My first daughters birth was very traumatic and left me with postnatal depression and post traumatic stress syndrome. As a result I approached my second pregnancy very differently, and after much research I chose an independent midwife. This choice was not taken lightly, but we felt the cost far outweighed the benefit to both mine and baby’s wellbeing. Not because there was anything particularly wrong with the NHS care I received the first time around, but because this time I felt I needed continuity of care. I needed my care provider to know my past birth history, to have developed my trust, and to have the time available to me to help me be comfortable facing birth again – mentally and physically prepared. I needed to know that no matter what happened I had the same person by my side helping me through both the birth and postpartum period.
On Thursday, 18th April 2013 I gave birth to another beautiful daughter. I did so in the comfort of my own home, without any pain relief, and with my midwife by my side – encouraging and supporting me the whole way. Her knowledge of my past, and the relationship she’d developed with me helped maintain my confidence and I am sure I couldn’t have had such a positive birth experience without her care. I will continue to rely on her support over the next few weeks post birth.
It would be terrible if other women in my situation were no longer able to reach to independant midwives for help. I hope that a solution can be found so that my daughters have access to this wonderful service in future.