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Are you a midwife with 10+ years experience under your belt?
Will you talk to me about birth plans to inform an academic study?

My name is Charlie. I am writing an MA at the Centre for Women's Studies, the University of York. I would like to speak to midwives based in the community (and supporting home births), based in a birth centre and hospital maternity units to hear their views on birth plans.

What is the purpose of the study? The purpose of the study is to gain a deeper understanding of why pregnant women write birth plans, and how they wish them to be used during late pregnancy, labour and birth. These improvements have the potential to improve birth outcomes for individual women and maintain and protect the health of new mothers and their children more generally.

Why is the study being done? The writing of birth plans is encouraged in the UK, with the intention of facilitating informed choice and engaging women in shared decision making. However mothers, midwives and medics commonly recognise that the birth experience may not resemble the preferences outlined in the birth plan.

This study aims to understand what expectations women have from their maternity care, to define the factors which they value in their maternity care and to clarify how they hope their birth plan will influence their care.

What’s involved? The purpose of this research is to describe and explore the way that women develop their birth plans, how they deploy them in labour and what happens when birth deviates from the plan. I’d like to meet and interview you about your experience of women and birth plans, using real birth plans as stimulus. Each interview will last about an hour – but allow about 90minutes in total. Interviews will take place, preferably in-person (subject to COVID restrictions) in July 2021. If we are unable to meet in person, interviews will take place via Zoom.

How do I take part? If you would like to take part in this study, please email me at I will send you a complete information sheet so you can decide if you would like to take part. If you decide you would like to go ahead we will schedule our interview for a date in July 2021.

If you have any queries about this research please do not hesitate to contact Charlotte Edun at: Email: Centre for Women’s Studies, Grimstone House, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD.

Research Project Supervisors: Dr. Rachel Alsop and Prof. Vicki Robinson.

Chair of ELMPS Ethics Committee: Professor Tony Royle, email:


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