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<jats:sec><jats:title>Background</jats:title><jats:p> As the landscape of women presenting for maternity care changes, so do the challenges associated with providing quality, informed and compassionate care, particularly for women with complex needs. </jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Aim</jats:title><jats:p> To explore the lived experience of midwives in facilitating care for women with complex needs who choose to birth at home. </jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Method</jats:title><jats:p> A qualitative design is employed, using an interpretative phenomenological analysis informed by hermeneutic principles. Purposive sampling is used to recruit midwives through social media and JiscMail. Data are collected via semi-structured interviews. </jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Findings</jats:title><jats:p> Two interpretative themes arose. A ‘radical midwife’ embraces the phrase ‘radical’ by positioning midwives between traditional beliefs and practices, physiological processes, midwife knowledge and skill set by applying current evidence and professional context. A ‘conflicted midwife’ arises out of this dichotomy and exposes the realities of striving for radicality while the negotiating ‘the system’. </jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Conclusions</jats:title><jats:p> It is no longer acceptable to assume that home birth for women with complex needs is exceptional. This must be the catalyst to move towards a constructive discourse with midwives, women and the wider team to address and expand the evidence base and pathways to support those who are already facilitating this care and those who will inevitably continue to provide care ‘outside of current guidelines’. </jats:p></jats:sec>

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Midwifery


Mark Allen Group

Publication Date





625 - 632