Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Evidence and Skills for Normal Labour and Birth; a guide for midwives. Second edition

  • Comment

Title: Evidence and Skills for Normal Labour and Birth; a guide for midwives

Author: Denis Walsh

Publisher: Routledge

Reviewer: Greta McGough, freelance writer, retired university lecturer

What was it like?

This is the second (and revised) edition of a useful textbook for midwives, which offers both student and qualified midwives a chance to consider their role and to reflect upon practice. The emphasis throughout is on the promotion of ”normal” labour, and the ways to avoid iatrogenesis.


What were the highlights? 

There are several highlights to this book. These include the realistic scenarios used throughout the book, to illustrate points and to argue for reflection. These are not dramatic in content and the reader is left with a sense of calm practicality by the author. The questions for reflection that are included at the end of each chapter bring a greater depth to the chapter summaries, but also carry the reader forward.

Strengths & weaknesses:

One of the main strengths of this book is its emphasis throughout on the “being with” aspect of midwife, as opposed to the tradition of “doing to” during labour. While this discussion is not new, we still need to continue in that direction, so as to avoid the problems that care “arranged for the benefit of the system, not the mother” can be re-structured to provide an all-round better experience. The references and appendices that support this are also excellent, up-to-date and very wide-ranging, supporting the discussion.

There are no real weaknesses in this book, which is structured and organised so that all aspects of the care offered to women are honestly and realistically reflected, with many opportunities to carry discussion further and deeper. The author highlights and discusses the changes in practice that have arisen because of changing government policy, but of course it is difficult to combat these, beyond revising and streamlining practice.

Who should read it?

This excellent book should be read by all midwifery students, but also has a huge application for qualified midwives everywhere and in every part of the country. Like the earlier edition, it looks set to become a classic text for midwives at all levels.


  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.