chapter  Chapter 7
CSA and midwives: the impact on midwives’ practice
WithLis Garratt, Mavis Kirkham
Pages 11

As I heard the accounts of the midwife interviewees, I began to realise what a huge impact their early experiences could have upon them and their practice, but also how useful their insights were into caring for survivors. Eight were practising midwives at the time of their interview, two were students, one had practised and was waiting to start a ‘Return to Midwifery’ course and one was on maternity leave. Six had been practising midwives at the time when they gave birth. Their comments are invaluable because they were able to view the maternity services from the dual perspective of both users and healthcare professionals. The issues that the midwives felt constituted good practice involved giving women choice and control, good communication, treating them as individuals and acting as advocates on women’s behalf. However, the medically dominated process-driven environment in which maternity care is delivered works against this and these midwives were often obliged to seek ways in which they could lessen its impact. Some found subtle ways to support women’s choices while other more assertive characters took a more confrontational stance and could subsequently find themselves being censured by colleagues.