• Birth Practice and Politics Forum Blog Team

Birthing your baby: the second stage of labour

The Birth Practice and Politics Forum is delighted to announce the publication of Birthing your baby: the second stage of labour by Nadine Pilley Edwards. This is the BPPF’s first publication.

The publication is about birthing a baby. This is often called the second stage of labour by midwives and doctors. It includes the context and evidence for the different approaches to birthing in many places across the world.

It covers the physiology of birthing a baby, potentially one of the most powerful and magical moments of a woman’s and family’s life. The book explains how, if a mother is surrounded by love, privacy and calmness, her body instinctively knows how to birth her baby, even if she hasn’t had a baby before. It acknowledges the invaluable role of technology and obstetric expertise for the mothers and babies who need them, but challenges the unnecessary use of routine practices and interventions which might interfere with a woman’s ability to birth her baby straight forwardly relying on her own strengths and inner wisdom.

Nadine also describes current beliefs and practices about birth and examines some of the relevant research and why it can’t tell us all we might want to know. She suggests how women can increase the likelihood of being able to birth their babies using their own efforts and without unnecessary interventions.

The book is now available from good bookshops or you can buy it online from Amazon UK.

This third edition replaces the 2001 edition and is completely updated. It includes:

  • what we have learned about the physiology of birth over the last 20 years

  • what we now know about the kind of support women want and need to have the best chance of birthing straight forwardly

  • findings of some of the recent research on normal, healthy variations between women’s labours and how long birth might take

  • findings from some of the recent research on how and when women push and how this can impact on birthing outcomes, including women’s experiences

  • findings from some of the recent research on different positions that women might use during birthing and what impact these might have on outcomes, including women’s experiences

  • how we could better help women protect their perineums during childbirth

The overall message is that, while some women and babies need expert obstetric help during childbearing, most women birth most safely when they are supported by midwives they trust in calm environments and when they can follow their own rhythms and instincts.

Here’s what others have said about the book:

“This book will be so useful to those who want to understand how routine interference with labour and birth came about and why our modern approach to ‘managing’ this journey isn’t necessarily the best idea for women and their babies.”

Dr Sara Wickham: Midwifery author, speaker and researcher

“Nadine has uncovered the meaning and layers that we all grapple with and try to articulate but rarely manage in our clumsy ways. Her ability to describe those layers so patiently and in detailed non-judgemental ways inspires me.”

Dr Helen Shallow: Consultant Midwife

“This is the book I’ve been waiting for.”

Vicki Williams: Lactation consultant and doula

You can find out more about the book or order a copy here.

It's also available as an eBook. And from Amazon Australia.

About the Author

Nadine Edwards is a long standing birth activist, educator, researcher and writer. She gained her PhD in 2001 examining women’s experiences of planning home births. She is currently a trustee at the Pregnancy and Parents Centre, Edinburgh where she runs groups for pregnant women.

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