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Evidence-based Care for Normal Labour and Birth: A guide for midwives [Paperback]

Denis Walsh
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
Evidence and Skills for Normal Labour and Birth: A Guide for Midwives Evidence and Skills for Normal Labour and Birth: A Guide for Midwives 5.0 out of 5 stars (2)
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Book Description

19 April 2007 0415418917 978-0415418911 New edition

Evidence-based care is a well established principle in contemporary healthcare and a world wide 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 are rising rapidly.

Evidence-based Care for Normal Labour and Birth brings to light much of the evidence around what works best for normal birth which has, until now, remained largely hidden and ignored by 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 book:

  • 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 and practice recommendations generated from the evidence.

Using research data, Evidence-based Care 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 controversial book 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.

Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New edition edition (19 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415418917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415418911
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 17.6 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 339,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'In his multi-faceted book Denis Walsh explores research-based evidence about birth, examining practices in the orthodox medical method and empirically-based and more adventurous midwifery practice. He raises the questions that need to be asked about the medical management of birth, and considers ways in which it might be changed to focus instead on women's needs and spontaneous psycho-physiological processes. Denis Walsh stimulates creative thinking...he is essential reading for all student midwives.' - Sheila Kitzinger, birth activist

'A well written and powerful book which is a must for midwives, mothers and the medical profession. Denis Walsh eloquently exposes the faults and failures in our current provision of maternity services and offers alternatives that challenge the orthodoxy of the biomedical model.' - Professor Paul Lewis, Academic Head of Midwifery and Child Health, Bournemouth University, UK

'This scholarly, readable book provides a springboard for practitioners to jump into the deep pool of their own and their client's experiences...Throughout, this book celebrates the dignity of childbearing women, emphasizing their need for kind, respectful, and compassionate care.' - Jane Pincus, Birth, September 2008


About the Author

Denis Walsh is Senior Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, UK, and an independent midwifery consultant.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
In the United Kingdom and developed countries around the world, childbirth is safer than at any other time in our history. In spite of this, there continues to be an over reliance on technology in labour and an overemphasis on risk and risk management, which adversely shapes and controls women's experiences of birth.

In stark contradiction to the research evidence, normal birth in most UK hospitals is largely managed on a medical model of care even when provided by midwives. Where alternative approaches to maternity care exist, such as in midwife-led units or at home, the parameters of safe care may also be defined and determined by hospital based models of what constitutes 'normality' rather than the research evidence or the needs of mothers and families.

The publication of Dr. Denis Walsh's book on 'Evidence-based Care for Normal Labour and Birth' is a much needed resource to challenge and counter these trends and offers both mothers, midwives and the medical profession, the opportunity to consider alternatives to our current ways of working. Informative and scholarly, this book is a joy to read and provides a sensible and authorative approach to the important issues of informed choice, risk and the research evidence. It will be welcomed by midwives from all areas of practice and I trust will assist them and the wider maternity care team to improve and strengthen our approach to 'best practice' in the interests of mothers and families.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rethink everyday practice 27 Jun 2007
This book challenges midwives to look critically at their everyday practice. Not only technological interventions interfere with women's own rythms of labour. The birth environment, the way we deal with women and the many written and unwritten rules we apply can intervene unnecessarily with the natural course of labour.

Why is the supine birthing position so common that women assume they have to give birth lying down? Why do we tell women how to push or tell them they are not allowed to push? This book gives you the evidence to change common practices and make them more woman-centred.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Midwife's Friend 25 Jun 2007
As a practising midwife on a busy labour ward, I found this book brilliant for supporting and encouraging me to practice normality. Though about research in the main, it was always an interesting read with a sprinkling of anecdotes through out the chapters. What comes through is Denis Walsh's committment to normal birth and his passionate belief that there is a substantial amount research out there supportive of that. I liked the broader 'take' on evidence to, not just research but clinical experience and intuition as well. Recommended for every midwife!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Normal birth book 26 Jun 2007
As a student midwife, I have found this book great. It covers all the important research on most aspects of normal birth and the author's strong belief in the value of normal birth shines through the text. I just wish all obstetricians would read it!
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