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Monday, 25 March 2013

Choose your midwife choose your birth

Excellent demonstration outside parliament today, and meeting with MP for Shipley. Midwives, doulas, mothers, fathers, babies, siblings, hypnobirthing teachers, AIMS, ARM, IMUK, RCM, all making themselves heard.  Not sure who was listening but it had to be done.  

The threat to independent midwifery is serious and looks insurmountable.  The insistence that registration will be dependent on adequate indemnity insurance has recently been reiterated by Dan Poulter, Minister for Health in a letter to IMUK.  It doesn't look like the DoH is prepared to find a compromise.  Next step is the joint manifesto for maternity care co-written by NCT, AIMS, ARM, IMUK and The Birth I Want.  This is called "A Midwife For Me and My Baby" and will be launched at the beginning of May with an action that will see a cardboard baby (or a charity shop doll) delivered to every MP with a message calling for continuity of care from a known midwife and choice, including an independent midwife. 

How will midwifery skills and practice develop if there are no midwives practising outside the constraints of NHS "policies"?  I can think of no midwifery skill and practice development in relation to normal birth over the last 30 years that has developed within the NHS.  All practice and skill development with regard to normal birth has first been conceptualised, explored, discussed and written about in independent practice and thence wound its way into wider practice (physiological third stage, waterbirth, complementary therapies, the purple line, vaginal breech birth, milking the cord, lotus birth, parameters of normal labour, birth stools......).