Wednesday, November 25, 2009

'New mums 'abandoned' during labour'

Sky News is just one media outlet to report on a survey of 3,500 mums by The Royal College of Midwives and parenting website

The survey found that 35% of mums said they had been 'abandoned' during or after labour, and Sally Russell, co-founder of, says, 'It shows that our members want, need and deserve one-to-one care from midwives but they are not getting this and are left alone and feeling abandoned during labour, and especially in the vital post-natal period.'

Pros and cons of different birth types
I am not about to advocate that women choose surgery in order to avoid some of the harrowing labors and inadequate maternity care experienced by some of these mums (and many more have posted comments on various websites today), but I do believe that avoiding this type of unpredictability and trauma is viewed as a benefit by many women who do choose surgery.

Speaking personally, and obviously my experience was somewhat different since I had my children in America rather than here in England, but one of the things I valued most was the relationship I built up with my OBGYN throughout my pregnancy. I also met with her surgical partner, who would have delivered my babies in the event that I went into labor early and she was not available, so I always knew I wouldn't end up with a stranger who may or may not understand or support my chosen birth plan.

Continuity of care
I enjoyed a fantastic continuity of care; all antenatal appointments with the same doctor, delivered by the same doctor and then postnatal appointments with the same doctor. In fact, I still keep in touch with her now, as do many of her patients.

But unfortunately, today's story is not a new one, and complaints of midwife shortages and inadequate care have been reported for more than 20 years at least (read more here). So aside from the fact that I felt that a planned cesarean was the safest option for my babies and for me, I would have hated to rely on this kind of NHS service in the event that vaginal delivery was my preferred birth plan.

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