Thursday 26 July 2012

The Importance of Midwives #moremidwives

Today's post is all about midwives, and why we desperately need more midwives. There is currently an epetiton from the Royal College of Midwives that closes very soon, and we need more signatures for this important issue to be raised in Parliament.  To read more about the campaign please visit the Royal College of Midwives. 

I have to admit, that before I fell pregnant I was slightly ignorant about the role of the midwife. Yes, I knew they looked after women in pregnancy, and were there to help in labour, but I had no idea of the complexity of their role. Until it happened to me, I had no idea how common premature birth is, let alone all the other complications that can happen in pregnancy.

When I arrived at hospital at 26 weeks and 6 days, a lovely midwife took me under her wing. She reassured me, did tests on me, and was there when I was given the devastating news that my son would be born at 27 weeks gestation. She was there with me the night before his birth. I had to have 48 hours intense monitoring, and she happened to be on nights. I had the most awesome continuity of care. I felt nurtured, supported and safe, even though I was so poorly and my baby was in danger.

The simple fact is, we need more midwives working in the NHS. Over the last decade, the number of births in the country is up by over 22 per cent. Over the same period, however, the number of midwives has risen by less than 17 per cent. Women are having babies later, there are more multiple births too. We can manage complications now that we couldn't do nearly as well 10 years ago. It is clear that we need more midwives. In addition, we need plenty of midwives on hand to help trainee midwives receive the benefit of this experience, and to become good midwives themselves.

I asked some of my Facebook followers to share their positive stories of midwives.

Manuela Fernandes©The Royal College of Midwives 2012.  All Rights Reserved
My first four children were delivered by my community mw helping - she wasnt even on shift for 2 of them but made sure she was 'just passing' when I was in labour

In labour with Daisy, my midwife said "dont be scared honey, only very special people get these babies, as the babies know that their mammys will always look after them properly", and her words have stayed with me ever since.

The midwife who delievered both my girls! She greed to be my midwife with lottie as I had booked a home birth, when the time came and I was in labour she was just in her pyjamas carving up a chicken but left all of that and came out to me. With my past history of abuse she knew how to treat me and my blood pressure and pulse remained low during labour for me to deliever lottie at home. She even gave me her personal mobile so I could text her anytime and even on her days off came to help me breast feed lottie without her I wouldn't have delievered at home or even tried to feed lottie myself

During Olivia's delivery, my midwife sat and held my hand while updating me as to what was happening. My Husband didn't get to the hospital in time so I was grateful to have someone with me. My Mum in Law just made it into theatre before Olivia arrived but I'll never forget how calming the Midwife was

A hug when I broke down after a breastfeeding nightmare. It was exactly what I needed at that time. All the chocolate in the world couldn't take away my pain and my other half, bless him, just couldn't appreciate my distress. The same midwife, when I saw her a few months later at baby clinic, said "You're a natural, I'll see you in two years with your next one". Which she did. I've had a few problems in the old happiness department since then, and in my second pregnancy, she was incredibly supportive when my GP frankly wasn't.

The midwife who looked after me during premature labour with Harry was awesome. She kept us all wonderfully calm during a very stressful situation.

The midwife who was there when I was told Sophie would have to be delivered that day was so lovely. I was panicking and in tears, and she gave me a big hug and really calmed me down. I will never forget that.

When the doctors were adamant I was to have a c sec due to not progressing, wrong position etc my mw knew I didn't need it and with her guidance helped turn mia and get her descending. Without her I would have had the c sec perhaps unnecessarily

When i had my angel Kayleigh at 26weeks i had to stay on delivery suite for nearly 2 weeks due to my blood pressure. I had pre-eclampsia and eclampsia and had an emergency c-section. My midwife was amazing, she looked after me one-to-one until I was well enough to be discharged and I dont think I could have got through it without her. She was there for me for everything even if was upset we sat and cried together  

I had to be transferred urgently to a hospital with a better NICU, I wasn't in labour but my son was struggling. The midwife on that night was amazing, she moved me to a side room, she listened, she monitored me and she came with me in the ambulance. She had a gentle and lovely manner and made a tough night easier. I will never forget her.

I feel very strongly that we need more of these midwives, so that every baby gets the very best start in life, and every woman gets quality care. If you agree please sign the epetition. 

On Twitter and Google Plus please share the epetition with the tag #moremidwives

Thank you



  1. What a thought provoking post.2 of my cousins are midwifes.the midwife,gemma who I saw in triage was fab and explained why our gemma had to come early when I clearly wasn't getting it! she pushed for a growth scan and came to check on me on the ward before and after she was is a very husy hospital and this was really above and beyond.
    On the ward,I felt ignored and not given much time as I didn't have a baby with me! to some it was an inconvenience to put my ebm in their fridge when i had had a csection and struggled to get up during the night.
    The one who told me I was to be discharged was awful,she clearly hadn't read my file and was so rude.
    My community midwife was fab and met me at the unit for checkups as understood how I needed to be there as much as possible.
    Such a shame it is so hit and miss and not having enough midwifes means they can't always give you the time they would like to.

  2. Good job on highlighting this very important issue in maternity care. I have already signed the e-petition thanks to K and yourself making me aware of it. I hope that all your readers will do the same.