Neighbourhood Midwives


The following is a post put out by Sara Wickham about the current Induction debate. We currently have a 32.6% induction of labour (IOL) rate with only 52.2% of women experiencing a spontaneous labour. Read Sara’s piece about how information is being manipulated and women misled.

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laura home birth

1 year ago today I gave birth to my second son at home ☺️ I haven’t shared his birth story until now, so here it is:

My home birth with my independent midwife.
Birth story of Chester
Born on 14/08/2018 @ 10:30am weighing 9lbs11oz

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All Right Reserved

You’ve probably heard about doulas and independent midwives, or private midwives. They are all practitioners who help and support you through pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. But what’s the real difference?

Actually, the roles are distinct and the training and responsibilities of the midwife and doula are very different.  So, if you’re considering employing a doula or independent midwife, it is absolutely essential to know why and what you hope to gain from them.

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  1. Sleeping while you are pregnant – Why you might not be able to sleep, what’s happening to your body. How to get a good nights sleep, useful tips.

We all know that the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are characterized by a desire to sleep anywhere and anytime. What some women are surprised to discover is that the rest of pregnancy may be plagued by sleep disturbance. Ironic or what?

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Neighbourhood Midwives – A brief history of who we are and why we have chosen to work in this way

With the end of 2017 and our first year of providing an NHS midwifery service completed it feels the right time to give some background as to why we chose to set up an independent midwifery organisation, to describe our journey to date and to share our goals for 2018 and beyond.

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You’re pregnant, how exciting!  But why don’t you feel fantastic? Well on top of keeping the most exciting secret you’ve ever had in your life, your body might be changing, demanding your attention in various annoying ways: morning sickness, feeling unbelievably tired and suddenly growing boobs!

So what can you do during this time to help you feel better and to optimise health for you and your baby?

Here I examine three aspects of pregnancy wellbeing in the first trimester (the time till you’re 12 weeks pregnant): morning sickness, tiredness and nutrition.

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I have read about and listened to as many of the responses to the review as I could over the past week. On balance, I think they are largely very positive, I am heartened by the enthusiasm from midwives and other health professionals, while recognising, as we did during the review process itself, that many will be anxious about what it means for them personally.

What has been fascinating though is how many statements of fact have been made about how it will work, especially the NHS personal maternity care budget, which are based on nothing contained within the review itself because we deliberately didn’t set up rigid structures to impose on everyone – the point of pioneer sites and pilots is that they have the freedom to explore how these new ideas might evolve, based on some principles and guidance and an outcome or destination you want to arrive at but with the expectation that there will be lots of adaptation and change along the way.

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I caught up with Tina Perridge co-founder of Neighbourhood Midwives, an independent midwifery service providing care to women in London and The South East. Neighbourhood Midwives was set up in 2013 with Annie Francis, Louise Wilby and Eleanor May Johnson.

Tina is a real inspiration and talks a lot of sense. In an ideal world all women should have continuity of care during pregnancy, birth and beyond as it improves outcomes and leads healthier babies.

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An interview with Katie Selman: mother of three and ex-client.


What made you decide to choose an Independent midwife?

During my mid twenties, I was working in a large office with lots of women who were pregnant or had young children. I heard stories from them of the situations they’d faced at hospital during their births or post-natal period that filled me with dread. I was living in Wandsworth, known as Nappy Valley due to its high birth rate so I didn’t need much convincing that the local hospitals were overrun and unable to cope with the many women passing through their doors. As a child, I had had a bad experience at hospital and still as an adult, was highly uncomfortable in hospital or clinical environments so I was worried about going into hospital in labour and shutting down.

By chance, I saw an article about Annie from NM in the local SW Magazine. The headline was “One woman, one midwife” which summed up all my concerns. I kept it and once I was pregnant, I called Annie and we met to discuss the options. I still remember that first meeting. It turned out she had delivered a baby on our house with previous owners!

There was no question from then on that we would have an independent midwife looking after us. The care during my pregnancy was superb and I stopped seeing my NHS midwife after my 21wk scan – I simply didn’t need to as I had all I needed in Annie and my second midwife, Tina. Initially I had been planning a hospital birth with Annie attending, but as the time drew near, I strongly felt I wanted to be at home if I could be and that is testament to the relationship I had built with Annie and Tina.

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