In The week, whilst working in London i picked up a copy of the Evening Standard and there was a great article in there from Sophie Goodchild about The fact that women should be allowed more choice on childbirth. The article was based around Award Winning Actress Lesley Manville who is calling for women to have more choice in childcare.
This article had me thinking for days because when i had Kimmy 22 years ago, I seemed to have more input into my own anti-natal care than when I had Tilly, 4 years ago! it shows that these days We really need to put more money into midwifery care and anti/post natal care.
Money Within the NHS would actually be saved if we invested MORE money in the care of expectant mothers and new mothers! I do believe I am living proof of this! I am not mentioning the NHS trust i live in or the Hospital that my child was born in because it isn't down the the individual trust, i blame the government for the lack of funding in maternity care.
I was admitted to hospital for a C-section, it was planned and i was 10 days over due. Through out my pregnancy, I was monitored closely as i had a miscarriage and sadly lost Tillys twin, then i Nearly lost Tilly. It was a very scary time for me and my family as i was 19 weeks pregnant, scared and bleeding heavily. I was put on a day ward and left with other mums to be, they didn't know what to do with me and even when i was put onto the maternity ward I was told that I shouldn't be there as i was miscarrying not having a prem baby. It was still 5 weeks until my baby could be classed as a baby. I was distraught that the midwife had said this and I was on a ward with mums having babies, yet here i was apparently miscarrying! Anyway move on to 42 weeks, they decided to try and start me off to give me a chance at a natural delivery (despite them knowing my baby weighed over 10lb when i was scanned), they tried to start me off twice and it failed each time, a total waste of being in hospital for 2 days- costing the NHS, more money than i should! I was tired and really fed up and when they came to me and told me that they were going to wake me up at 2am in the morning to start me off i was devastated, i got up, packed my stuff away and threatened to walk out. I was in tears and i had no where to turn! Eventually i was told they wouldn't wake me through the night and my C-section was booked for 11am the next day, after being put off twice already.
I had the C-section, after a day i was told i would have to leave the hospital the next day and Even though i was a single parent, i wasn't offered any other care at home. But this wasn't the shocking part, that was still to come. We went home and a midwife visited the next day, then for 4 days there was nothing! no midwife, no phonecall, no care at all! When you look at the fact i had a major operation, i had stitches and i had a really bad pregnancy i feel let down by the NHS for the way they had been. In no way do i Blame midwives for the lack in care for new mums as i feel they are stretched so much that there is only so much they can do and I did have two amazing midwives!
So yes I agree with everything that Lesley Manville says in the article, If mums were given more input into their own care and they were allowed to have home births where it is a known fact that mums are more relaxed, then this is saving the NHS money. They want to herd you into hospital, where you get passed around which ever midwife is on duty and in your whole stay in hospital, you may see 8 different midwives. But if you have your baby at home and you have one to one with a single midwife, surely this is better for the mum and the baby? You also look at he after care being reduced because your relaxed and you enjoy the birth, you are then more confident to carry on with things after the birth. and most importantly be happier and less likely to suffer Depression after the birth, lets face it - A traumatic birth can lead to PND as it did with me or in worse cases it can lead to PTSD, meaning years of using NHS resources that we dont have the money for!
Lesley Manville is patron of Neighbourhood Midwives, a community scheme launched last year in London to provide midwife care. It is owned and run by midwives themself and is in talks with the NHS to provide a free service in the community. At the moment they do charge women but like all organisations starting up, the money goes straight back into the organisation. Founder Annie Francis has estimated that homebirths could rise by 20% if the NHS reorganised how midwives worked.
Sadly these days Midwives are the ones involved with new parents and they are the ones that get the backlash of the poor care that the NHS often provides in some Trusts.