I am Professor of Maternal Health at the University of The West of Scotland and NHS Ayrshire and Arran, with a long background of research in supporting midwives to develop woman-centred care.
I have been involved in birth politics since 1976, when pregnant with my first child, and joined AIMS in 1980. I was the Vice Chair of AIMS from 1993-2015. I trained as a birth educator in 1982 and run pregnancy groups. I co-founded the Birth Educators Course and the Pregnancy and Parents Centre in Edinburgh.
I qualified as midwife in 1988 after first qualifying as a nurse, with the intention to become a community midwife. I joined the innovative Riverside Community Midwife teams which had been set up by Caroline Flint, but then took time out to have my family. I became an Independent Midwife in 2000 and if insurance can be found, I would like to remain in clinical practice.
I have practised as a midwife in the NHS and independently. When I moved into higher education, I managed to continue my practice. My focus is now more on research and writing. I am particularly interested in the politics of childbearing. I am currently Emeritus Professor of Midwifery, University of Edinburgh.
I am a lecturer in midwifery at Napier University, Edinburgh, a supervisor of midwives and have also carried a small independent practice. I am interested in women’s birth choices and decisions and how to support midwives to support women.
Like many women, I became involved in birth issues through my personal experiences. I was one of the founder-members of Cuidiú, the Irish Childbirth Trust at the beginning of the 1980s. Trying to respond effectively to the complex politics of birth remains integral to my work as a sociologist. I teach in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, TCD.
I have been a midwife in Lothian since 2007. I work on the NHS bank within the breastfeeding clinics and community. I also provide information sessions, and antenatal, education and relaxation sessions for couples. Most recently I have trained with Capacitar International and provide wellbeing sessions, particularly focused around anxiety, fear and trauma for women and couples and a range of healthcare workers, including midwives.