I have already written more than enough on here about DorkySon’s birth, and how different the experience was to the one I had imagined and hoped for. There is no need to go over all of that again.
But I’m very pleased to have my blog as a space to mention a campaign that has recently been launched – A Midwife For Me – which I think is doing a lot to address some of the issues I encountered.
One of the biggest problems with the system in the UK is the lack of continuity of care during pregnancy and birth. Only 1 in 5 women will be attended at any point during their labour by a midwife they have met before. Of course, medical notes will be shared, and information will be passed along, but that is no substitute for having a midwife present at your birth who already knows you and your family.
At a moment as important as giving birth, when you may well be feeling extremely vulnerable, imagine how much easier it could be if you were cared for by someone you already trusted and felt comfortable with; someone you’d already spent 9 months getting to know, rather than someone you met five minutes ago.
That is what A Midwife For Me is calling for.
“We want every woman to have a midwife who she can get to know and trust, who can support her through her pregnancy, birth and beyond, regardless of her circumstances or where her baby is to be born.”
The campaign has been established by an extraordinary collection of existing organisations – Association for Improvements in Maternity Services (AIMS), Association of Radical Midwives (ARM), Independent Midwives UK (IM UK), National Childbirth Trust (NCT) and The Birth I Want. It is also being supported by a further 14 organisations who have pledged their support for the campaign Manifesto, and that number is growing all the time.
Now, to add even greater pressure for change, A Midwife For Me is asking for individuals to sign up and show their support for the aims of the campaign.
I am delighted to be adding my name to that list of individual supporters.
If you’d like to do the same – or if you want to read more about the campaign before you decide – please check out A Midwife for Me’s website here.
What a fantastic campaign, just off to add my name and read up on it so I can post about it too. Given I was expected to stay on a maternity ward to be put on a drip to induce labour without my husband by my side, let alone a nurse or midwife who even knew who I was – and that was just the start of a catastrophic labour and birthing experience – I will do anything I can to help support this cause.
Oh goodness, it always scares me how many people have had such horrible experiences. Thanks for your support xx
My midwife didn’t even get to meet my baby after birth as she was ‘busy’ and the aftercare was always a different MW
Even during labour I didn’t feel cared for, I was ready to push and no MW…. They had to find the one who was meant to be looking after me
Sorry to hear that, it sounds like exactly the kind of situation that this campaign is trying to help with x
Fabulous idea, my only caveat being the term ‘a midwife’ I think they probably mean a small team, as no way one person could guarantee to be there- ill health, other patients, family commitment of their own etc. I agree that a familiar face would help put you at ease.
Thanks for commenting and sharing the link on twitter x
Perhaps you could re-post a link to what you’ve written about the birth for those of us who missed it first time round?
Thanks for the suggestion – post now edited to include a link x
Mega campaign, having had 5 homebirths I really do rate midwives a lot and know how a friendly face can make all the difference. Funnily enough the midwife who came out to deliver one of my sons was the one that delivered me !
What a great post. I had a labour and dleivery experience similar to yours and in my 36 hours in the midwifery and then consultant led delivery units went though 8 midwives! The one who was there as my daughter was delivered (via forceps, in a theatre just in case forceps didn’t work and I had to have a C-Sec) was someone who’d I’d never actually met as shifts changed whilst I was in there! Fantastic campaign, thank you for bring it to my attention.
What a great initiative. Thanks for posting about it. I wrote about this in the birth story on my blog, but in the 29 weeks I was pregnant with Mr Boo I only saw a midwife twice. The first appointment, at 12 weeks, was great and the midwife I saw was fabulous. She predicted a second, even more rapid labour than I’d had with my daughter who nearly died at birth, and even predicted I might have my 2nd baby early. She designated me high risk and recommended regular consultant appointments. No one else shared her worries and she changed areas after my first appointment. I couldn’t access midwife services because I was ‘under the consultant’. I only got to see a mythical consultant 5 days before Mr Boo, who did decided to arrive while I was at work some 65 miles from home, was delivered like a bullet out of a gun before I reached my 3rd trimester.
No one could have stopped him being born prematurely, I think, or him developing the life-long issues he now has, but I do wonder how different things would be in other ways if I’d had a better pregnancy with proper, regular midwife care.
Midwives are amazing!
I was very lucky due to low numbers in the labour ward, good shift scheduling and a great team to have ha the same midwife deliver all three of my babies. It made all the difference the second time around. The doctor had just finished examining me and told me I’d be at least an hour. Literally seconds later my body took over and started pushing. If Sharon hadn’t known me she too would have told me that it was just another contraction. Instead she trusted her knowledge of me and my labours and she snapped on gloves and caught my daughter as she was born in one single push. I was scared that I had no control but I trusted her. But it was luck and timing. It shouldn’t have been.
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