I gave birth to my first child, Nuala, in Edinburgh. I currently work in the United States but travelled home to Scotland for the birth, specifically to employ the services of an Independent Scottish Midwife, Carrie McIntosh. Carrie had attended the birth of my sister a few months before, and I hoped my birth could be as natural, relaxed, confidently and reliably supported.
In New York where I work, the approach to birth has become medicated and surgical, where ‘birth is an emergency waiting to happen’. Due to the revenue-generating American medical insurance system, there is almost no midwifery, but drugs, surgical practitioners and procedures prevail. There is an unnatural culture of fear surrounding birth, which has dis-empowered my generation of women about their capabilities to birth naturally, whilst providing a lucrative growing industry to the medical insurance system. Cesarean rates are so high in Manhattan (about 60%), that many women miss out on what I had – a magical, natural birth; life-changing, triumphant and joyful. Of course, my birth came with its own unpredicted circumstances, but under Carrie’s expert guidance I remained calm and confident, and went on to birth my 9lb 9.5oz baby girl safely and naturally.
Scotland itself is on the brink of great change, with the potential to shine on the world stage like never in history. As an international businesswoman, I believe in an independent Scotland with world-class industry leaders in each field, who lead the world by example and help others look to Scotland as a progressive, entrepreneurial society. Carrie McIntosh is without question a world-class industry leader in her field – exemplifying excellence, reliability, knowledge, support, experience, attention to detail, and a level of personal care and encouragement that is nothing short of inspirational. Independent midwives should be free to contribute their excellence for the health of our future generations, without the complex motivations of corporate insurers clouding their path, and Scotland should stop at nothing to support them.
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