Home Delivery

Girl Thursday

Girl Thursday

Excuse my slight europhic tone in this post, but I am on a bit of a high, a natural one before any of you call Social Services!

Yesterday I was doing what I love most, supporting a woman in labour and helping her achieve the birth she wanted, a beautiful water birth at home. It was also extra special as she is a friend of mine and our fairly new friendship has now bonded us so tightly since I became her midwife. This was her second baby and second home birth and I am so privileged to work in a small team of NHS midwives who can support and facilitate this type of care to a group of women of South East London. We provide one-to-one care for these women, throughout their pregnancy, birth and postnatal period. Did you know that you are entitled to 28 days of midwifery care once you have had your baby? How many of you can honestly say you saw your midwife past day 14? I discharged a woman of mine who was day 23 last week. Why? Because she really needed all that extra breastfeeding help having struggled so much at the beginning. I know she would have given up feeding if she didn’t have the right support but she is now a confident breastfeeding Mama! And I’m so proud that I was part of all of that.

It seems something was in the waters (!) yesterday as ITV showed the documentary ‘Home Delivery‘ following independent midwife Virginia Howes as she assisted with the births of three babies, all of them in the home. Having spent the day at a home birth you would have thought I would be ‘all birthed out’ but this documentary fascinated me. Not only did it finally put an end to all the highly charged, dramatic, medicalised births shown on Channel 4’s One Born Every Minute, it showed viewers how birth should be; evidence based, women centred and well supported by a midwife the women know. Mr Cameron’s infamous ‘Gold Standard Care’.

Now of course choosing an independent midwife comes at as cost, a hefty one at around £2750 which is more than most peoples monthly salary. But women are choosing to pay this as case loading midwifery isn’t available in all areas on the UK. And some midwives are choosing to become independent midwives due to the frustrations in the UK’s midwifery services to women, and the choices they have.

I feel very privileged to be working in a way I truly believe in, to care for women the way they deserve (even when the pager goes off at 3am) and I support all midwives, NHS employed and independent. Lets hope programmes like Home Delivery might make people wonder why more women don’t give birth at home.

Don’t forget to check out the fabulous work the people at The Birth I Want are doing to campaign for one-to-one midwifery care for all women.

6 thoughts on “Home Delivery

  1. I love it when you talk so passionately about your work – if only everyone could find their vocation in life. You show so much dedication to supporting others through some of the biggest moments in their lives and I’m immensely proud of you.You are not only a wonderful midwife, but wife to boot. xxx

  2. Just wanted to say how happy reading this made me! The NHS is lucky to have you! I’m so eternally grateful to the midwife who was with us for the delivery of our beautiful girl 9 months ago. Reading how passionate you are about birth being a natural process (which needn’t be unessesarly medicinalised) is such a pleasure. I was so lucky to have a midwifery unit close to where I lived in Dundee, Scotland (we’ve since moved to melbourne) where the philosophy was just like yours – I had my water birth with the most respectful, skilled, lovely midwife I could have wished for. I was also lucky enough to have received ongoing support from midwives, breastfeeding support staff and an extremely experienced midwife in charge of the breastfeeding clinic who all helped me through to still be feeding 9 months on. I only wish that this support was available to all women.
    And…just when your post couldn’t get any sweeter, I read your husband’s comment – lovely!

    • Wow, that’s so wonderful to read, thank you. I have been a but behind on blogging recently but I’m on annual leave today so will crack on with some more post this week! I do love my job so much I can’t imagine doing anything else especially the type of case loading midwifery care my team provide. I just wish every woman in the UK could receive it, because every woman deserves it.

  3. Hi Clemmie,
    I’ve recently discovered your blog via your ‘truth about maternity leave’ blog post on Facebook, and I’m totally addicted! I’ve been reading back through your back catalogue.
    I’m hoping to become a mummy one day soon so finding all the stories and advice fascinating and inspirational. All the birth stories are so different but tend to have the same theme i.e. it was really tough but I somehow found the strength to get through it. Is it really wierd to say I’m looking forward to the day I get tested to my limits like this??

    Anyway as someone yet to enter this this very confusing soundig world I wanted to ask u, when that bloomin stork does show his face, what’s he first thing I should do to get on the right maternity care path, whatever that may be for me? Services seem to be so patchy, and we can’t afford private care but i would really love the kind of dedicated care and relationships you talk of in your blog. Tips please!
    Karin xx

      • Hi Clemmie,
        I live in Epsom, not sure if that’s a lucky place in the postcode lottery? Seen Margaret hodge on tv today campaigning for more midwives- talking sense, hope they do something positive!

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