City Research Online

Building confident ways of working together around higher-risk birth choices

Plested, M. & Walker, S. (2014). Building confident ways of working together around higher-risk birth choices. Essentially MIDIRS, 5(9), pp. 13-16.


Women who want to make choices about their births which are different from standard care practices or fall outside guidelines, especially when their pregnancies are categorized as 'higher risk', may often feel that midwives are more aligned with the hospital system which employs them than with the women who receive their care (Kirkham 2010). Midwives who seek to support women and provide a care pathway which is tailored to the woman's unique circumstances, often find themselves bullied and reprimanded and their practice subjected to intense scrutiny (RCM 1996, Gillen et al 2008). A risk-averse hospital culture, where standardized pathways aimed at risk reduction are the driving factors behind guidelines and protocols, provides a conflicted environment for the midwife aiming to deliver authentically woman-centered care which bears any resemblances to the government policy rhetoric of informed choice as set out in documents such as Maternity matters (DH 2007).

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
SWORD Depositor:
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