A UK article entitled, "Women hire own midwives after trauma of NHS births" suggests that London mothers are resorting to private midwives because they fear giving birth on the NHS. The NHS is the UK's public health system. Unlike Australia, most of the health care in the UK is public, on the NHS. In Australia, about 30% women have a private obstetrician or a private midwife for their birth. According to the article, “Women are scared of not having enough time with a midwife in hospital ..." "Women realise it’s not what they want and you don’t see the same midwife twice.”
A Mother has said, "It was an [NHS] midwife I’d never seen before who wasn’t overly welcoming. It was all very painful, very rushed and not an experience I ever wanted to repeat. It was the best decision I ever made [going private].”
"I’d definitely go down the independent route if I did it again. The NHS treated you as a number rather than as a person.”
Is this the same as the Australian situation? I wonder. Very few women will birth with a private midwife and then turn to the public system, but many women will do the reverse: go public for baby #1 and turn to the private system - obstetric or mdiwifery - for their next baby.
And what are these women saying about their decision?
I am extremely pleased with the service, which I believe allowed me to achieve my goal of a natural birth. I have many girlfriends who also shared this goal at their first birth but without the support I had, they did not achieve it.
I felt like lots of attention was given to my individual case.
Looking back on the night leaves me feeling elated, confident and proud about how the labour and birth turned out.
I felt validated and supported, never rushed.
I appreciated knowing the responsibility was on me to make decisions regarding my pregnancy and birth, rather than having those decisions made for me. I never felt pressured to choose any particular options, and was supported in whatever I decided. All my concerns were taken into account, and the things that were of most concern to me were discussed at length, hence I felt a lot more prepared for the birth experience.
I really appreciated having someone listen to what I want and support me through this process. It was by far my best birth!
So - when you're making your decision on where to birth your baby and with whom, consider your options thoroughly. Talk to other women who have had private obstetricians, public hospital care and also private mdiwifery care, and make the best decision for you and your baby.
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