Arguing that contemporary maternity services provide a toxic environment both in which to practise and to give birth, this book looks at how we can change this. Its aim is promoting the best possible experiences of childbearing, and confident, strengthening and loving contexts for new parenthood.
Designed to create awareness about the professional and political realities which enmesh maternity care, this inspiring volume features an in-depth and research-oriented analysis of the challenges faced by contemporary maternity services. Recognising the frequently hostile environment in which midwives practise, the contributors go on to explore its impact on women and families, as well as on midwives themselves. They then look at woman-centred and community-based ways of contributing to a much better birthing experience for all.
Important and relevant for all those with an interest in improving maternity care, this book is particularly suited to midwives – practising and student, doulas, birth educators and activists, policymakers and health service managers.
Table of Contents
Foreword The family experience of home birth Dervla Murphy
1. Introduction Nadine Edwards Rosemary Mander Jo Murphy-Lawless
Part 1 The BPG Survey
2. The BPG Survey: the Results Rosemary Mander Jenny Patterson
3. The BPG Survey: working with the data Orla Donohoe
4. The BPG Survey: Fear Rosemary Mander & BPG
5. The BPG Survey: the NMC Code Rosemary Mander & BPG
Part 2 Understanding Traumatic Experiences for Women, Midwives, Families and the Wider Community
6. Traumatic experiences of student midwives Sarah Davies and Liz Coldridge
7. The trauma women experience as the result of our current maternity services Nadine Edwards
8. When Midwives Become Other Helen Shallow
9. Fundamental Contradictions: the business model versus midwifery values Mavis Kirkham
Part 3 Responding Practically and Politically to Change Our Troubled Birth Structures
10. Healing Ourselves as Midwives Jenny Patterson
11. Creating a community of support for pregnant women Nadine Edwards Bridget Sheeran
12. Performing the revolution, creating a counter-narrative on birth in Ireland Kate Harris
13. Documenting empowerment Anne-Marie Green
14. Using art to explore the materiality of birth Martina Hynan
15. Responding to maternal death: a collective challenges the state Jo Murphy-Lawless
Part 4. Looking Ahead and Back
16. Conclusion: The way forward Nadine Edwards Rosemary Mander Jo Murphy-Lawless
Afterword: Reflections on a life in midwifery Rosemary Mander
Nadine Edwards is a researcher, writer and birth educator in Edinburgh, UK.
Rosemary Mander is a midwife and Professor Emeritus at the University of Edinburgh, UK, where she was formerly Professor of Midwifery.
Jo Murphy-Lawless lectures in sociology at Trinity College Dublin’s School of Nursing and Midwifery in Ireland.