Feb. 19th, 2007

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Vital feminist issue coming up here...

Most midwives in the UK work for the NHS and are therefore constrained by NHS shortages and policies. E.g. it's fairly rare under the NHS to actually get to know your midwife before the birth (even if the midwife themself would prefer to work that way) and midwives may change shift in the middle of the birth (even if the midwives themselves would prefer not to). And since you can't choose your midwife, it's pot luck whether you get one who's in tune with what you want. (E.g. some are un-confident about home birth, even though statistically it's safer, and would really rather you gave up the idea.)

There aren't many independent midwives, but i.m.e. they are a beacon of good practice and a huge resource of experience and expertise, inc for women-centred practice in general, waterbirth, VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarian), natural breech birth, and other skills which the NHS ought to provide but generally doesn't.

If independent midwives get made illegal it would be a v v v bad thing.

Couple of links...
1. How independent midwifery in the UK is under threat
2. A petition

Thanks for reading... please propagate...

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June 2008

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