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IMW in London

(11 Posts)
taten Sat 02-Jan-10 16:43:53

Could anyone recommend an independent midwife in london? Also what are the experiences about having a IMW with you in an NHS hospital in London?

BunnyBaby Sat 02-Jan-10 20:12:35

I had an IM and I won't be doing it again.

I would say if you intend to take this route pick carefully.

I was fearful that DS1 would be stillborn as we have a family history of that, and the IM seemed like a good way to get extra reassurance. Indeed initially I wanted a homebirth with my IM. My mistake was to trust her completely, this was a mistake as both me and DS1 were lucky as we had some close brushes.

She gave me a sweep at dd+7 and asked me to tilt my pelvis. DS1 rolled out and turned posterior.

I waited until dd+17 to be induced, and trusted her implicitly. However with hindsight, as he was now posterior, he couldn't get down low enough to be born and this put him at risk.

She was with me in the hospital but sat in the corner reading a book and occasionally giving me arnica, she failed to notice along with the locum midwife that my IV had blocked which was why my labour stalled for 8 hours.

I received no birth coaching from her, despite paying more (her fee was £4250) to attend her classes of which only one other couple attended once. She promised me the antenatal sessions, but never gave them.

I was woefully underprepared for induction and accepted pethedine and epidural which damaged my bladder and left me unable to pee properly for weeks. In fact, it was more painful trying to push baby past catheter balloon than any part of the labour itself.

I just felt abandoned and as if she was completely detached from me in the labour. No-one noticed my waters had broken, no-one listened when I had the urge to push, my waters broke underneath me and I was sick. Instead I was encouraged to keep still for the epidural and told I would not be able to not push if he was ready to be born. I felt his head touch the bed between my legs the urge was so strong, but the epidural was done and labour then stalled again.

Eventually in the morning a new NHS midwife was assigned who replaced the locum and also worked at the hospital. Her care was excellent and she carefully corrected all the mistakes, got the dosage of the drugs right and to work, and got the botched epidural fixed. This helped me relax.

Realising just how good those NHS midwifes were has given me the confidence to go with the hospital again for DC2. As I had the 3 day induction nightmare, I won't be too timid to ask that I always have a permanent midwife with me and not a locum, and will ask for a midwife I'm not comfortable with to be replaced.

Good luck with your choice, I am sure if my labour was straightforward I would have been happy with IM. However I'm not sure I would have trusted this one to realise if there were any problems.

I don't think she practises as a midwife any more, so no need to worry about booking her.

I'm going with my Mum and a Doula next time. PS Mum arrived towards the end and gave me the confidence I needed and the reassurance, which was amazing, especially as she's squeamish too!

BunnyBaby Sat 02-Jan-10 20:14:31

PS I'm in London too.

taten Sun 03-Jan-10 17:02:47

Thanks BunnyBaby, this is my first and I am struggling with making a decision as to what to do, at a stretch we could go private but what does private really give you over NHS? That is where we thought having an IMW might be a good compromise...

mistletoekisses Sun 03-Jan-10 17:54:32

Bunny - I looked into independant midwifes when I was pregnant with DS. And what ultimately made me decide against one was that in a hospital - whilst they can be your support and birth partner, they cannot act in the same capacity as the staff at the hospital. Ultimately the mw's/ consultant can totally overrule your IMW. Once I knew that, I didnt see the point of it. I wanted to be in the situation that my medical team were the ones I had built my relationship with. So if things started to go pear shaped, I was with people I trusted and whose judgement I trusted.

If you go private on the NHS, that is basically what you get. You get a chance to build a one to one relationship with the team that will be delivering your baby. You have to go under consultant lead care, but you will also get to know a team of midwifes that work with him/ her.

In the end, it was the expertise of the consultant I ended up was no bad thing to be under consultant lead care.


mistletoekisses Sun 03-Jan-10 17:55:12

Sorry - taten, last post was for you, not for bunny. Misread.

