Would you like to have care throughout your pregnancy from a midwife you know and trust? A midwife who supports you through from the beginning to the end and beyond? Have you had a baby and, throughout all of your pre- and post-natal care, never seen the same midwife twice?
No matter how good your midwives might have been this is a common scenario across London. I
have had three children and although I cannot fault the care I received, it is true that I never saw the
same midwife more than once. During my first pregnancy in particular, this shocked me. I didn’t know who to ask my questions to, and ended up repeating myself ad infinitum.
New research from the University of Sydney confirms that women who see the same midwife all the way through their pregnancy ultimately spend less time in hospital, require less pain relief and are more likely to breastfeed. Plus, they cost the health system £300 less overall. It sounds like a win-win situation for all concerned. However, the Royal College of Midwives estimates that only 1 in 50 women are looked after by a named midwife and three quarters of women go into the labour ward with a midwife they’ve never met before.
In 2012 the Department of Health issued a mandate saying that within two years (that is 2014!), it wanted every woman to have a named midwife to oversee their care. It seems we are still a long way off this scenario.
This is where Neighbourhood Midwives steps in. An exciting new SW London service, Neighbourhood Midwives enables women to have the same midwife throughout pregnancy as well as for that all-important aftercare. From convenient pre-natal appointments all the way though to one to- one care in the labour ward, your pregnancy care will be tailored to meet your individual needs.
‘We are very excited to have launched Neighbourhood Midwives,’ says Annie Francis, founder. ‘As a community based private midwifery service we offer women fully insured, safe and affordable care throughout pregnancy, labour and for 6 weeks after the birth.’
All the evidence shows that having a dependable midwife by a woman’s side makes for happier, healthier mums and babies, with better and safer outcomes in the short- and longer-term. Mothers are more likely to have a normal birth with quicker physical recovery, and are less likely to have a caesarean section. Neighbourhood Midwives can also help women to have a home birth if they desire, at a time when it is becoming more and more difficult to arrange this through the NHS.
The women who have experienced Neighbourhood Midwives are full of praise for the service. ‘For my second and third births I was looked after by the same midwife who, over the months I was with her, became my mentor and inspiration,’ says Nadia in Battersea. ‘I felt cared for, supported and safer than I had ever felt going through the hospital system. I enjoyed two beautiful homebirths.’
‘To have the same midwife all the way through the pregnancy and after the birth was invaluable,’ says Celine Morse, a Clapham-based mother of a month-old baby girl and another happy customer. ‘It gave me a reassurance that I could put myself in her hands and feel safe and supported – the mix of expertise and coaching was invaluable to me in what is one of the most important times of your life. I used her knowledge for my 2 pregnancies also because you never know what is going to happen at the time of the birth and she was always only one call away.’
With many midwifery departments experiencing budget cuts, the radical change we need in maternity
services in this country seems a long way off. Until it changes why not give Neighbourhood Midwives
a try? For more information go to www.neighbourhoodmidwives.org.uk, email
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020