Save Independent Midwifery Campaign - Women's Voices

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Julia's Comment Print
Keep up the excellent work  - will get in touch with my MP! (citizen, parent and pregnant woman)
Kara's Comment Print
I was extremely pleased with the service I recieved from my independent midwife Virginia. She always presented me with the facts so I could make my own informed decision rather than being told what to do or be pressured into something. It would be a disgrace if women did not have the choice to hire an independent midwife. (ex-client)
Alyson's comment Print

I was horrified when I found out that Independent Midwives may be outlawed. I used an independent team of midwives last year to care for me when pregnant with my daughter. I had previously had a c section and was coming up with amazing amounts of resistance to my desire for a home vbac.

After a meeting with the team leader of our local midwives we decided to go independent.

With Sam and Denise I recieved care that was second to none. These amazing ladies came to be part of my life for months and when eventually it came to saying goodbye when we were discharged I could'nt hold back the tears and neither could Sam. It took ages to get used to them not popping in and out.

I saw consultants, regisitrars and several other midwives during the duration of my pregnancy but none treated me with the kindness and professionalism as Sam and Denise did. When eventually it came to my delivery thing didn't go to plan and the home bith I had wished for went out the window. Sam stayed with me and my husband for the whole day, she met us at the hospital at 8.45am and left at 8.30pm having accompanied me to theatre where my daughter was born by emergancy c section. It meant the world to me to have Sam by my side allowing me to crush her hand and when all around me was total chaos as they decided to give me a GA, I got great comfort from hearing her voice. Nigel was not "allowed" in until I was given the spinal block which failed and I dread to think how frightened I would have been without Sam.

It MUST be every womans right to make informed choices about her care and that of her baby. I met with people who thought I was nuts and medical staff too, but Sam and Denise always presented me with two sides to eveything and allowed me to make up my own mind there were no rules, no protocols, no shift changes, no stream of faces just two lovely midwives passionate about their jobs and caring for pregnant women. Long may it continue. (ex-client of independent midwives)

Susie's Comment Print
I chose to have an independent midwife during my first pregnancy as I wanted to have the same midwife throughout my antenatal care and the delivery of my baby girl (now 20 months). I also wanted to have a home birth, which cannot always be guaranteed under the NHS due to the shortage of midwives. My experience of pregnancy and birth has been so so positive. I felt empowered and fully informed of all my choices. However, what was even more important for me was that I felt safe, relaxed and calm at all times by having a close relationship with my independent midwife. I feel very strongly that this helped me to have a healthy and happy pregnancy and birth. I am pregnant again (another baby girl due in June 2007) and I have chosen to have the same independent midwife.

I feel angered that the Government\'s proposal to enforce professional indemnity insurance (PII) could prevent independent midwives from practicing. Independent midwives provide an outstanding service for women, babies and families. Women should have the right to choose the type of care they have during their pregnancy and the weeks following the birth of their child.

I was fully informed during my first meeting with my midwife that she did not have PII and my husband and I made an informed decision to go ahead despite this.

I have written a letter to my local MP and copied it to many other significant people. I have received a lot of replies supporting this campaign. I would really urge women to write to their local MPs. It feels good to be able to contribute to the campaign by writing letters and signing the petition. The loss of independent midwives would be a real catastrophe and the Government should listen to our views. (previous and current client of independent midwife)
Sian's Comment Print
I am appalled that this can be allowed to happen especially when the provision of choice seems to be the current mantra. The cost of having PII for an independednt midwife will, in many cases, exceed her/his annual salary -IF she/he can find an insurer to cover her/him!

As someone who plans to start training to be a midwife next Spring, I am quite sad that a woman's right to choose is bing limited in this way.

Please keep me posted on any developments and I will be keeping an eye on the press too.(student midwife to be)
Sarah's Comment Print
The question I am most often asked at antenatal booking appointments is "So, will you be my Midwife?" It's heartbreaking to have to explain that the continuity of carer that they want, is unavailable to these women. Within the Trust where I work, women may see up to 8 different Midwives during their pregnancy and then be met by another unknown Midwife when they go into labour. This is not the care that these women were expecting.

Independent Midwives are able to offer true continuity of carer with all of the benefits that entails. If the government were to impliment the IMA Community Midwifery Model of Care then this 'gold standard' of continuity, real choice and control would be available to all women.

Independent Midwives don't practice without indemnity insurance because they want to, they do it because the insurance is unavailable. The IMA model would solve that problem. Making it illegal to work without insurance isn't the answer. (NHS midwife - wants to be independent)
Tessa's Comment Print
I am a qualified (but not currently practicing) midwife, one of the thousands who has left the NHS; mainly due to lack of satisfaction, for example, not being able to give one-to-one care and support to a woman during her pregnancy and labour (a factor known to improve maternal and neonatal outcome). Therefore from a midwife’s perspective I can see how important it is to be able to practice in a way which is optimal for the health of so many mothers and babies: by being an Independent Midwife.

I chose to use an Independent Midwife for my first child (now aged 3 years) as I felt that the NHS would not be able to give me continuity of care. Having an Independent Midwife enabled me to have the home birth that I wished (thus saving money for the NHS!). I do not believe that the NHS would have been able to offer half of what my Independent Midwife gave me in terms of time, support and expertise. (During my pregnancy I did have to go to the local Maternity Unit several times. On each of these occasions I saw a different health professional – be it midwife or doctor. The feeling that I was ‘just another woman’ was palpable. I felt a stranger, no-one knew my ‘history’ and the health professionals were strangers to me. It’s hard to put into words, but at such a point in a woman’s life to feel supported is of paramount importance. Not a feeling you achieve by dealing with strangers at every turn.)

I am now pregnant again and have chosen to have the same Independent Midwife.

The thought that Independent Midwives could be 'outlawed' does not bear thinking about... (non practicing midwife, current and previous client of independent midwife)
Malgosia's Comment Print
I've had 3 children at home assisted by a wonderful, highly trained
and experienced independent midwife who looked after me (my partner,
and during subsequent pregnancies - our children Louis and Clara)
during all my pregnancies.  We had best possible antenatal and
postnatal care and were assisted in making informed choices all the
way. Thanks to our working together as a team (my midwife, my husband
and myself) I've had most wonderful and empowering experiences during
my three labours, had a lot of support with breastfeeding and simply
coping with enormous changes one's life is subject to when becoming a
parent. It was very important to me that my partner (and then
children) were as involved as possible and our midwife's flexibility
made this feasible. My experience of independent midwifery is that of
unsurpassed quality of care, and - frankly, I am shocked that
legislation that would prevent independent midwives from practicing  is
being considered. I would like to stress that we were fully aware  of
the lack of insurance and related circumstances, as well as the
potential impact it could have on us. We have made an informed choice
when deciding to employ an independent midwife. In our opinion the
benefit of having perfectly tailored care and a choice to have our
babies at home outweighed the potential risk arising from the lack of
insurance. It would make better sense to us to make sure that
appropriate and affordable insurance is made available to independent
midwives, rather than an option taken away from women like myself,  who
are convinced that home is best place to give birth to a child  (unless
there is a legitimate circumstance that makes intervention  necessary.) (ex-client)
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