Save Independent Midwifery Campaign - Women's Voices

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Sada's Comment Print
I had my first baby at home last October with an independent midwife (Val Taylor). I had a peaceful birth as I had hoped for. As a woman it was the most empowering experiences I have ever had. I think this was largely due to building a strong relationship with my midwife and her belief in my ability to go through a difficult phase in my labour, rather than rush me into hospital.

I would very much wish to book Val for my second child. If this were not a possibility, I would consider an unassisted delivery. (ex-client)
Cassandra's Comment Print

As a mother who suffered PTSD at the hands of the NHS and harrassment by Consultants over my choice to give birth at home with my other children, I support independent midwives wholeheartedly.

I also am aware of situations in the US where IM's are illegal and have had their homes raided in the same manner police would raid a drug dealers house and prosecuted. I do not wish to see this sort of lunacy here in the UK, which would no doubt follow making IM's illegal. (mother)

Tim's Comment Print
I think that independent bodies are an important part of all cultures and that we must not allow our so called fredom of choice to be taken away! (father)
Barbara's Comment Print
It was really important to me to have midwives I knew and trusted at the birth of my baby, having been left to labour alone in hospital when I was frightened, in labour at 36 weeks pregnant, eventually I managed to get a 'half share' of a midwife for the birth.

I am so pleased that independent midwifery existed and 13 years on I still treasure the experience. Inspired by their example, I have left a career in IT to train to be a midwife. (ex-client and student midwife)
Emma's Comment Print
I have, I believe quite typical story to tell as a mum whose used an independent midwife twice. My first birth in 2000 was traumatic. I felt emotionally violated and mistakes were made which resulted in damage to my abdominal muscles and I had stress incontinence for four months post-natal. I was twenty-two! Although my partner and I struggled to find the financial means we hired an independent midwife for the birth of my next two babies and found the medical care provided to be first rate. In addition to that the emotional support was invaluble to me. I had recently lost my own mother and the care I received from my independent midwife enabled me to get through what was already a tough time for me.

I've always had an interest in midwifery and now that I'm done having babies would like to feel able to consider a career in midwifery. I don't feel that this is a viable option at the moment given the conditions nhs midwives are working under and the threat to independent midwifery. I am enjoying being a doula, my work in hospitals seems to be ging a long way to minimising any trauma experienced by my clients, so I feel that it is worthy role to be playing, however frustrating! (ex-client and doula)
Jacqui's Comment Print

I was able to have two of my births attended by an independent midwife and they made each of those births a calm, non-dramatic and normal event. Many families feel that it is worth the financial sacrifice involved to employ an independent midwife, it saddens me to think that now women could be deprived of the opportunity altogether. (ex-client)

Georgina's Comment Print
When I was diagnosed with a breech baby at 39 weeks (who refused to be turned) the nhs hospital wanted me to have a C section (I had planned to have a home birth with independent midwives).

As there were no compelling reasons to have a c section and my midwives were experienced in delivering breeches we decided to go ahead with the home birth we had planned. On the 7 July I gave birth, at home, to a beautiful son (weighing in at a healthy 7lbs 7oz).

Without the support of my (independent) midwives I would have been forced to have a c section I did not want and obviously did not need! (ex-client)
Catherine's Comment Print
My first child was born at home with NHS community midwives. At the time we were just happy that we had managed to achieve a drug-free, first time home birth under the NHS - with relatively little opposition. It is only with hindsight however that we realised how managed the labour was - despite being at home. To give you an example - the syntometrine was plunged into my thigh with the words "It is procedure" before I could object. It has left a sour taste to say the least.

We were unaware of independent midwives the first time round. When i became pregnant again, I knew that it was the right way to go. Continuity of care, more holistic approach to childbirth, support of home births etc etc. The cost was not an issue (what else are credit cards for?!) because we knew that every penny would be well spent.

And it has been. Absolutley. I would never again trust my wellbeing and that of my baby to a system that is as beholden to budgets, mired in bureaucracy and woefully misguided as the one we have in the NHS today.

Women must be allowed to choose how they birth their babies. Independent midwives really do offer the gold standard in care. To allow them to discontinue practise would be criminal. Women will suffer as a result. Highly skilled women will lose their livelihoods. But maybe most importantly, valuable skills and knowledge about a women\'s ability to birth her baby naturally without interference will be lost.

Which would be a tragedy all round. It must not be allowed to happen. (mother/ex-journalist)
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