I wholeheartedly support the ethos of the NHS, but have chosen to work outside it so that, working with a smaller number of women each year, I can offer greater continuity of carer and excellent midwifery. Women have within themselves the ability to birth their babies, but many factors, fear of the unknown, the powerful medical culture, beliefs about personal power and control, unhelpful media influences, and others, combine to reduce women’s confidence in their bodies. Partnership with a known and trusted midwife through pregnancy, birth and beyond can help to counteract these and secure better outcomes for mother and baby.
This was written by the client of an independent midwife who wanted to explain what it felt like to receive independent midwifery care;
What Independent Midwifery Care Feels Like…
Imagine being able to spend an hour, or even two, with your midwife every time you saw her.
Imagine being able to talk about everything that is worrying you, and not just the physical symptoms of your pregnancy.
Imagine knowing that the midwife you saw at your last appointment, will be the same midwife you see at your next appointment.
Imagine knowing that the midwife you have come to love and trust will be the same midwife who catches your baby and cares for you in the days following the birth.
Imagine being hugged and kissed by your midwife when you are in labour, and that that doesn’t feel strange.
Imagine being able to plan the birth you want, free from the fear that you will face opposition and with the confidence that you will be supported no matter what.
Imagine being able to call your midwife a part of your family and
Imagine your children growing up knowing their midwife so well that they want to invite her to their birthday party each year.
That is what independent midwifery is.
My Pledge of Support to You
I usually attend births at home, but can accompany you into hospital, as your Birth Supporter, should you need to birth there. I support fathers and children too, seeking to involve them in the mother’s care as much as she wishes. Being Independent means that I can offer support to women who choose birth options outside what the NHS service normally offers, such as homebirths for first time mothers, home water births, and Vaginal Birth after Caesarean Section (VBAC) at home.
I am a Professional Practitioner
As an Independent Registered Midwife, my practice is supported and supervised by the Local Supervising Authority, and a local Supervisor of Midwives. She checks my equipment and drugs annually, and ensures my work practice is safe and up-to-date. I also attend regular training days, including dealing with birth emergencies until help arrives.
Unexpected events, or complications, may need support and input from our valued medical colleagues, but I will continue to provide you with my support and care.