Drawing upon the findings of a PhD that captured the experiences of midwives who proactively supported alternative physiological births while working in the National Health Service, their practice was conceptualised as ‘skilled heartfelt practice’.
Skilled heartfelt practice denotes the interrelationship between midwives’ attitudes and beliefs in support of women’s choices, their values of cultivating meaningful relationships, and their expert practical clinical skills. It is these qualities combined that give rise to what is called ‘full-scope midwifery’ as defined by the Lancet Midwifery Series.
This book illuminates why and how these midwives facilitated safe, relational care. Using a combination of emotional intelligence skills and clinical expertise while centring women’s bodily autonomy, they ensured safe care was provided within a holistic framework.