Arguing that contemporary maternity services provide a toxic environment both in which to practise and to give birth, this book looks at how we can change this. Its aim is promoting the best possible experiences of childbearing, and confident, strengthening and loving contexts for new parenthood. Designed to create awareness about the professional and political realities which enmesh maternity care, this inspiring volume features an in-depth and research-oriented analysis of the challenges faced by contemporary maternity services. Recognising the frequently hostile environment in which midwives practise, the contributors go on to explore its impact on women and families, as well as on midwives themselves. They then look at woman-centred and community-based ways of contributing to a much better birthing experience for all. Important and relevant for all those with an interest in improving maternity care, this book is particularly suited to midwives - practising and student, doulas, birth educators and activists, policymakers and health service managers.