Can intuitive knowledge be taught in midwifery practice?

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


This paper critically analyses the notion of midwifery epistemology and the ontological view that intuitive knowledge, while inbuilt, develops into tacit knowledge. Through pre-registration midwifery programmes learning strategies are identified that enable students to develop tacit knowledge. The art of midwifery education, both pre-registration and lifelong, is to learn to believe in an individual’s intuition. Intuitive knowledge is a type of knowing, the art of midwifery that is difficult to articulate but fundamental for best practice. Midwives rely on the model that childbirth is a normal phenomenon. The learner has to travel a complex and exciting journey, meeting academic requirements, fulfil women’s expectations and learn to listen to her/his inner self. Through this process of learning, theoretical knowledge, developing clinical acumen and awareness of self, the sum of the parts is more than the whole
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131–136
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Midwifery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2013


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