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.
“…experiences have clearly shown that an approach which ‘de-medicalizes’ birth, restores dignity and humanity to the process of childbirth, and returns control to the mother is also the safest approach.” –Michel Odent, MD
I am very grateful to have been able to choose a natural birth experience with an independent midwife for both of my children. Giving birth in my own home, safely guided by an experienced practitioner while listening to and following my own body, was one of the most valuable experiences for me as a woman and a doctor. Luckily I never felt alone or afraid. Continually being visited, examined and supported by the same midwife, from pregnancy care all the way through birth and post-partum was a true blessing.
I realize, this is not an experience for every woman, but it is a choice, a choice for continuity of care, safety at homebirth and invaluable support at breastfeeding.
Michel Odent, the researcher, who founded the Primal Health Research Centre in London, suggests the way we are born has long term consequences in terms of sociability, aggressiveness and the capacity to love.
His research clearly indicates that our health is shaped during the time between conception and first birthday.
In the light of current scientific knowledge it is hard to believe, that women who are consciously preparing for birth and motherhood will have no safe choices anymore.
It makes me sad for the future generation of women, who will mostly say about their birth experience “It was terrible and I hope to forget it soon”.
Every mother deserves the choice, peace and respect independent midwifery
offers. I have given birth to 3 children but only the last was attended by
an independent midwife. The birth ended in a c-section after a lengthy
labour and a transfer to hospital but the most memorable thing was not the
birth itself on this occasion but the excellent service both my independent
midwife and the NHS staff were able to offer me…TOGETHER WORKING AS A
TEAM. And it was by far my most memorable, peaceful and stress free birth
because EVERYONE, including the midwives could relax. Support, mothers,
children and midwives in both the public and private sector. It is a duty
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.
SUPPORT INDEPENDENT MIDWIVES!