Save Independent Midwifery Campaign - Women's Voices

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Patrick's Comment Print

Midwifery has been fundamental to all cultures and societies throughout all time. To consider it otherwise is to presume that we could do without air, water or food. That we are even having a discussion as to whether Independent Midwifery should be allowed is an indication of the fearful state our current society is in. Perhaps the word Independent alone has a challenging connotation to society, considering that conformity is the norm.

Birth is (if allowed to be) a normal, natural and healthy experience for a whole family to have. Birth actually represents a 4 fold experience of being born; the birth of a child, a mother, a father and a family. Let us recognise this and support it fully for all of these important and significant human elements.

(co-founder of Fathers-To-Be, father of the first waterbirth in the USA(1980) and author of the Fathers-To-Be Handbook)

Debbie's Comment Print

I am interested in the future of Independent midwifery as i believe that women should have a choice in the type of care that they receive. I recently spent time with an independent midwife who showed me that it was about holistic care and being there to support the woman through her pregnancy,birth and to be able to give support after, not only to the woman but also her family.

I was also surprised and pleased to learn the different reasons why women choose to have an independent midwife, with the main reason seeming to be that they wanted continuity and to feel supported. It reminded me what midwifery is about ? To loose our Independent midwives would be a great loss. (student midwife)

Alison's Comment Print
I can still remember the wonderful midwives who delivered my son 1978 and my daughter 1979.However I feel that the high standards that they could provide are impossible now with the cutbacks and increased workloads that prevail today.Hardly a week passes when there is not news of overstretched services and mothers left alone in labour for hours at a time.Seondly post-natal care seems to have nearly disappeared.I shall be writing to MP's and feel that it is vital that a way is found for independent midwives to continue to work in the community.The maternity services in the NHS vary from superb to diabolical. (mother and possibly future grandmother)
Susan's Comment Print

I found out I was pregnant with my first baby on 24 December 2006. I immediately decided that I wanted a home birth and after researching the possibilities and learning that first time mothers are very often discouraged from having a home birth by the NHS (my GP actually told me it wasn't possible), I started looking into using the services of an independent midwife. Unfortunately I had a misscarriage at 9 weeks, but I decided that I will keep saving money so that I can comfortably pay for the services of an independent midwife the next time I fall pregnant.

I have now saved up enough money and a bit more, but today learnt about the government's plans to force independent midwifes to have PII. I feel very strongly about this issue and feel that women should have a right to choose where their child is born and in which manner. I want to be able to give birth naturally in the comfort of my own home and in my own time without feeling like I'm being rushed through a factory and without any kind of intervention. I want to be able to have the support of the same midwife from the moment I find out I am pregnant until a month after my baby is born. I am very willing to pay even three times the fee that independent midwifes charge to be able to achieve this.

I sincerely hope you campaign is successful. (future mother)

Emma's Comment Print

The birth of my second child was made a wonderful, natural and safe experience by my independent midwife. Booking her ensured that I knew the person who would attend my birth and felt confident that she understood, and shared, my wishes for the birth. The birth of my first child was a traumatic hospital emergency c-section and I really needed to feel safe in order to give my second child the birth I felt he deserved.

Without my lovely midwife, this would not have been possible. Unfortunatly, the NHS cannot guarantee that a midwife will be available for a home birth and you are very unlikely to have met the midwife before. In my opinion, it is essential to protect the skills and experience of independent midwives and the choice for pregnant women to have the birth they want. (woman who experienced a beautiful homebirth)



Jane's Comment Print
I'm in full support of your campaign. Over stretched NHS maternity services often mean that prioritisation leads to a service which provides only minimum care. Local policies are also often very restricting and often too rigidly applied with out any individualisation of care. As a midwife this is very frustrating and I believe women should have a choice in the care they recieve. I believe the loss of independent midwives would also lead to a loss of many skills within the midwifery profession in Great Britain. (NHS midwife considering going independent)
Lucy's Comment Print
I had an independent midwife during my pregnancy and found her invaluable. in the end I ended up as a high risk pregnancy and found it very helpful and reasuring to have someone who knew me on hand to give me advice and information throughout my pregnancy.

Although we do not want another baby just yet - we definately want to hire our midwife again when we do.

I think it is disgusting that the government say they want better care for pregnant women on one hand and try to take away the only chance of continuity we have with the other.

Good luck with your campaign! (ex-client)
Deborah's Comment Print

I'm now pregnant with my third child and if I was unable to use an independent midwife, I'd seriously consider birthing my baby on my own. I'm not a crank. I'm an ordinary person who fully supports the NHS and am generally against private medical care. I wish the NHS would allow all midwives to operate in the way that independent midwives do - providing friendly, supportive, experienced, non-judgmental continuity of care to women, in their own homes when they wish.

With my first child, I opted for a home birth with NHS community midwives but the result was an emergency c-section. It was the most traumatic experience of my life and my baby nearly died. I blame the system and inexperienced midwives. I know I could have birthed my baby safely without the unnecessary 'cascade of intervention'. When I had my second child, the NHS wouldn't support a home birth because I was a 'high risk'. After much battling and soul-searching, I resorted to an independent midwife from the London Birth Practice. It was the best decision I ever made and changed my life.

Both my midwives were amazing and I had my second child safely, comfortably and happily at home after a 5 hour second stage. I did not 'turn blue and die' as the NHS consultant had threatened I would do. To me, this is a women's rights issue. I demand the right to use an independent midwife because women's rights are regularly violated by a failing NHS maternity system that puts resources and risk of litigation before the welfare of women and babies, and reduces the profession of midwifery to one of obstetric nurse. (mother of two)

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