The Lancet has a new on-line birth/midwifery section with some interesting stuff on it:
This is the introduction to the series:
"The essential needs of childbearing women in all countries, and of their
babies and families, are the focus of this thought-provoking series of
international studies on midwifery. Many of those needs are still not
being met, decades after they have been recognized. New solutions are
required. The Series provides a framework for quality maternal and
newborn care (QMNC) that firmly places the needs of women and their
newborn infants at its centre. It is based on a definition of midwifery
that takes account of skills, attitudes and behaviours rather than
specific professional roles. The findings of this Series support a shift
from fragmented maternal and newborn care provision that is focussed on
identification and treatment of pathology to a whole-system approach
that provides skilled care for all."
The first editorial http://download.thelancet.com/flatcontentassets/series/midwifery/midwifery_exec_summ.pdf continues the theme of strengthening midwifery and placing of mother and baby at the centre of care and decision-making, and it also talks about relationships between health professionals and the women they care for. Lots of good articles, a welcome development given The Lancet's reputation and spread. The articles are free - simple to register and then download.
It is the appearance of this on The Lancet site that is such a welcome change. There is nothing particularly radical here in the content (good though it is), but it is good to see it coming from one of the intellectual bastions of western medicine.