Introducing the Social Sciences for Midwifery Practice makes clear the links between social, anthropological and psychological concepts, midwifery practice and women’s experience of birth. Demonstrating how empathising with women and understanding the context in which they live can affect childbirth outcomes and experiences, this evidence-based text emphasises the importance of compassionate and humane care in midwifery practice.

Exploring midwifery as an art, as well as a science, the authors collected here make the case for midwives as professionals working ‘with women’ rather than as birth technicians, taking a purely competency-based approach to practice. The book incorporates a range of pedagogical features to enhance student learning, including overall chapter aims and learning outcomes, ‘recommendations for practice’, ‘learning triggers’ to encourage the reader to delve deeper and reflect on practice, ‘application to practice’ case studies which ensure that the theory is related to contemporary practice, and a glossary of terms. The chapters cover perspectives on birth from sociology; psychology; anthropology; law; social policy and politics. Other chapters address important issues such as disability, politics and sexuality.

Outlining relevant theory from the social sciences and clearly applying it to practice, this text is an essential read for all student midwives, registered midwives and doulas.


chapter 1|19 pages

Introduction to sociology

ByKate Nash

chapter 2|22 pages

Application of sociology to midwifery

ByKate Nash

chapter 3|14 pages

Psychology and midwifery practice

ByJane J. Weaver

chapter 4|15 pages

Anthropology and midwifery

ByCaroline Squire

chapter 5|16 pages

Conformity and conflict in maternity services

ByChristine Grabowska

chapter 6|16 pages

Spirituality and midwifery care

ByLouise Hunter

chapter 7|11 pages

Consent, choice and childbirth

ByElizabeth Prochaska

chapter 8|16 pages

Politics and birth

ByPatricia Lindsay

chapter 9|14 pages

Social policy for midwives

ByMandie Scamell, Andy Alaszewski

chapter 10|14 pages

The woman with a disability

ByMaxine Wallis-Redworth

chapter 11|18 pages

Sexuality and midwifery

BySusan Walker, Mary Stewart