This study explored midwifery practice during birth. In particular, the experiences, actions and interactions between midwives and women during uncomplicated, normal births. Most of the existing literature focuses on outcomes associated with individual practices; and there is a lack of research evidence supporting many of the common midwifery practices carried out during birth. There is also limited research exploring midwives’ experiences and perceptions of their practice during birth; although it seems that the context of midwifery practice, and cultural norms influence practice. Studies exploring women’s experience of birth have identified an altered state of consciousness, and issues of control as key factors. However, there has been very little research specifically examining women’s experience of midwifery practice during birth. This study sought to explore the experience of midwifery practice from both the perspective of the midwife and the woman.
Submitted in the fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, University of the Sunshine Coast, 2013