Fear of childbirth, the increasing use of epidurals and soaring caesarian section rates are the focus of much apprehension, debate, and controversy in contemporary maternity care. Across the world, support in labour has been shown to reduce obstetric interventions and improve outcomes for women and babies, yet women often report feeling unhappy with the support they receive. This textbook provides a clear and practical guide to supporting women in labour, looking at a range of techniques and approaches that promote a safe and positive experience of birth for women and their families.
Written by two highly experienced midwifery authors, this text draws on up-to-date research, identifying how evidence can be applied to everyday practice. It includes narratives from women and practitioners, including midwives, doulas, childbirth educators and students. These are used to illustrate a range of situations where the quality of support is central to the quality of the experience and outcome. Supporting Women for Labour and Birth encourages readers to reflect on their experiences and examine the evidence provided by both research and the experiences of women and practitioners in order to explore how this could be incorporated into their practice.
This book uniquely deals directly with the practical and emotional issues associated with labour support, making it an ideal text for student midwives and an important reference for practising midwives, doulas and other childbirth practitioners.
This is not a ‘sit back and be filled up with information’ sort of book, it is one that will challenge you and make you think and grow as a midwife. Helping women to work with pain and fear sits at the heart of the book. Sometimes it takes only a word or a dispassionate look to take birth in a totally new direction. ‘Who’ we are and ‘how’ we are with women is of more importance than ‘where’ we are and ‘what’ we are doing as midwives. The emotional aspects of labour support are key to midwives being able to work with women and be truly present for them and this is dealt with beautifully in the book. – Professor Hannah Dahlen, University of Western Sydney, Australia
About the Author
Nicky Leap was born in 1948 and grew up in the West Country, England. She became a National Childbirth Trust (NCT) teacher in the 1970s and was a youth and community worker in London before training to be a midwife. For more than 30 years, Nicky has worked in England and Australia in a variety of roles in midwifery practice, education and research, gaining her doctorate in 2005. She is an Adjunct Professor of Midwifery at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. Nicky divides her time between living in Bristol (UK) and the Blue Mountains (Australia).
Billie Hunter was born in 1953 in South London. After midwifery training in 1979, Billie worked in diverse settings from inner London to the Outer Hebrides. Since 1992, Billie has lived in Wales and has been engaged in midwifery teaching and research, gaining her PhD in 2002. She was appointed as Professor of Midwifery at Swansea University, UK, in 2006 and Royal College of Midwives Professor of Midwifery at Cardiff University, UK, in 2011. She also holds Honorary Chairs at the Universities of Nottingham and Surrey, UK, and is an Adjunct Professor of Midwifery at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.