Saving Independent Midwifery

IMUK launch new website

My colleagues at Independent Midwives UK (IMUK) have just relaunched their fab new website.

The site offers information and relevant news for women and midwives in the UK and Scotland; you can have a look here, at

I also have a profile page of my own, which you can see here:


Testimonial from Lesley

Having had an unplanned c-section with my first child, I was told by my GP that I should not consider having a vaginal birth with my second child because it would put the life of my baby at risk.

Having looked into the topic myself, I made the informed decision to hire an independent midwife to help me have the birth that I wanted. I went on to deliver two subsequent babies vaginally, both of them in my own home with my independent midwife, Carrie McIntosh.

Having Carrie to support me enabled me to have a wonderful birthing experience and helped me to put the trauma of my first birth behind me. My third child was born at home just a month ago and it was the most wonderful start to life anyone could hope for.

Without the support of my independent midwife, I have no doubt that I would have had two c-sections, causing additional trauma to myself and my family, and costing the NHS significantly more money.

Testimonial from Anna

I chose Carrie McIntosh as my independent midwife for all three of my pregnancies, as I believe very strongly that it is important to know your midwife and for the midwife to know you to achieve the safest and best birth possible. I had fantastic continuity of care throughout my pregnancies and my two births so far were wonderful and empowering experiences, which gave me a whole new opinion of myself as a woman.

Testimonial from Mairi

In March 2012 my husband and I welcomed our first son Seòras into the world. He was delivered by me, breech and at home with the support of our Independent Midwife, Carrie McIntosh.

In opting to have a breech home delivery we had to have faith in our midwife and her capabilities which include specialised skills that are rapidly being lost by NHS midwives. I have no doubt that my choice to deliver my son at home would not have been supported by the NHS.

I had spent a lot of time preparing for pregnancy and childbirth and made informed choices at every step of the journey that were the right ones for me and my family. For my family our choice was to use an independent midwife and we would choose this option time and time again.


And from Mairi’s husband Ed:

‘Auntie Carrie – our revered midwife responsible for the dexterous care, sensitivity and delivery of Mairi’s beautiful boys. The privilege of saying I’m their father cannot be underestimated and it all started with Carrie and her magical care. Here is a woman with a Midas touch and I will be forever in her debt for inspiring, along with Mairi, the way – the only way forwards in birthing!

Testimonial from Gillian

My partner and I had the privilege of an independent midwife, Carrie McIntosh, throughout our pregnancy/birth/post natal care of our daughter Madison who was born 1st May 2012.
At the most exciting and vulnerable time in my adult life our independent midwife took the time to understand my partner and me as a couple, she sign posted us to services she felt we would benefit from, she gave us time and patience and at every stage gave us a range of options to consider, many of which I would never have known about. We absolutely reaped the benefit of her knowledge.

I always considered it an honour to be pregnant and to have Madison enter our lives, but I know a huge part of that was because our independent midwife installed so much confidence, knowledge and care into our pregnancy.

Testimonial from Jasmine

We chose an Independent Midwife as we believe that women should be free
to to choose where and how to birth. As an older first time mum-to-be it
has been important to me that I have been treated on my own merits as a
human being, empowered as woman to trust in my body’s natural ability to
safely birth my child and not to be a mere statistic.

I’ve been blessed with a healthy pregnancy and baby and have been unconditionally supported by my Independent Midwife to pursue the homebirth, in water, that I wish for the arrival of our child. It is also extremely important
to me to know that I am receiving a consistently high standard of care
from someone who has a superb level of knowledge and practical expertise
but more importantly, time to give us both, as new parents, the
information we need to make informed choices and decisions.

We are also secure in the knowledge that should we need to transfer to hospital, our IM will be an informed and pragmatic advocate for us, who will help us
continue to make the correct choices for the safety of our baby. Our
Independent Midwife has given us confidence and security in the
knowledge that our Independent Midwife is working in harmony with us to
do exactly what is right for us and our baby.

