Save Independent Midwifery Campaign - Women's Voices

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Eleanor's Comment Print

It is so important that families and families-to-be (!) are able to receive the amazing care that IM can give. It is a terrible shame that this care isn't available to all. And it would be an utter travesty if the government was to take away the last option available to pregnant women to take some control over their care and avoid the conveyor belt approach that is so typical under the NHS.

Annie and Tina looked after me, our baby, my husband and our little girl with sensitivity coupled with utter professionalism. (ex-client)

Emma's Comment Print

Keep up the good work!! I cannot believe that they are trying to take away a womans right to have an independent midwife when the state of the NHS is in such decline.....

I had a fantastic home birth last year as a direct result of the help of my Independant Midwife - an experience that changed my life. I have written to all on the list and am receiving some replies - let me know what else we can do! (ex-client)

Johanna's Comment Print

As someone who's been through all possible birth scenarios (monitored hospital birth, birth centre & home birth) I know just how valuable independent midwifery services are - I regret not having gone for a home birth for my first two as well, as I found the level of care simply exceptional and we were all able to thoroughly enjoy the experience.

It would be a shame if in the future, women would be denied having their babies in the most natural and empowering way...

(this article on midwifery in holland, where homebirth rates have always been very high due to proper support by the government might be of interest:

I'll be happy to do anything to support your cause!
good luck (ex-client)

Julia's comment Print
Will start midwifery training in September 2007 - hope the insurance thing gets sorted out - we can't afford to lose the independent midwives. Good luck! (student midwife-to-be and doula)
Julia's Comment Print

I employed an IM with for my first pregnancy as I knew first hand ( my husband was an anaesthetist at the local hospital) that there were too few midwives avaliable. Frequently there was one midwife looking after 2-3 labouring women. I also wanted to feel as if I had a choice. I don't know that I would have had children if I couldn't use an IM because I would have been too scared.

My first birth was quite horrific. My NHS midwife left to attend another lady and only returned after the baby had been delivered by emergency caesarean, her heart had stopped. Not a day goes by that I don't give thanks for my clever little girl and think how different it could have been because it was my independent midwife who spotted the problem. Who was there to help me come to terms with the fact that my birth was not as I would have hoped? Who taught me to breastfeed? Who stuck up for me when the doctors wanted to induce me? My IM.

When I speak to my friends who have not had the support that I had I feel very sad but also lucky to have had 2 such positive experiences. Thank you Betty and all others like you out there. (ex-client)

Rebecca's Comment Print
Just offering my support... My midwife, Jane, was wonderful and allowed me to have the births I wanted and gave us all the most incredible support through a difficult period. I will certainly write suitable letters and wish you all the luck. (ex-client)
Sara's Comment Print

Without Independent Midwives, their is no true choice for women in childbirth, and the Government should be cited as restricting that choice, despite all their current rhetoric on providing more. Care provided on the NHS is, while in many areas very good, nevertheless still often largely controlled by old fashioned, ill-informed, patriarchal protocols which do not appear to consider that some women and their families might want care that veers outside the medical box. These people do not want to be dictated to as to how their pregnancy and birth should be managed, but seek only the expert support and guidance in those choices which the Independents are able to provide, by truly individualising care, instead of having to conform to the standardisation of NHS care as we do.

The Independents are regulated in the same way as NHS midwives, and are largely far better informed that us as they have more time, with more manageable caseloads, to read up on individual cases, conditions and the latest research - so I truly struggle to understand why we can be covered by insurance, but they cannot.

It must be because ultimately, although we are professionally trained and regulated, within the NHS, we still play handmaiden and minion to the medical team and their protocols, and as such, are not ever truly autonomous. Perhaps Independent midwifery is actually the only way forward for us and women and their families, but just as this is being realised in practice by us, it has also been realised by our old friends and historical oppressors, the medical profession, who possibly have more influenc in government than the midwifery profession.

It will be a tragedy for all women and midwives if this dedicated, colourful and loving group of dedicated professionals, become extinct, and stop leading the way in progressive maternity care. They are truly complimentary to the service we provide in the NHS. A Solution must be found to guarantee their survival. (NHS community midwife)

Michelle's Comment Print

My first experience of birth was a very traumatic emergency caesarean under general anaesthetic. A major operation which I have no doubt could have been avoided with better care.

When I became pregnant again I asked the NHS for a home birth and they said I could do it but they were doubtful and discouraging.

Being able to employ Independent Midwives who wholeheartedly supported my plans for a homebirth gave me and my husband peace of mind. On the 16 May 2006 I gave birth at home in water to another beautiful baby boy. It all went without a hitch and I felt safe in the knowledge that any problems would have been acted upon immediately by my experienced and competent Independent Midwives.

If Independent Midwives were unable to practice I for one would choose to birth alone, rather than risk further physical and emotional damage from the service I would be forced to access on the NHS as it stands. (mother and campaigner)

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