New book delivers on midwifery decision-making globally


After more than two decades of delivering babies and teaching student midwives, Southern Cross University’s Dr Elaine Jefford has today published the world’s first exhaustive midwifery decision-making handbook in almost 15 years.

Empowering Decision-Making in Midwifery: A Global Perspective, shows how evidence-informed decision-making can empower midwives to work in partnership, support women’s choices and enhance the maternity experience. The book was co-edited by Professor Julie Jomeen from University of Hull (UK).
Dr Jefford, a midwifery academic and researcher, said the book will help students of midwifery, midwives and midwifery academics around the world, and hasn’t ruled out another edition suitable for the general public.
“Understanding midwives’ decision-making, the regulatory frameworks in which they operate and their high degree of professional accountability, is essential,” said Dr Jefford, who is based at the University’s Coffs Harbour campus on Australia’s East Coast.
“Yet there has been no dedicated midwifery decision-making book published since 2005. Instead, what has been offered is borrowed from other disciplines. The research published in the book is much-needed and addresses that gap.”
Dr Jefford’s book is a valuable resource for practitioners globally, with contributions from 38 authors from 10 countries exploring these themes:


  • Influencing factors underpinning midwife’s decision-making

  • Translating theory into practice

  • Decision-making within the context of the socially and culturally constructed maternity care environment.

“Decision-making in midwifery is a complex process that shapes and underpins our practice
and, to a large extent, the quality of care that we provide,” Dr Jefford said.
“This book enables readers to reflect on decision-making in relation to their own practice, wherever that may be around the world, but also on how, as midwives, we can truly work in partnership with women in decision-making to enhance their birth experience.”
The book is a milestone achievement for Southern Cross University, which has offered midwifery as a distinctive degree in the state-of-the-art facilities at Gold Coast campus since 2010 and Coffs Harbour campus since 2013.
The University is ranked in the top 3 per cent of Universities globally for Health Sciences in the Times Higher Education and in Australia for Life Sciences in the latest national student feedback survey (QILT 2019).

Dr Jefford’s book Empowering Decision-Making in Midwifery: A Global Perspective is now available as an e-book and hard copy with the official book launch planned for early 2020.

Order the book here:

About the book
Empowering Decision-Making in Midwifery: A Global Perspective
Decision-making pervades all aspects of midwifery practice across the world. Midwifery is informed by a number of decision-making theories, but it is sometimes difficult to marry these theories with practice.
This book provides a comprehensive exploration of decision-making for midwives irrespective of where in the world you practice or in which model of care. 
The first section critically reviews decision-making theories — including the Enhancing Decision-Making Assessment in Midwifery (EDAM) tool — and their relevance to midwifery. It explores the links between midwifery governance, including professional regulation and the law, risk and safety and decision-making, as well as how critical thinking and reflection are essential elements of decision-making. It then goes on to present a number of diverse case studies, demonstrating how they interrelate to, and impact upon, optimal midwifery decision-making. 
Each chapter presents examples that show how the theory translates into practice, and includes activities to reinforce learning points.
Bringing together a diverse range of contributors, this volume will be essential reading for midwifery students, practising midwives and midwifery academics.