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Is it usual for only one Independent MW to attend a homebirth? NHS ensure two MWs , I thought.

(8 Posts)
verylittlecarrot Mon 19-Oct-09 01:45:37

I have concerns about the rare but possible scenario where both mother and baby need medical assistance immediately after birth. (PPH + baby needing resus?) The NHS send a second midwife out for homebirths towards the end of labour for precisely this reason, I believe, but I've just discovered that Independent midwives don't always do this.

Is this not a worrying risk? What would happen in this situation? I am considering an independent MW but this is an issue for me at the moment.

muddle78 Mon 19-Oct-09 03:39:53

2 midwives must attend by law. if you get an independant mw she will arrange for another mw to be present :-) you dont need to worry.

lulalullabye Mon 19-Oct-09 07:39:19

Only one IM came to mine, but only because dd2 was born 10 mins after she walked through the door !!shock

MrsHappy Mon 19-Oct-09 08:21:52

I have been told that is there is no legal requirement that 2 midwives must attend, but it is good practice so one can focus on the baby and one on the mother.
Just pick an IM who works as part of a group or one who will make arrangements for a second midwife to attend the delivery. It seems to be relatively normal practice.

verylittlecarrot Mon 19-Oct-09 12:07:22

Gosh, I'm now a little concerned for my friend, who is due in a couple of weeks, and has just booked an I.M., who apparently told her that she doesn't need a second midwife, and that the NHS use them mostly for "form filling". I was a bit hmm but wasn't about to say anything to worry her.

Isn't it considered dangerous practice to deliberately disregard the potential for a problem such as this?

craftynclothy Mon 19-Oct-09 12:12:45

There's no legal requirement for 2 midwives to attend.

My IM would have done the whole thing on her own (as it happened I transferred into hospital so had one nhs mw and the IM at delivery and the IM can't work in the hospital so I effectively only had one mw there). She is v experienced though.

The lesser experienced ones in the group she works with would have a second present (from the experienced ones).

They did offer to have 2 there with me in case dd1 woke up and one could look after her or replace dh if he had to look after her but someone else went into labour at the same time so she couldn't come.

If you're concerned about it ask them what they would do. Also I found that IMs don't want you to worry about anything so if this is a big concern for you they'd almost certainly bring a second one in for you.

verylittlecarrot Mon 19-Oct-09 12:22:33

I understand what you are saying, crafty, but experience would surely be irrelevant if a crisis occurred which neede two sets of hands for the two people in need of medical attention. I feel a bit like I'm a dog with a bone here, but the issue shouldn't be "I'll bring in an extra MW to make you feel more reassurred"; it should be "A second MW is/isn't required, because in the instance of both mother and baby needing attention, this is what would happen..."

I believe in homebirth, and an experienced midwife should be capable of dealing with post-partum complications. But she can't possibly be in two places at once, and I would question the professionalism of a MW whose response was "oh, it won't happen, don't worry". By that reasoning, they might as well not take resus equipment because it might not be necessary. Surely there must be contingency planning for all scenarios?

What would a sole MW do in this circumstance?

muddle78 Mon 19-Oct-09 18:11:22

oh dear.. sorry for the missinformation. i have IM who said by law there had to be two. blush

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