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Independent midwifery

(10 Posts)
MrsExtraOrdinary Mon 10-Nov-14 10:36:25

So after some bad nhs experiences that could have all been avoided. I'm opting for an independent midwife for baby 6. Please tell me your positive stories. I'm feeling a bit bombarded by the system at the moment and the can of worms that I fill will inevitably pour out when I book in with nhs for scans.

MrsExtraOrdinary Mon 10-Nov-14 15:58:15

Surely I can't be the only one to choose this option? confused

cactus123 Mon 10-Nov-14 21:23:16

I've got a lovely independent midwife. This is my first pregnancy and I'm currently 38 weeks, so haven't had the baby yet but I started with the NHS being told I'd be needing lots of growth scans because I am small, even thought the baby measured bang on if not slightly large on both of my scans.
I am a massive worrier anyway without being told that they are looking for things that could be wrong even though I'm very healthy and the baby has appeared healthy the whole way through.
My mum is actually a midwife too, although she didn't want the huge pressure of being my midwife (she has been extremely helpful and will be there for the birth too), and she was the one that suggested an independent midwife as she was sick of me being sent for unnecessary procedures through the NHS when there was nothing wrong and no reason to think that there was.

I also am wanting a home water birth, and my midwife is very pro home birth, whereas with how small I am measuring at the moment there is no doubt that the NHS midwives would be encouraging me to have a hospital birth. She lends out the pools too which is a bonus!

This definitely makes me sound like I'm bashing the NHS, which I'm not at all and I appreciate the free health care so much, but in my personal situation having the one of one and continuity of care with a person that you really get to know and has a lot of respect for your choices has been an amazing experience! smile

Good luck whichever you decide to do! xx

MrsExtraOrdinary Tue 11-Nov-14 08:17:38

Thankyou cactus that is such good news. I'm pretty much decided on an IM. I also had huge unnecessary worry last time although ended up with a home nhs birth. The mw wouldn't believe I was in labour do I was unassisted until the last 10 minutes. I'm really looking forward to continuity of care. What I'm finding hard is that when I suggest it to people they think I'm being negligent. Is it just because it's a different path to the norm? And they'd be scared to tread it?

pippinleaf Tue 11-Nov-14 08:36:37

I'm having a doula. Have you thought about that as a cheaper option?

MollyBdenum Tue 11-Nov-14 09:41:14

My phone just ate a long message. I'll write it up again later, but in short, I had my first baby at home with NHS midwives and the second with independent midwives. I saved up for a year before getting pregnant, and paid in instalments, and it was worth every penny. I had long appointments during pregnancy which covered all sorts of birth and childcare preparation and debriefing stuff about the last pregnancy and birth as well as medical care. DPand DD were included. I felt as though I'd been able to consider all sorts of options, not just the best case scenario.

For the birth itself, it made a huge, huge difference having a midwife at the birth who I knew and trusted. At the time, my perception of things was that my midwife hadn't done anything medical at all and just supported me, but when I read my notes afterwards, I realised that every time she'd given me supportive, reassuring, pain relieving touches, she'd been very discreetly monitoring blood pressure and hear rate and stuff like that without me even noticing. The birth was amazing - I could really feel the difference giving birth without a stranger present.

The most noticeable difference was actually in postnatal care. I had regular visits, keeping an eye on my health and that of the baby for 2 months after the birth. They helped me with breastfeeding, recovery from the birth, baby health problems- in many ways, the cost was worth it for the postnatal care alone, which was at a level that the NHS really can't do.

My only regret is not having had my independent midwives for the birth of my first child.

cactus123 Tue 11-Nov-14 09:43:27

I have found that people are literally just lacking in a bit of knowledge - it's completely understandable as obviously the NHS are very medicalised, and they have to work according to the guidelines which they are set so that they don't end up being sued for anything. Because of this every woman is treated within the same bracket, and every tiny little thing that has potentially ever caused any sort of problem will be acted upon, without taking the individual woman into account. Because this is just the routine way of doing things now, people think that it is the safest and best way - even though birth is what our bodies are designed to do by themselves with little intervention! So people just seem to believe that the hospital surrounded by doctors and midwives is the best and safest place to be, even though there is a lot of research to back up the fact that home births (especially for women who have given birth before) are equally as safe and it is actually being encouraged now for low risk women rather than frowned upon (although plenty of midwives seem to have not heard this news yet :P).