Testimonial from Claire

I don’t know what we would have done without the outstanding support we received from our independent midwife, Carrie McIntosh, during the pregnancy and birth of our baby daughter Callie.

This is a matter of choice for parents and midwives; without independent midwifery, parents lose choices, midwives lose livelihoods and choice, and there are very serious risks for women who choose to birth outwith the NHS, for them and their babies. Indeed – this really is a matter of life and death. NHS maternity care is overstretched and underfunded, and does not have the capacity to take into account the choices of parents and families. After a long labour in which she and her husband were repeatedly ignored, abandoned and left frightened and alone due to a lack of staff, my best friend’s healthy baby died – entirely needlessly – during delivery at The Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

When I became pregnant, my husband and I realised that the only way in which we could ensure that this did not happen to us as well was to employ an Independent Midwife – someone who would be with us throughout the pregnancy and birth, who would safeguard my health and that of the baby, and who would listen to us and respect us. I realise that this does not sound like much to ask – and indeed, this should be the basic level of care for any prospective parents. But the NHS simply cannot guarantee this. What the Government calls ‘Gold Standard care’ means 15 minute appointments during pregnancy with a different midwife every time. There is no continuity of care with a named midwife, through pregnancy and birth, and no assurance to support birth choices (such as home births, which are cheaper, less traumatic, and very often safer).

My husband and I no option but to employ an Independent midwife and opt out of the NHS. What this gave us was outstanding care. Carrie, our Independent Midwife, gave us continuity of care, and the chance to build a relationship with her during the most important, stressful, and critical period in our lives. We knew her focus was on the health and wellbeing of me and our baby throughout, that she would be with us whatever happened, not something that the NHS can offer or provide.

After a difficult pregnancy and birth, our precious daughter Callie would not be here, safe and well, without the extraordinary care that we received from our independent midwife.

Thank you Carrie – we will always be in your debt.

Testimonial from Leigh

I had both of my beautiful children at home under the expert care of McMidwives – an independent midwifery service practising in the Central belt of Scotland. We chose to have an independent midwife mainly because I was at high risk of postnatal depression and was very anxious about my first pregnancy and delivery.

Because we were able to build up a relationship of trust and understanding throughout the months of my pregnancy with our chosen midwife, my anxiety lessened and I was able to deliver a strong and healthy baby at home in an atmosphere of trust, love, professionalism and safety. I strongly believe that this beautiful birthing experience and the one-to-one care I received before, during and after the birth contributed my excellent mental health and depression free entry into motherhood.

When I became pregnant for the second time with my son there was no doubt in my mind that we would use McMidwives again. My second pregnancy and birth was a truly transformative experience. My young daughter was able to attend the birth and I feel that I have given her the gift of seeing a beautiful birth which she can carry with her into her own womanhood and mothering experience.

This sort of care is not available to ladies without independent midwives. Women should have the right to choose who gives them pregnancy, labour and post- natal care. The intimate relationship that was able to grow between the McMidwives team, myself and my family was, I believe, absolutely crucial to my well being and mental health. When a mother is happy and healthy this spreads throughout the whole family unit.

Testimonial from Suzie

The birth of my first child was under NHS care and I found the experience frightening, disempowering and demeaning. Approaching the birth of my second baby, I felt frustrated that I could not find the support I needed. My local NHS consultant did not agree with my decision to give birth at home because I did not fit their criteria. The NHS midwives reluctantly agreed to attend, but my husband and I did not feel supported. To determine whether we were making the right choice, we sought independent advice from Carrie McIntosh and decided to ask her to work with us.

Choosing to have an Independent midwife attend my daughter’s birth was the best decision I have ever made. The fear, anxiety and self-doubt melted away and I was able to birth safely and confidently at home with the correct professional support, knowing I could trust her impartial advice and feeling the security of having someone I knew, liked and trusted be with me at my most vulnerable time.

The ability to choose an independent midwife was what I needed to achieve a safe, comfortable, stress-free birth. Without Carrie’s help, I would have been scared, stressed, and at risk because of my difficulty with NHS services. There needs to be an option for women to opt out of the NHS.