Midwifery practice is changing rapidly at present as a result of conflicting pressures. Women are requesting more involvement in the process of birth, while advances in obstetric technology require new, different and technical skills to be learned by the midwife. At the same time, midwives are questioning their own role and independence. These changes are further complicated by the scarcity of good, well controlled clinical research studies on which to base obstetric and midwifery practice. This paper is a report of a workshop which aimed to examine the conflicts experienced by midwives as a result of these changes, and to propose some resolutions to these conflicts. A bibliography of useful sources is provided. Most important among the resolutions are: 1) The need for more knowledge of all aspects of childbirth on the part of obstetricians, paediatricians, midwives and parents. 2) The need for greater trust and support among midwives, and between obstetricians and midwives.