About Birthspirit

This website is about supporting, protecting and promoting healthy pregnancy, birth and mothering. It does this by adding to the knowledge basket of the arts, sciences, experiences and history that inform midwifery. It is hoped it will create the thoughtful exchange of ideas to increase understanding about the role midwives can play in ‘keeping birth normal’.

About Maggie

In August 2014 I stopped midwifery practice after 27 years, of which 25 years was as a homebirth midwife. I continue on as an independant Midwifery Educator, which I started in 1998.



While women can, and do, choose where they birth, I promote homebirth services for well women. This is because homebirth offers the healthiest opportunity  to have an uninterrupted flow during pregnancy, labour, birth and into mothering, and because when well women birth in hospitals they experience drastically reduced normal birth rates, and high induction of labour and caesarean section rates – see the New Zealand Maternity Clinical Indicators series.

The focus of my midwifery workshops is about advancing midwifery skills and knowledge so the midwife is using her full scope of midwifery practice and remaining connected to the woman she serves. I am, as of 2017, developing this website as an open source website so, irrespective of fnancial circumstances, women, midwives and other health care practitioners can readily and freely access evidence-informed materials.

My research interests have led me to write two books so far (Home Birth Bound: Mending the Broken Weave and  Breech Birth Woman-Wise), numerous articles and I regularly present at conferences and teach midwives about natural childbirth and/or emergency skills. My doctoral research focused on the history of home birth midwives in New Zealand during the time of the home birth resurgence in the 1970s-1980s. My thesis is available online here.

I live rurally in the Waikato, New Zealand, with my husband Tony on a 2 ¼ acre small farm where we have chickens, pigs (sometimes), goats and a large vegetable garden and orchard. Our 3 children are now adults, as are 2 of our 3 grandchildren, but we continue to spend as much time together as a family as our busy lives allow. Both our grandsons (and 4 other babies) were born in the Cottage on our place.

Please feel free to contact me at maggiebanks@birthspirit.co.nz.


About — 5 Comments

  1. Hi
    I would love to do your breech online workshop but im only a doula but would love to be more informed on breech births so I can help women out is this a workshop doulas can do

    • Hi Samantha. Doulas are very welcome to do this workshop. Anyone involved in childbirth needs to be confident that they have quality information at their fingertips help women know and understand their options.

  2. Oh dear….another step backwards as another DHB decides it won’t support planned vaginal breech birth. so frustrating …there is not a word that springs to mind to describe my thoughts. Msrgo Townsend? midwife.

  3. Pingback: Maggie Banks | Evidence-Based Midwifery Practice

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