Margaret Jowitt came to the birth world as a psychologist, researching the differences between women’s experience of birth at home and in hospital. Wanting to know how it worked, she looked at birth from all angles, becoming fascinated with physiology and biomechanics. She recently participated in a BJOG debate about the relative importance of electronic fetal monitoring and maternal position in labour (doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.15026). Her book Childbirth Unmasked (1993) looked at psychological stress in labour and Dynamic Positions in Birth (2014) considered the biomechanics of birth. Three of her four children were born happily at home in England.