What midwives and childbirth experts are saying

“We need to be practising safe care. But the question is, safe for whom? Now it’s more about the safety of the institution rather than the individual”. Sarah Montagu of the Association of Radical Midwives said of more medicalised childbirth in The Ecologist Magazine, March 2012

According to the Royal College of Midwives 96% of births happen in hospital. This more medicalised way of giving birth, with surgeons and anaesthetists on hand, fear of litigation and induction of labour over 42 weeks have combined to see increasing c-sections. The Guardian, Thurs 19th April 2012

“Whilst there are more midwives now than ever before, numbers of births have been rising steeply and they are more complicated. We know many women are not currently getting one-to-one midwifery care in labour or choice of place of birth. We also know many women do not always get the best care after the birth of their baby” Cathy Warwick, Royal College of Midwives (RCM)

Mum and midwifeThe RCM are urging the Government to resource the appointment of 5,000 more midwives into the NHS. They believe this is the only way to deliver the kind of care that mums want and indeed need. You can sign their petition calling for 5,000 more midwives here.

‘Midwife-led units (and home birth services) should not be regarded as a kind of luxury add-on to ‘normal’ services, but a serious and sustainable alternative with lower overheads that, once the initial investment is covered, will reduce levels of intervention and therefore reduce costs of the whole service,’  Elizabeth Duff NCT, The Maternity Maze, Midwives Magazine, Issue 6, 2011

“NHS Maternity care is a fragmented, dysfunctional system. We’ve taken one of life’s crucial events and institutionalised it. Women have to be in the right place in their heads when they give birth.  If midwives can get back into the community, the fear factor will break down”  Annie Francis, Independent Midwife and lead on Neighbourhood Midwives scheme, The Ecologist, March 2012

“IM UK is an organisation that supports and promotes independent midwifery. IM UK believes that all women should be able to choose a midwife to provide individualised one-to-one care throughout her pregnancy, birth and early days of motherhood.  Within the NHS, women usually receive care from a number of different midwives and midwives are often required to care for more than one woman in labour at the same time. IM UK is currently campaigning to integrate independent midwifery with the NHS to improve services for women and address the serious issue of midwifery shortages” IM UK

“There is simply little appetite in the insurance industry to insure independent midwives and time is running out for them....It would be a real blow to the midwives, the women they care for, and could care for in the future if a solution is not found. Independent midwives provide services such as home births that can support and enhance those available in the NHS”  Louise Silverton, RCM  - in light of news that with a change in European law, all health professionals will be required to have insurance – something that independent midwives have so far been unable to get.