Evidence-based care is a well established principle in contemporary healthcare and a worldwide health care movement. However, despite the emphasis on promoting evidence-based or effective care without the unnecessary use of technologies and drugs, intervention rates in childbirth continue to rise rapidly.

This new edition emphasises the importance of translating evidence into skilful practice. It updates the evidence around what works best for normal birth, aspects of which still remain hidden and ignored by some maternity care professionals. Beginning with the decision about where to have a baby, through all the phases of labour to the immediate post-birth period, it systematically details research and other evidence sources that endorse a low intervention approach. The second edition:

  • has been expanded with new chapters on Preparation for Childbirth and Waterbirth
  • highlights where the evidence is compelling
  • discusses its application where women question its relevance to them and where the practitioner's expertise leads them to challenge it
  • gives background and context before discussing the research to date
  • includes questions for reflection, skills sections and practice recommendations generated from the evidence.

Using evidence drawn from a variety of sources, Evidence and Skills for Normal Labour and Birth critiques institutionalised, scientifically managed birth and endorses a more humane midwifery-led model. Packed with up-to-date and relevant information, this text will help all students, practising midwives and doulas keep abreast of the evidence surrounding normal birth and ensure their practice takes full advantage of it.

chapter 2|10 pages

Preparation for childbirth

chapter 3|16 pages

Birth setting and environment

chapter 4|17 pages

Rhythms in the first stage of labour

chapter 5|10 pages

Fetal heart monitoring in labour

chapter 6|16 pages

Mobility and posture in labour

chapter 7|19 pages

Pain and labour

chapter 8|15 pages

Rhythms in the second stage of labour

chapter 9|15 pages

Care of the perineum

chapter 10|12 pages

Rhythms in the third stage of labour

chapter 11|8 pages

Water immersion and waterbirth

chapter 12|12 pages

Changing midwives’ practice