30 April 2007

Independent Midwifery Under Threat

This is a left field sort of invite. I thought it important to let you know, if you haven't heard already.

Through personal experience (read "having three babies at home and having all care provided by ONE wonderful independent midwife throughout all three pregnancies, labors and postnatal periods"; with the exception of the last baby, when I was totally spoiled by having two midwives at my disposal), I feel I do know exactly the difference it makes to have this option available! I had freedom to co-create the perfect experience for myself, my partner and then also our children. It is a very empowering place to be in during such momentous events.

The crux of the matter is that at present there is no Professional Indemnity Insurance available to independent midwives. There also is a plan to introduce legislation making Professional Indemnity Insurance mandatory for midwives, which they are currently unable to obtain on the open market, and that independent midwives might therefore be forced to cease practicing.
You can read up more on the issue on the Independent Midwives Association website.

There is a petition, which you can sign here.

Another thing you can do is to write to your MP and get him/her to support the Early Day Motion (below).

Ready template:

As a member of your constituency I request your support in the very important fight to save independent midwifery. Please sign the Early Day Motion 1256 'CONSULTATION ON INSURANCE FOR INDEPENDENT MIDWIVES' submitted by John Baron as soon as possible.



Baron, John

That this House notes that independent midwives are healthcare professionals regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and supervised by local supervisory authorities; welcomes the fact that independent midwives provide one-to-one continuity of care, which is the gold standard in maternity care, and facilitate home births and a less medicalised birthing experience; further notes that, without consulting the profession, the Government intends to require all independent midwives to have professional indemnity insurance, which they are currently unable to obtain on the open market, and that independent midwives might therefore be forced to cease practising; believes that the loss of independent midwives would work against the Government's stated policy of promoting one-to-one maternity care and choice about where to give birth and what pain relief to use; further believes that the link between having insurance and being a safer midwife has not been proven; and therefore calls on the Government to outline the reasons for this change in policy and to postpone any legislative changes until after a full consultation has taken place.

It's easy and can be done very quickly.
You can find out who your MP is here
It's enough if you copy and paste the ready template and Early Day Motion text above and sign (unless you want to add something more personal:) About 60 MPs have signed his motion so far.

I have already contacted my MP and requested that she supports this motion. It took me about 5 minutes to do this. I know it might seem just like another thing to do, but we can make difference if we choose to do so and act now. If you aren't a woman, aren't pregnant, aren't planning a family at all - do it to safeguard this right to freely choose between independent midwifery and other options!

The midwives at The London Birth Practice (Elke also looked after me during my last pregnancy - hello Elke if you're reading this!) and other independent midwives in UK are doing all in their power to preserve this invaluable resource for alternatively minded women/families. There is a need for a public outcry though. There should be an affordable insurance available to these highly skilled, knowledgeable, dedicated and experienced professionals. There is so much at stake here!


Upcoming event:
On the 4th May the RCM (Royal College of Midwives) has organized an event to celebrate the International Day of the Midwife. We would like to join into the celebrations but also highlight the situation faced by independent midwives and the lack of support the RCM has shown so far. It would be fantastic to have mothers, fathers, babies, older children and anyone else who wants to support us there. We are meeting at the 'Alison Lapper Pregnant' sculpture which is on the plinth nearest the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery. Meeting time 10.30am. Please access campaign website for further information.

Independent midwives at work.

Niblet & I.

I made this garter stitch cardigan out of recycled cashmere yarn bought at Susan The Recycler's Store , and to the pattern by Erika Knight, from her book "Simple Knits For Cherished Babies".

This is me and my little nephew, who !surprise, surprise! was also born at home (and assisted by two independent midwives)! Now, would you believe it if I told you that I had given birth about 24 hours before this picture was taken? This is how cool independent midwifery is. HAVING BABIES AT HOME TOTALLY ROCKS! I would highly recommend it!

LOL to L (if you're reading this) XXX