Midwifery education

BirthspiritCottage2012CroppedClassCroppedAfter 11 years of Workshops and Intensives at Birthspirit Cottage in Tamahere, and around New Zealand and Australia, Birthspirit has taken its education online with easy to use technology. Midwives have loved the extensive resources, setting their own timetables, and connecting with Maggie and others around the world in the live classrooms and discussion forums. As one midwife put it: “It allows midwives to engage in high quality education that is achievable whether you are urban/rural; NZ or UK!!”


Water Birth Workshop (Online)

BirthspiritWaterbirthCroppedSince the first of the modern water births in New Zealand over three decades ago, water birth has been embraced by women as a popular choice to facilitate drug-free labours…read more


The obstetric bed: resistance in action

HospitalBedCroppedBedbirthing has predominated in Western countries reputedly since it gained acceptance after Louis XIV’s mistresses birthed in bed; the king covertly watched from behind…read more

Breech Birth Online Workshop

BreechBabyTileCroppedBreech presentation is the 4th most commonly reported indication for caesarean section, and previous caesarean section the first. Breech presentation can be seen…read more

Insights through the murk of meconium

FogWaterTreesCroppedAs I compiled the statistics of my home birth practice covering a 22 year period many of the individual instances of how my knowing developed became definable…read more

Post-dates Pregnancy Workshop (Online)

DecisionAheadSignCroppedIn 1985, in order to stem the tide of increasing medical intervention during childbirth, the WHO determined that no geographical region should have an induction of labour rate…read more

Keep on singing when life’s a breech

KeepOnSingingCropAs steeped in medically and midwifery managed birthing as this 60-plus year old breech story is, it has (at least) three central themes – a woman who was confident about giving birth…read more

The Spirit of Birth: Nature, Nurture and the Evidence (Online)

SpiritOfBirthCroppedIn the last three decades, women in New Zealand have experienced escalating levels of intervention during childbirth and a declining ‘normal’ birth rate…read more

Water birth in New Zealand : herstory and politics

OnTheRiverbankCroppedUsing deep warm baths in labour is a common strategy that many home birth midwives have used for at least three decades in New Zealand to promote relaxation and comfort …read more


WiseWomanArchivesTrust-KateSpenceleyCroppedIn October 2006, the Wise Woman Archives Trust Inc. (WWAT) was established in the Waikato and incorporated under the provisions of the Charitable Trusts Act 1957. Its mission...read more

The FTPs of caesarean section

WomenAreNotResealableBabyContainersCroppedWhen Nadine gave birth at home to her second baby, a daughter, she fulfilled a dream of natural childbirth and immediate, uninterrupted in-arms mothering. …read more

Auckland Home Birth Birth Association, 1977-1997 (WWAT 2007/3)

AucklandHBAlogoCroppedThe Auckland Home Birth Association (HBA) was founded on 1 May 1978. It held its first minuted meeting in June 1978 and would meet, usually monthly, until the late 1990s…read more

Mamatoto calling

HandHoldingEach of Jaynie’s three labours built up over several days before she had contractions that were frequent enough for her to determine she was in labour…read more

Sian Burgess, Papers relating to domiciliary midwifery and home birth, 1983-1992 (WWAT 2005/1)

SianBurgess1982CroppedSian Burgess (White) practised as a domiciliary midwife (and later an Independant Midwife) in Auckland, New Zealand from 1980 until 2004read more

A toe in the water: exploring breech waterbirth

BreechWaterbirth1CroppedI am often asked during breech workshops that I run if leaving a woman in a birth pool to give birth to a surprise breech baby, undiagnosed until on the perineum, was ‘reasonable’ midwifery practice…read more

Domiciliary Midwives Society of New Zealand (Inc.), 1978-1998 (WWAT 2000/1)

DMScombinedFrom the mid to late 1970s the Midwives Special Interest Section of NZNA was overtly opposed to home birth…read more