The evidence surrounding the skills and approaches to support good birth has grown exponentially over the last two decades, but so too have the obstacles facing women and midwives who strive to achieve good birth. This new book critically explores the complex issues surrounding contemporary childbirth practices in a climate which is ever more medicalised amidst greater insecurity at broad social and political levels. The authors offer a rigorous, and thought-provoking, analysis of current clinical, managerial and policy-making environments, and how they have prevented sustaining the kind of progress we need. The Politics of Maternity explores the most hopeful developments such as the abundant evidence for one-to-one care for women, and sets these accounts against the background of changes in health service organisation and provision that block these approaches from becoming an everyday occurrence for women giving birth. The book sets out the case for renewed attention to the politics of childbirth and what this politics must entail if we are to give birth back to women. Designed to help professionals cope with the transition from education to the reality of the system within which they learn and practise, this inspiring book will help to assist them to function and care effectively in a changing health care environment.