One of my friends has just had her baby and she is 4 weeks ahead of me. She's had an uncomplicated pregnancy however has been exactly the same as me, and measuring very small at each appointment. Because of this she was sent for monitoring every other day at the hospital during the last week or two of her pregnancy, as well as multiple scans. She ended up being induced for the fact the her baby was small, even though she had been growing during the time she was being monitored and the placenta was functioning as it should be. She was induced at just under 38 weeks and her baby weighed around 5lb6, so diddy but they put on half a pound per week in the last few weeks, so she would have probably been a very normal weight had she not been induced. I hate to think that this would happen to me if I hadn't gone down the independent route, as I'm such a worrier anyway!

Sorry for the huge essay - I seem to have blabbered on a bit too much but hopefully I got the point across okay. Don't take any notice of people who think you're being negligent - you are doing what is right for you and your baby, and the last thing you want is to feel stressed and as though nobody is taking any notice of your thoughts and choices during your pregnancy/labour.

backinthebox Tue 11-Nov-14 09:57:03

I had a IM after a fairly horrible first time on the NHS. She was fab. She offered such a comprehensive service - everything from counselling (my husband was very worried as DD and I both were extremely poorly and ended up in ICU and SCBU for 5 days each, and I had not to my shame given any thought to how he felt about that,) she taught me exercises for late pregnancy, negotiated me through the appointments I had at the hospital as a high risk patient (I had opted for IM but hospital birth with her there as companion,) and afterwards she visited every day for the first week to offer support and assistance. But where she really came into her own was the handling of the middle of the night dash to my house just in time to deliver my baby unexpectedly but calmly. Had I opted for the NHS he would most likely have been delivered either at home by my husband or by the side of the road. Given the dramatics of the first time round either of those options would not have been good ones! I cannot recommend IMs highly enough (well, especially mine!) and they are worth every penny - they are not cheap but not much more than the cost of a family holiday. I think it is a complete shame that the NHS are not able to offer women the option of a one-to-one service throughout the whole process.

MrsExtraOrdinary Thu 13-Nov-14 09:55:01

Cactus that's just it, you see I had my first baby over 16 years ago. He will be nearly 17 by the time I have this one. This will be my 6th birth, so i know quite a bit about how my body functions. More than most really. What frustrates me is seeing how things have deteriorated in midwifery care, esp in my area. It's so slap dash now. Last birth the midwife came out and refused to stay telling my husband it would be 2 days At least. Although I had explained Id had slow contractions for 36 hrs and they'd really picked up. I suddenly go very rapidly from 1-10cm in an hour. My waters don't break. I had one born in his bag. But she wouldn't listen so left me at home with just my mum. She got back 10 minutes before the end, despite several calls to delivery suite to get someone to come out. Only 2 hours later. She left my house at 10pm, stating I wasn't in labour. He was born at 11.50pm. Id been pushing for 30 minutes without assistance. It was quite scary, my poor mum was very calm but it shouldn't have happened. He had a very large head and my bowel was damaged. She then yanked out the placenta coz she got bored of waiting at an hour and wondered why there was a bit missing. She and the other mw who'd arrived from delivery suite sat there discussing how the profession wasn't what it was and that she was leaving the profession. She should not have been on that night with that attitude. I just wanted a nice peaceful home birth and it was like a disaster. Baby was ok but I had 4 major surgeries to get right spanning a year.

MrsExtraOrdinary Thu 13-Nov-14 09:55:35

Backin I also labour very quickly when it properly gets going and I know is not get to hospital either confused

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