1st Edition

Mindfulness in the Birth Sphere Practice for Pre-conception to the Critical 1000 Days and Beyond

Edited By Lorna Davies, Susan Crowther Copyright 2022
    316 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    316 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Mindfulness in the Birth Sphere draws together and critically appraises a raft of emerging research around mindfulness in healthcare, looking especially at its relevance to pregnancy and childbirth.

     Divided into three parts, this reflective book:

    ·       Investigates the phenomena of mindfulness through discussions of neuroscience, an indigenous worldview and research methods.

    ·       Develops the concept of mindfulness for use in practice with women/and babies across the continuum of childbirth. ​It includes chapters on birth environments, intrapartum care, mental health, fertility, breastfeeding and parenting among others.

    ·       Explores mindfulness as a tool for birth practitioners and educators, promoting self-care, resilience and compassion.

    Each chapter discusses specific research, evidence and experiences of mindfulness, including practical advice and an example of a mindfulness practice.

    This is an essential read for all those interested in mindfulness in connection to pregnancy and childbirth, including midwives, doulas, doctors and birth activists, whether involved in practice, research or education.

    Chapter 1-Introduction: Let Judgements Roll By, Sit Comfortably, and Notice the Breath 

    Lorna Davies and Susan Crowther

    Chapter 2-The Mindful Practitoner

    Craig Hassed and Richard Chambers

    Chapter 3 -Mindfulness and Compassionate Midwifery in Childbirth Trauma

    Diane Ménage and Jenny Patterson 

    Chapter 4 -Mindfulness and the Birth Sphere: A Māori Perspective 

    Miriama Ketu-McKenzie 

    Chapter 5-Mindful Inquiry in the Current Crises of Lifeworlds and Deathworlds

    Valerie Malhotra Bentz

    Chapter 6-Fertility and Mindfulness

    Janetti Marotta

    Chapter 7 -Mindfulness in Childbirth Preparation: Accentuating the Psycho-Spiritual-Physiological Connections 

    Susan Crowther and Christine Mellor

    Chapter 8- Disrupting the Status Quo to Create the Mindful Birth Space – Spaces that ‘Sing’!

    Doreen Balabanoff and Maralyn Foureur

    Chapter 9-Bringing Presence to the Intrapartum Experience

    Mo Tabib and Tracy Humphrey

    Chapter 10-Paradigm of Pain in the Birthsphere

    Liz Newnham, Laura Whitburn and Lester Jones

    Chapter 11- Breastfeeding: The Ultimate Mindful Practice?

    Ira Kantrowitz-Gordon and Anna Byrom

    Chapter 12-The value of mindfulness in the NICU

    Maggie Meeks and Dan McKay

    Chapter 13-Being Mindful about Mindfulness and Perinatal Mental Health- Evidence, Critique and New Directions

    AIgli Raouna and Angus Macbeth

    Chapter 14-Mindful Responding in a Crisis

    Tracy Donegan

    Chapter 15-Embracing Mindfulness in Midwifery Education

    Lorna Davies, Melanie Welfare and Kathleen Maki

    Chapter 16-Nurturing Humanity in Midwifery: Compassionate, Mindful Leadership

    Sheena Byrom

    Chapter 17-The Final Gong: Being a Mindful Practitioner

    Susan Crowther and Lorna Davies


    Lorna Davies is a midwife, a mother and a grandmother, and is currently employed as an Associate Professor at Otago Polytechnic/Te Pukenga in Dunedin. Her PhD explored midwives' understanding of and attitudes towards the broad concept of sustainability within the context of midwifery practice. Her main research interest areas are sustainability in midwifery and healthcare, self-sustainability, inter-professional education and midwifery workforce issues.

    Susan Crowther is currently a Professor of Midwifery at AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand. Her research interests are concerned with psycho-social, cultural and spiritual health around childbirth, rural maternity services and sustainable practice as well as a keen interest in meditative practices to enhance well-being and connection. Susan is on the review and editorial boards of a number of peer-reviewed journals and a member of the ICM research standing committee.

    "In a maternity climate marked by escalating intervention rates and a concerning surge in staff burnout, this book stands as a much-needed ally to all of us. Its insights into mindfulness practices not only offer a powerful antidote to these challenges but also embody a helpful support system."

    - Hannah Tizard
    Educational and Organisational Development Lead Midwife, All4Maternity