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Midwifery

'Midwives work at the heart of the community, as the primary co-ordinator of care for all pregnant, labouring and postnatal women. They support, guide and care for mother, baby and family through the months of pregnancy, during the birth itself, and afterwards in the postnatal period.’ (RCN, 2015, Become a midwife). Use this guide to find information resources about midwifery including books, reports and journal articles.

Last updated: 06/06/2022

Key Resources

Publication Cover Royal College of Nursing (2021) Bladder and bowel care in childbirth: RCN guidance. London: RCN.
Royal College of Nursing (2017) Clinical nurse specialist in early pregnancy care, London: RCN. Royal College of Nursing (2017) Clinical nurse specialist in early pregnancy care. London: RCN.
Publication cover

Royal College of Nursing (2020) Female genital mutilation: RCN guidance for sexual health care. London: RCN.

Book Cover Royal College of Nursing (2020) Guidance for nurses and midwives to support those affected by domestic abuse. London: RCN.
Publication Cover Royal College of Nursing (2021) Multiple births midwife standard: RCN guidance for midwifery and nursing. London: RCN.
Publication cover Royal College of Nursing (2019) Nurses in maternity care: RCN report. London: RCN.
Guidance cover Royal College of Nursing (2020) RCN guidance conscientious objection (termination of pregnancy): position statement. London: RCN.
Publication cover Royal College of Nursing (2020) RCN nursing education in termination of pregnancy services. London: RCN.
Guidance cover Royal College of Nursing (2020) RCN termination of pregnancy (induced abortion) 2013: position statement. London: RCN.
Book Cover Royal College of Nursing (2020) Termination of pregnancy: an RCN nursing framework. London: RCN. 
RCN page on domestic abuse
RCN page on female genital mutilation
RCN page on Modern slavery & human trafficking
Nursing and Midwifery Council (2019) Future midwife. London: NMC.
Royal College of Midwives (2016) The RCM standards for midwifery services in the UK. London: RCM.
Guide cover Royal College of Nursing (2020) Modern slavery and trafficking: guidance for nurses and midwives. London: RCN.
Formula feeds : RCN guidance for nurses caring for infants and mothers Royal College of Nursing (2016) Formula feeds: RCN guidance for nurses caring for infants and mothers. 3rd edn. London: RCN.
Nursing and Midwifery Council (no date) Standards for competence for registered midwives. London: NMC.
Nursing and Midwifery Council (2018) The Code: professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses, midwives and nursing associates. London: NMC.
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists: Guidelines
The Cochrane Library: Browse by topic.
  • Systematic reviews from the Cochrane Library. Topics include pregnancy and childbirth.
    View page
We would like to thank the RCN Midwifery member community for their input into the development of this subject guide.

Books

Baston, H & Hall, J. (2018) Midwifery essentials: antenatal. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. 
Book Cover Boyle M (2016) Emergencies around childbirth: a handbook for midwives. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Book Cover Davy L and Houghton D (2013) The midwife’s pocket formulary. 3rd edn. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
Book Cover Fleming V and Mander R (2014) Becoming a midwife. 2nd edn. Abingdon: Routledge.
Hunter A, Schott J, Henley A and Kohner N (2016) Pregnancy loss and the death of a baby: guidelines for professionals. 4th edn. Coventry: Tantamount.
Jefford E  and Jomeen J (2020) Empowering decision-making in midwifery: a global perspective. Abingdon: Routledge.
Book Cover Johnson R and Taylor W (2016) Skills for midwifery practice. Edinburgh: Elsevier.
Book Cover Kenny L and Myers, J (2016) Obstetrics by ten teachers. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Lindsay P, Bagness C and Peate I (2018) Midwifery Skills at a glance. Hoboken: Wiley.
Book Cover Lomax A (2015) Examination of the newborn: an evidence-based guide. 2nd edn. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley Blackwell.
Book Cover Lumsden H and Holmes D (2010) Care of the newborn by ten teachers. London: Hodder Arnold.
Book Cover MacDonald S and MacGill-Cuerden J (2017) Mayes’ midwifery. 15th edn. London: Balliere Tindall.
Book Cover Marshall J and Raynow D (2010) Advancing skills in midwifery practice. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
Book Cover Narayan H (2016) Compendium for the antenatal care of high-risk pregnancies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Book Cover Peate I and Hamilton C (eds.) (2013) The student's guide to becoming a midwife. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
Book Cover Wilks J (2015) Choices in pregnancy and childbirth : a guide to options for health professionals, midwives and holistic practitioners. London: Singing Dragon.

Book subject searches

Use these links to see details of books the RCN libraries hold on each topic.

Journal articles

Journals

Databases

Maternity and Infant Care

Nursing History Collection

Book Cover Leap N (2013) The midwife’s tale: an oral history from handywoman to professional midwife. Great Britain: Scarlet Press.
Book Cover McIntosh T (2012) A social history of maternity and childbirth: key themes in maternity care. London: Routledge.
Book Cover Worth J (2008) Call the midwife. Great Britain: Orion Publishing.

Special collections

Our Permanent Collection consists of nursing specific core items and rare items. It is viewable by appointment at the RCN Library and Heritage Centre. Here is a small selection of items from our collection.
Pritchard E (1934) The new-born baby a manual for the use of midwives and maternity nurses. London: Henry Kimton.
Radcliffe W (1967) Milestones in midwifery. Bristol: John Wright
Robinson H (1916) The midwives pronouncing dictionary of obstetrical and gynaecological terms. London: Scientific Press.

Historical journals

Nursing Record/British Journal of Nursing (1888-1956)
  • Digitised journal available online.
    View page

Archives

The RCN Archive contains many references to midwifery within the personal papers collections. One of the most significant midwifery collections in our archive is that of midwifery tutor Gertrude Baker. Mrs Baker collected material for a museum of midwifery, the papers of which have been donated to the RCN. These include research and career information of not only Mrs Baker, but many individual midwives who gave her their own collections towards her work, including certificates, badges and photographs. For more details search the Archive catalogue for RefNo C502.

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Page last updated - 06/06/2022