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Portrait of Shawn Walker

Shawn Walker

PhD student

School of Health Sciences


Visit Shawn Walker

Myddelton Street Building

Postal address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Shawn is a midwife who researches skills to support women whose babies present breech (head-up, bottom-down) in childbirth.

Shawn Walker trained as a midwife in the USA, working mostly in out-of-hospital settings, and the UK. Following qualification in 2010 from University Campus Suffolk, she worked as an independent midwife for four years. She was a part of the steering group which helped open the along-side midwifery-led unit at the James Paget University Hospital, The Dolphin Suite, and developed the Heads Up Clinic pathway for women with breech presenting babies, in which she worked as a Breech Specialist Midwife from May 2012 - January 2014. She worked as a midwifery lecturer at City from June 2014 - March 2015 and is currently working clinically while writing up her PhD research on competency and expertise in upright breech birth. Shawn has provided bespoke training nationally and internationally about skills to support vaginal breech births.


  1. PhD Candidate, City University London, United Kingdom, Oct 2012


  1. Midwife, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Feb 2014 – present

Memberships of professional organisations

  1. Royal College of Midwives


Journal articles (17)

  1. Walker, S., Scamell, M. and Parker, P. (2018). Deliberate acquisition of competence in physiological breech birth: A grounded theory study. Women and Birth, 31(3). doi:10.1016/j.wombi.2017.09.008.
  2. Walker, S., Parker, P. and Scamell, M. (2018). Expertise in physiological breech birth: A mixed-methods study. Birth, 45(2), pp. 202–209. doi:10.1111/birt.12326.
  3. Walker, S., Batinelli, L., Rocca-Ihenacho, L. and McCourt, C. (2018). ‘Keeping birth normal’: Exploratory evaluation of a training package for midwives in an inner-city, alongside midwifery unit. Midwifery, 60, pp. 1–8. doi:10.1016/j.midw.2018.01.011.
  4. Walker, S. (2018). Response to: vaginal birth in breech presentation in morbidly obese woman. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. doi:10.1080/01443615.2018.1517149.
  5. Walker, S. (2017). Understanding the roots of health inequalities requires new methods. BJOG-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OBSTETRICS AND GYNAECOLOGY, 124(12), pp. 1866–1866. doi:10.1111/1471-0528.14687.
  6. Walker, S., Breslin, E., Scamell, M. and Parker, P. (2017). Effectiveness of vaginal breech birth training strategies: An integrative review of the literature. Birth, 44(2), pp. 101–109. doi:10.1111/birt.12280.
  7. Walker, S., Scamell, M. and Parker, P. (2016). Principles of physiological breech birth practice: A Delphi study. MIDWIFERY, 43, pp. 1–6. doi:10.1016/j.midw.2016.09.003.
  8. Walker, S., Scamell, M. and Parker, P. (2016). Standards for maternity care professionals attending planned upright breech births: A Delphi study. Midwifery, 34, pp. 7–14. doi:10.1016/j.midw.2016.01.007.
  9. Walker, S. and Cochrane, V. (2015). Unexpected breech: What can midwives do? Practising Midwife, 18(10), pp. 26–29.
  10. Powell, R., Walker, S. and Barrett, A. (2015). Informed consent to breech birth in New Zealand. The New Zealand medical journal, 128(1418), pp. 85–92.
  11. Walker, S., Perilakalathil, P., Moore, J., Gibbs, C.L., Reavell, K. and Crozier, K. (2015). Standards for midwife practitioners of external cephalic version: A Delphi study. MIDWIFERY, 31(5). doi:10.1016/j.midw.2015.01.004.
  12. Walker, S. (2014). To ECV or not to ECV? the current evidence base concerning external cephalic version. Practising Midwife, 17(9), pp. 30–33.
  13. Plested, M. and Walker, S. (2014). Building confident ways of working together around higher-risk birth choices. Essentially MIDIRS, 5(9), pp. 13–16.
  14. Walker, S. and Sabrosa, R. (2014). Assessment of fetal presentation: Exploring a woman-centred approach. British Journal of Midwifery, 22(4), pp. 240–244. doi:10.12968/bjom.2014.22.4.240.
  15. Walker, S. and Powell, R.L. (2014). Low overall mortality and morbidity for breech babies in the Netherlands. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 93(12), p. 1329. doi:10.1111/aogs.12497.
  16. Walker, (2013). Undiagnosed Breech: towards a woman-centred approach. British Journal of Midwifery, 21(5), pp. 316–322.
  17. Walker, S. (2012). Breech birth: an unusual normal. The practising midwife, 15(3), pp. 18–21.


  1. Scamell, M. and Walker, S. The discourse of breech as a paradigm shift. Physiological Breech Promoting Normality Conference, 2014.


  1. Walker, S. (2014). Dolichocephaly – understanding ‘breech head’ molding.

Professional activities

Events/conferences (5)

  1. Human Rights in Maternity Care. Drammen, Norway (2014).
    Description: Presented on the evidence base for supporting women who wish to birth their breech presenting babies vaginally. Including emerging evidence about the clinical value of enabling women to remain in upright, active birthing positions.
  2. Physiological Birth Promoting Normality Conference. St. George's Hospital, London (2014).
    Description: Annual conference organised by midwife Jodette Holly at St. George's, Tooting. Presented some early emerging results of Upright Breech Birth Competence and Expertise study. Storify summary available here:
  3. Breech birth: Sharing what we know and do, and exploring best practice for the future. Oxford (2014).
    Description: This conference, held at Oxford Brookes University and hosted by Senior Midwifery Lecturer Ethel Burns, brought together several key researchers and practitioners with an interest in breech childbirth. A blog summary of the conference, and the one held at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists a few days earlier, can be found here:
  4. Woman-centred care when babies present breech. (2014).
    Description: Normality: Finding Evidence & Changing Practice Conference
  5. Breech Birth: facilitating woman-centred care. (2014).
    Description: Promoting Normal Birth and Hypnobirthing Conference