1st Edition

Supporting Women to Give Birth at Home A Practical Guide for Midwives

Edited By Mary Steen Copyright 2012
    288 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    288 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Supporting Women to Give Birth at Home describes and discusses the main challenges and issues that midwives and maternity services encounter when preparing for and attending a home birth. To ensure that a home birth is a real option for women, midwives need to be able to believe in a woman’s ability to give birth at home and to promote this birth option, providing evidence-based information about benefits and risks.

    This practical guide will help midwives to have the necessary skills, resources and confidence to support homebirth. The book includes:

    • the present birth choices a woman has
    • the implications homebirth has upon midwifery practice
    • how midwives can prepare and support women and their families
    • the midwife’s role and responsibilities
    • national and local policies, guidelines and available resources
    • pain management options

    With a range of recent home birth case studies brought together in the final chapter, this accessible text provides a valuable insight into those considering homebirth. Supporting Women to Give Birth at Home will be of interest to students studying issues around normal birth and will be an important resource for clinically based midwives, in particular community based midwives, home birth midwifery teams, independent midwives, and all who are interested in homebirth as a genuine choice.

    Foreword: Denis Walsh  Preface  1. History of Homebirth: Jane Harris  2. Choosing Homebirth: Julia Magill-Cuerden  3. Homebirth Guidelines: Bridget McKeown and Verena Wallace  4. Supporting Homebirth: Mary Steen and Kath Jones  5. Caring for Women during a Homebirth Kim Gibbon and Mary Steen  6. Abnormal Labour and Emergencies: Mary Steen and Kim Gibbon  7. Homebirth Pain Management Options: Mary Steen  8. Homebirth Case Studies: Mary Steen and Kath Jones


    Mary Steen is Professor of Midwifery at the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the University of Chester, UK. She has practiced as a midwife for 23 years and worked in a community setting since 1994, attending numerous homebirths. She has recently helped to develop a successful community-based health and well-being programme intended to increase the numbers of active births and homebirths.

    'I have found no weaknesses in this book as it is well evidenced, professional and does highlight the issues that can go wrong, but what can be done to rectify this when giving birth at home.'  - Jane Brown, Worcs Acute NHS Trust, Nursing Times.net

    ‘In a climate where women are expected to be offered a choice of homebirth but this is not yet a reality for most women this is an important resource for midwives and students alike. Homebirth engenders a great deal of media attention but there is only limited educational material available on the topic. This book therefore fills a significant gap in the market. I would recommend it to you.’ Professor Cathy Warwick CBE, Royal College of Midwives General Secretary.

    ‘This comprehensive book elucidates the process of home birth from antenatal visit to post-birth assessment using a combination of theory, practice and case studies. It is informative and thoughtful, supporting and encouraging midwives to confidently care for women choosing home birth.’ – Dr Christine Shea, Independent Risk Management and Communications Consultant, and home birth (VBAC) mother. 

    ‘A resource to ensure that there is always support for mothers and midwives to encourage a home birth, even when the circumstances are not straightforward. Written by midwives, the inclusion of mothers’ experiences provides a rich balance.’ Dawn Johnston, Clinical Director of Women’s Services Directorate at Whipps Cross University Hospital, UK.