FabIsGoingToBeFabIn2010 Sun 03-Jan-10 17:56:43

We decided on an IMW at 31 weeks. Biggest mistake I had made wrt to pregnancy stuff. Thankfully it only cost us £50 and not the life of our child which it so easily could have done.

lumpasmelly Sun 03-Jan-10 19:19:58

I used the Birth Centre the first time round and then the same midwife, through another company that she had set up (costing half the price - 3k for the full service)....The Midwifery Practice. Service was great and even though I gave birth in hospital both time, my midwife (they provide 2 so that someone was "on call" at all times) came with me and was there every step of the way. She intervened when the NHS midwife tried to rush me, or do something i wasn't comfortable with, and she basically ensured that on a very busy day I was never left alone - I think the NHS midwife was glad to have her there as it freed her up to see to other women. My birth ended up in placental complications and a trip to theatre, and she was also able to accompany me there so DH could stay with DS2....basically, I got loads of really great advice and support and I really trusted her.

MrsHappy Sun 03-Jan-10 19:56:38

I had an IM to come with me to the hospital and it worked well.

Although, yes, ultimately if there is a massive emergency decisions will be made by the doctors, in a straightforward birth the MWs just work together. The IM does more of the comforting you/keeping you comfy and - crucially for me - explaining things to me and communicating my wishes (which were set out in a written birth plan) to the NHS staff, and the hospital MWs catch the baby. Plus it meant I had fabulous continuity of care both ante- and post-natally (great as I never saw the same person twice at the hospital). When I ended up with a section under GA I had someone to stay in theatre and tell me all about my DD's birth, DH not being allowed to stay in there. Given that I have now had 2 sections and the surgeon has never come to see me afterwards it was great to have someone to do that.

The other thing was that I wanted to stay at home for as long as possible during labour, but to have someone medically trained with me to be my safety net as it was a VBAC attempt. In the end I managed to stay home right until the last minute which I am sure was down to feeling so safe. And when we got to the hospital and it became clear there was a problem she stepped aside and let the NHS people get on with it.

As for choosing an IM, some will not attend a hospital birth. They also tend not to cover the whole of London so you need to find someone who covers your area. If you are north of the Thames, I can recommend these ladies.

angfirsttimer Mon 04-Jan-10 12:45:56

You could just go for a Doula if you plan to give birth in Hospital. I was looking at an IMW for a hospital birth but once I realised they cant do any actual midwifery anyway and do the same job as a doula it seems like a lot of money for not much more than a doula could provide for a fraction of the price. Haven't had the baby yet so dont know if its the right decision.
I have friends who have had IMW's for home births and it seems to be well worth it in that situation.

AndSheWas Wed 06-Jan-10 23:16:40

BunnyBaby, I am sorry to hear about your experience.

I had an IMW with me at a hospital birth, I didn't know what I was doing when I chose them, I just picked them off of google and it's a good job I did.

With an IMW you get to see the same person (in my case two) through the whole of your pregnancy and they get to know exactly what your worries are. I really liked the fact they could visit me at home evening, as I was working.

Like 'MrsHappy' I didn't rush into hospital and felt safe doing that with the IMW's there, when we did go in I was really lucky that I had one of them with me.

The NHS MW I was given had a really poor attitude and was just plain rude, but worst of all she couldn't do her job.

I had ended up on a monitor for various reasons and my IMW was obviously worried about the read-out and was trying to get the NHS MW to do something about it, the NHS MW was just not interested. In the end my IMW left the room and came back with a doctor and before I knew it I was on my way to having a CS. If she hadn't been there then I dread to think how things would have ended up.

Also I was pretty low once I got home, my IMW's were there every day for the first week and were still visiting me a month later - I know I used up more than my quota of vists.

Taten, if you want a London IMW I can recommend these special people, see if you can get Nyree or Charlotte.

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