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Modern Midwifery - Is it this scary?

(16 Posts)
kiskidee Tue 26-Aug-08 15:40:20


ellideb Tue 26-Aug-08 16:48:41

Hi I've just read the article and think its so sad that this is how it is for midwives in some hospitals. On one hand it makes me feel relieved that I am having a homebirth but on the other hand I feel guilty for draining resources as I will be taking up 2 midwives. Something really ought to be done about it before somebody gets hurt or worse a baby/mother dies.

I think that babies and mothers are already dieing due to a shortage of midwives.

PortAndLemon Tue 26-Aug-08 17:54:20

Don't community midwives cover home births, rather than hospital midwives? If so, you're not taking away from anyone else IYSWIM.

ellideb Tue 26-Aug-08 18:01:35

I'm not sure PortAndLemon but I do know that community midwives are called in when there is a shortage of hospital midwives in our hospital. I thought it might be true the other way around too?

amazonianadventure Tue 26-Aug-08 18:13:44

depends on thet trust port and lemon

thats why you should all sign the one mother one midwife petition

It depends which hospital it it. Comm m/ws aren't called in to the hospital at every hospital, and have never heard of hospital m/ws going out to cover home births but guess it may happen at some hospitals.

ellideb Tue 26-Aug-08 18:19:38

Does that petition apply to home births too amazonianadventure? Because I think that a mum needs two midwives for a homebirth. One for her and one for the baby due to the fact that she doesn't have the immediate back-up should anything go wrong that she should have at a hospital. I agree with the one to one petition for hospitals though.

The one m/w campaign is about hospital births - they will never take two m/ws at a homebirth (although may be only one in the early stages, but 2 for the actual birth).

But campaign is also about increasing number of midwives, inc comm m/w so you get more continuity of antenatal care.

amazonianadventure Tue 26-Aug-08 18:24:01

No idea to be honest!

It dont really think it applies as its standard to have 2 midwives present,its really for the goverment to up the number of midwives employed before something seriuosly goes wrong and so women get the care they deserve!

Bronze Tue 26-Aug-08 18:26:33

That actually made me cry.

I'm just going to paste a bit of my birth story as its easier

27 weeks pg. That evening the contractions started again in earnest every 4 minutes or so and painful all through the night. By very early morning I had a painful ache low down and as I had been warned by the consultant to say as soon as anything like that happened as I could have it without being fully dilated I went to find the midwife.
She asked if everything was alright as she walked past to which I said no and that I had a very low pain. She threw up her arms and walked off saying what can I do about it. I burst into tears and feeling spaced from tiredness and pain and scared I wandered out of the ward and stood in the corridor looking out of the window and crying not knowing what to do. So I decided to call DH even though I knew he shouldn’t be there according to their rules I needed him and wanted him to be there in time if anything did happen as it was a fair drive. So I rang him as soon as I got back to the ward and it helped calm me down.
Then the bitch woman from hell midwife came back and tried to explain that she was on her own and had other women to see to. So I just said I know etc to appease her and tried to explain that I was worried because I had been told to get immediate attention if I felt low pain and severe contractions. Anyway she called the on call doctor. Annoyingly the contractions eased while he was in with me coming at every ten minutes or so instead so he said he would wait and tell the consultant when she did the ward rounds a couple of hours later. So the midwife put me on the monitor and DH arrived. He was immediately told off as he shouldn’t have been there and but we just ignored her and spent the next ten minutes watching babies heartrate drop every time I contracted.
The midwife then came back in and we said we were worried because of the monitor trace to which she snapped ‘you shouldn’t look at things you don’t understand ‘and turned the monitor away from us and walked off to come back a couple of minutes later look at the trace and tell us she was going to call the delivery suite. It was only a few minutes before we were collecting up my stuff and I was being wheeled there.
It turns out I was fully dilated and baby was in extreme distress. A crash section later our baby was fighting for her life mainly due to her birth being later than was necessary.
I truly believe we wouldn't have been told our baby had 5% chance of survival if there had been more midwives on duty and I had had the care that was needed. I wrote the story when I was angry so called her bitch but really I know that she was at the end of her tether and there should have been more MWs working. There was only herself and a trainee looking after the whole ward which was full to bursting.

Lucky for us our daughter survived but I believe that this was down to her own fighting spirit and the amazing care of the peadiatric team who worked on her in those first hours. I can imagine that there are babies dying all the time to that lack of midwives.
Sorry its so long as you can tell its something that really bothers me and if you got this far well done

Turniphead1 Tue 26-Aug-08 18:34:09

Bronze - thanks for sharing your story.Thank God it all turned out ok. But it really is crazy to think that m/ws can give the care they are trained to provide with the staff shortages that abound. What makes me even madder is that you only got the attention you needed after standing up for yourself. What if you weren't able to do that? There are plenty of people who feel intimidated in places like hospitals and don't have the wherewithall to challenge someone in authority, especially when feeling vulnerable as pg women often do.

Out of interest, did you complain about the situation?

PortAndLemon Tue 26-Aug-08 18:47:42

Bump for people to sign petition

ScaryHairy Wed 27-Aug-08 09:10:40

I just feel really sorry for midwives and other hospital staff.
Over the last couple of years I have had far too much experience of hospitals and I think it must be hell working in a place where, notwithstanding your own desire to do a good job, you are constantly hamstrung by lack of time, resources, staff etc. I have been on the receiving end of incredible kindness and extreme negligence depending on who was on shift. I've seen nurses cry because the lack of resources prevented them from helping my daughter and, in one notable case, actually hurt her. I wouldn't step into their shoes for a second.

PinkyDinkyDooToo Wed 27-Aug-08 15:12:50

THat is a shocking article. In my case by having an HB I was saving the hospital as commuuntiy mw's carry them out in my area. However in other areas I think they are taken from the hospital.

madmouse Fri 29-Aug-08 20:37:51


feeling very lucky that although i was in labour ward for 20 hours I was never without my own midwife, and often had a midwife and a student.

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