I am currently a Senior Lecturer in Midwifery and Midwifery Discipline Lead at the University of the Sunshine Coast*. In all areas of my work I am committed to the promotion of physiological birth, and of women’s rights (and rites) in maternity care.
My research focuses on women’s experiences of maternity care with the aim of foregrounding women’s needs and rights in the development of maternity services and practice. I have published widely – in books, journals and magazines; and my publications have been cited in midwifery textbooks and clinical guidelines. I am also the author of the MidwifeThinking blog and the co-host of The Midwives’ Cauldron podcast.
I am an experienced presenter and am regularly invited to speak at events and facilitate workshops. My professional engagement activities have included consultancy on midwifery education; providing expert opinion on legal cases; and membership of working parties developing clinical guidelines and consumer information. I am currently a member of the Homebirth Australia Committee.
I am originally from the North East of England. I qualified and registered as a midwife after completing a Bachelor of Midwifery BSc(Hons) in 2001. Initially, I practised in a large regional referral unit before moving into a community-based midwifery group practice.
In 2005 my family migrated to South East Queensland, Australia. After arriving in Australia I briefly worked at a private hospital before gaining employment as a Level 2 Clinical Midwife in a public hospital. In my role as a midwife I taught students in the clinical area, and to develop my ability to support student learning I completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Education in 2006.
In 2007 I commenced practice as an independent midwife – employed directly by women planning homebirths. My ongoing frustration with the lack of evidence-based, woman-centred practice in the maternity system led me into research and I undertook a Phd at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Alongside private midwifery practice, I worked at the university as a sessional tutor and research assistant, completing a Certificate in Foundations of University Teaching in 2009.
I gained a lecturing position in 2010 and was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in 2013. In 2015 I stopped practicing as a private practice midwife for both personal and political reasons.
*Note: any views and opinions expressed by me in social media platforms are my own.
Dr Rachel Reed