Many pregnant women – especially those who have given birth before – have an innate sense of when they’ve gone into labour ‘for real’.  However, if they show up to the labour ward of their local or chosen hospital too soon, they run the risk of being sent home where labour will progress unmonitored and, if the woman is panicking, possibly unpredictably.  They may be sent home with paracetemol – something that is thought to correlate with longer, harder labours

Women have to feel believed and safe in order to ‘let go’ and for labour to progress normally, whatever that might mean for them. Dr Helen Shallow presents a feminist participatory study on this topic and makes 9 recommendations for improving practice and ‘getting it right the first time’.

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