Campaign for Normal Birth brought to Huddersfield’s midwives

Mon, 21 Oct 2013 16:09:00 BST

Huddersfield Midwifery Society welcomes RCM President Professor Lesley Page to student conference

Theresa Mason, Olivia O'Flynn, Professor Lesley Page, Lauren Ramoth and Angela Yates - Midwifery Conference Pictured: President of the Royal College of Midwives Professor Lesley Page (centre) with Huddersfield Midwifery Society members (l-r) Theresa Mason, Emily O'Flynn, Lauren Ramoth and Angela Yates.

‌The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has a long-running ‘Campaign for Normal Birth’ and this was the primary theme of a conference organised by the award-winning Huddersfield Midwifery Society held at the University this week. 

The World Health Organisation states that a ‘normal birth’ is “spontaneous in onset, low-risk at the start of labour and remaining so throughout labour and delivery.  The infant is born spontaneously (without help) in the vertex position (head down) between 37 and 42 completed weeks of pregnancy”. 

The purpose of the University’s Normal Birth Conference, primarily organised by Theresa Mason, Emily O’Flynn and Lauren Ramoth, was to raise awareness by providing fellow students with a greater knowledge of normal birthing practice, which in today’s highly medicalised society, is becoming less frequent. 

Lauren Ramoth, currently a final-year student, explains how obstetric-led units, which are birthing wards led by doctors and consultants, can sometimes encourage intervention. 

“Immediately upon entering them, people tend to view things in a medical way rather than in a natural physiological way, which birth can be given the right circumstances” said Lauren. 

RCM Campaign for Normal Birth logo Birth centres are midwife-led units that create a home-from-home environment while offering expert support to women in low-risk categories opting to have a normal birth. 

Lauren explains how even with the higher risk scenarios, interjecting normality back into the experience of child-birth can be done.  “Talking about normal birth acts as a reminder that, despite all of these medical practices, sometimes you can go back to basics and embrace childbirth for what it is.  This can be done on varying levels, depending on the individual’s situation.” 

In its campaign, the RCM stresses the benefits of having a normal birth.  Women who have had a normal birth tend to have less post-natal pain resulting in a quicker recovery and when the birth has been a positive experience, a woman is likely to feel an overwhelming sense of achievement and emotional wellbeing.  This increase in self-esteem can affect other areas of post-natal life. 

RCM President Professor Lesley Page 

Among the speakers at the Huddersfield conference was Professor Lesley Page, President of the RCM, and she spoke about the importance of midwifery-led care. (See Lesley talk about the need for midwifery-led care and the importance of normal birth in the video).

Since the Huddersfield Midwifery Society was launched in December last year, the students have held numerous successful study days with more planned for 2014.  Cathy Warwick, General Secretary for RCM, will be coming in July next year to speak to students about current issues in midwifery and to hear the students’ stories. 

“We are also in the process of organising two further study days, one of which is a HypnoBirthing event to try and raise awareness for this type of alternative therapy” said Lauren.  “A lot of people can be dismissive of it and see it as being a bit too hippy-ish, but we want to show that it is a really good way as an alternative to pain relief. 

HypnoBirthing encourages deep relaxation techniques and self-hypnosis, women in labour are then able to take control of their bodies and minds, to aid in them having a natural birth. 

The Society has gone from strength to strength and won the Students Union Development Award in the summer:  “We have just recruited Angela Yates, a second-year undergraduate, and are hoping that students from the first year of their studies will come forward also,” said Lauren.  “The events have been so beneficial for everyone who attended.  It would be a shame to not keep them going.” 

  • The Huddersfield Midwifery Society are currently recruiting and are asking for more students to get involved in the running of this highly successful group.  For further information email

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