Sunday, October 30, 2011

Where have I been? I've been to London to visit the Queen

That's not actually true of course, but it rhymes a whole lot better than 'the MP Dr. Daniel Poulter'!

On Tuesday 25 October, I attended the APPG meeting on Maternity and Population, Development and Reproductive Health in Portcullis House, House of Commons, London.

Afterwards, I spoke briefly with Dr. Poulter, who is the APPG chair, and he agreed to present a letter containing my concerns about caesarean rate targets to the Department of Health.

At the moment, my workload is such that I am not finding time to blog (the final proof-reading stages of our book, Choosing Cesarean: A Natural Birth Plan, are upon us), but also I'm busy preparing the above letter, corresponding with the BBC concerning my complaint about The One Show in August 2011, emailing and talking with women who are trying to have their birth choice understood and respected, and working on other campaign research and letters - news of which I will post here as soon as possible.

In the News

There has also been a great deal of news and information on cesarean birth in the last few weeks, all of which I have saved as drafts and plan to post when I can, but one of the most noteworthy is this, published yesterday in The Independent (Inspectors find culture of abuse in NHS trust's maternity services) and Daily Mail. I posted this comment on both:

Part of the problem here is that too much attention is given to the cry of needing 'more midwives' in the UK. What we need to hear more is the cry for 'more obstetricians', who have the specialist knowledge and experience to identify some of the problems listed above. We critically need more obstetricians on our maternity wards.

Moreover, we need to move away from our ideological obsession with 'normalising' birth and arbitrarily reducing caesarean rates at all costs. This puts targets and 'normal' outcomes ahead of ensuring that each individual woman gets the best, safest and most appropriate care for her individual birth. Positive, healthy outcomes should be viewed as more important than anything else, but currently they're not.

Creators of maternity policy would do well to remember that death in childbirth (for mother and/or baby) is one of the most natural consequences of normal birth. Most women want a safe, satisfactory birth, not necessarily a normal one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"talking with women who are trying to have their birth choice understood and respected"

It would help enormously if the new NICE draft guidelines were being reported properly.

Today there are several articles floating about - from skynews, yahoo, press association and I believe The Times Online.

NONE of the ones i've seen has mentioned how NICE looked at the costs. All the comments are about is how this is going to cost the NHS so much. All these Trust bans on the grounds of cost have done untold damage...

NEITHER did any of these articles point out that the changes are being made primarily to protect women suffering from tocophobia.

I've seen numerous friends on facebook making comments about how awful it is. This reporting is appalling.

I am also in the process of trying to write letters to health minister and shadow health minister over just how bad this is. It probably won't make a blind bit of difference, but I am finding this so frustrating.

I'm utterly dreading the media coverage come 23rd November.