There are several highlights to this book. These include the realistic scenarios used throughout the book, to illustrate points and to argue for reflection. These are not dramatic in content and the reader is left with a sense of calm practicality by the author. The questions for reflection that are included at the end of each chapter bring a greater depth to the chapter summaries, but also carry the reader forward.' - Greta McGough, Nursing Times, 2012

    'I believe that this book will be of great help to students and practising midwives, and open the way to deeper awareness of their role in helping women in childbirth with quiet, continuous, personal support without directing, dogmatising, yelling 'Push!' or other potentially harmful interventions... This book points the way to the future.' – Sheila Kitzinger, birth activist.

    'Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It brings the evidence together beautifully and simultaneously offers a great starting point for readers who are new to the area and a useful updating tool for those who have been around longer. The tone is friendly while incorporating an appropriate level of academic debate, and the book will inform, educate and challenge readers to think about care during labour and birth from a woman-centred and physiologically based perspective rather than a medicalised one.' - Sara Wickham, Editor, Essentially MIDIRS, 2012