This title includes Foreword by Sheila Kitzinger, Writer, Researcher, Activist and Honorary Professor, Wolfson School of Health Sciences, Thames Valley University. Birth centres are suitable for every woman whose birth is straightforward, which accounts for around 75 per cent of all women. This inspirational guide shows how small scale maternity provision has a profound clinical and organisational advantage over large scale hospital provision, including saving of time and money by reducing intervention rates. It presents the thoughts and feelings of midwives and patients and how both enjoy the humane and compassionate care of the birth centre ethos. The book is invaluable for midwives, obstetricians, doulas, maternity care assistants and maternity service planners and managers. It also provides enlightening information for general practitioners and other health and social care professionals, maternity service users groups and academics with an interest in midwifery and health services. "What birth centres do best is simply providing humane childbirth care. There are no high tech gadgetry, doctors or dramatic stories of childbirth rescues that make it into the media. Yet 'miracles' happen inside their walls every day as women have their babies after normal labours and births. Until now, there have been very few books detailing what happens in birth centres so that women and childbirth professionals can be introduced to an alternative beyond the large hospital model. This book provides a window in on the birth centre model and there are some exciting things to find there about childbirth care in the 21st century." - Denis Walsh, in the Preface. "Denis Walsh has one of the most incisive, analytical and brilliant minds in nursing and midwifery research today. He demonstrates the difference between a quality environment for birth where a woman can create her own 'nest', and a technocratic, bureaucratically controlled, highly medicalised and risk-oriented birth culture dominated by the clock, which is most women's experience today." - Sheila Kitzinger, in the Foreword.
Independent Midwifery Consultant, Senior Lecturer in Research, University of Central Lancashire
The crisis in western childbirth. Introducing birth centres. Who owns the women? Setting up the research project. Taking on the system and winning. Transforming people and buildings. Taking labour off the assembly line. Building community and social capital. Childbirth beyond models. Exploring matrescent care. Small really is beautiful.