Neighbourhood Midwives



More and more women are choosing the option for a home water birth. “About 50% of our home births are home water births,” states Tina Perridge, Director of London based Neighbourhood Midwives Ltd

“Home water births have been around for 200 years. In our current society more and more women are choosing this option but is a home water birth right for you? Immersion in warm water can make a big difference to the experience of the woman but also to other members of the family,” Tina Perridge, Director of Neighbourhood Midwives Ltd

Based in London, Neighbourhood Midwives is a private, independent midwifery service offering personalised care packages for women throughout their pregnancy, birth and beyond.

Every mother has her own dedicated midwife to support her and her family as they know the journey into motherhood is more likely to be a positive one if the mother is felt well supported and cared for by the same midwife throughout pregnancy.

The company launched in July 2013, having previously been individual Independent Midwives.

Perridge continues, “One of our clients stated, “It was so amazing doing this all in my own home, it made such a difference to my state of mind and also my husband. Being at home and sleeping in our own bed with our new baby was perfect. We were so happy and relieved she was with us and all was well.””

A home water birth means that at least part of your labour and birth, or both happen while you’re in a birth pool filled with warm water in your own home.

A survey conducted by the Care Quality Commission in 2013 found that 30% of women planned to use water in labour.

Perridge advises, “Using a birth pool has been found to reduce pain in labour. Research involving more than 3,000 women found that those using a birth pool were less likely to need an epidural. As a result the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends immersion in water as a way of coping with pain in labour. Furthermore women feel more empowered in their own space.”

For a home water birth some preparations should be in place and ready for the big day well in advance. Pools can be hired very easily and come with all the equipment necessary. Often couples do a dummy run to see how long the pool takes to fill. There is usually plenty of time because it is not advisable to get into the pool too early.

“If you choose this option with Neighbourhood Midwives an experienced midwife who you already know and trust, will be on hand to assist you through the entire birthing process. We find that more than 50% of our home births are home water births,” concludes Perridge.

For more information about home birth or home water birth service please call 02088746624 or visit

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Tuesday 23 February 2016

Here at Neighbourhood Midwives we are very excited to share the press release about the publication of the Maternity Review – we hope that it heralds the changes which we have been campaigning for and are ready and keen to be part of:

Maternity services in England must become safer, more personalised, kinder, professional and more family-friendly.
That’s the vision of the National Maternity Review, which today (Tuesday) publishes its recommendations for how services should change over the next five years.

The NHS England commissioned review – led by independent experts and chaired by Baroness Julia Cumberlege – sets out wide-ranging proposals designed to make care safer and give women greater control and more choices.
The report finds that despite the increases in the number of births and the increasing complexity of cases, the quality and outcomes of maternity services have improved significantly over the last decade. The stillbirth and neonatal mortality rate in England fell by over 20% in the ten years from 2003 to 2013.[1] Maternal mortality in the UK has reduced from 14 deaths per 100,000 maternities in 2003/05 to 9 deaths per 100,000 maternities in 2011/13.[2] The conception rate for women aged under 18 in England, a key indicator of the life chances of our future generations, reduced by almost half, between 1998 and 2013.[3]

However, the review also found meaningful differences across the country, and further opportunities to improve the safety of care and reduce still births.

Prevention and public health have an important role to play, as smoking is still the single biggest identifiable risk factor for poor birth outcomes. Obesity among women of reproductive age is increasingly linked to risk of complications during pregnancy and health problems of the child.

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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.

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About Annie Francis
Annie is the CEO and one of the four founders of Neighbourhood Midwives, an employee owned, midwifery social enterprise based in London. Before embarking on this latest and most challenging journey of her midwifery career to date, Annie was an independent midwife for fifteen years, providing individualised midwifery care to women in South London. She is a passionate advocate for increasing the range of alternative choices available for both women and midwives and believes that innovation and real change has to come from challenging the status quo, not accepting it.

Read the Full Essentially MIDIRS article here.

This article was originally published in Essentially MIDIRS, a professional magazine aimed at midwives, students,
maternity support workers, and all who work within maternal and infant health.
The journal is published eleven times a year, with a combined December/January edition.

You can find out more and subscribe at

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mail on sunday

Annie Francis, 60, is founder of the social enterprise Neighbourhood Midwives.

She lives in Wandsworth, Southwest London, with her husband, the actor and TV presenter Peter Duncan, 60. They have four adult children. Annie helped deliver Eva Toth’s baby Mathias at home.

My first child, Lucy (now 29), was a breech delivery and I was told it was going to be very risky, but I ended up having a fantastic birth under the care of Yehudi Gordon (a natural childbirth pioneer). My other three were born at home with the same midwife, and that was my catalyst for deciding to retrain as a midwife. After my youngest started school in 1995, I began training at the age of 40.

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baby and me

Midwifery is one of man’s, or rather woman’s, oldest professions: the skill of passing down wisdom from one mother to the next in birthing a new generation.

Women have always helped each other have babies and, despite the obvious advancements in healthcare that we now benefit from, in many ways not that much has changed in what mothers want from a midwife.

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peter duncan


Lesley Manville, 58

After a successful early career at the RSC and the Royal Court, Manville embarked on a long-running collaboration with film director Mike Leigh, working on seven films together, including ‘Secrets & Lies’, ‘Another Year’ and 2014’s ‘Mr Turner’. She has also appeared in stage adaptations including ‘His Dark Materials’ and ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses’, and won an Olivier for her role in the National’s revival of the Ibsen play ‘Ghosts’. She lives in West Sussex we met in 1972 at the italia Conti stage school.

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