Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A normal birth and a baby's death

Yesterday I posted the comment below in the Daily Mail article, 'Mother-to-be lost baby after staff at midwife-led birthing centre failed to spot rare pregnancy condition', and you can scroll down further to read a comment posted by another reader, who also lost her baby during labor in a midwife-led birth unit.
Please note that I am not against birth units as a birth choice, but I do not agree that they be encouraged as standard maternity care and policy for all women deemed 'low risk' in the UK.
 
My comment
 
NO ONE can judge any pregnancy or birth to be "low risk" without the benefit of hindsight. Low risk can become high risk in a heartbeat, and yet maternity care in the UK is decidedly focused on making sure as many women as possible achieve a "normal birth" - with the lowest rates of medical intervention (read: 'New RCOG guidance urges CCGs to increase births without epidurals and reduce caesarean rates to 20%' for more info).
 
Well this mother's birth experience was 'normal' according to mode of delivery definitions, but it resulted in irreparable physical and psychological damage for this devastated family. Worse still, Rhiannon Davies had known risk factors, plus she was 38 years old (i.e. advanced maternal age). Too many women are being advised to give birth in a midwife-led unit (which is very different to providing choice), and there are too many cases like this one where death or serious injury are the result.

Women need unbiased information - not ideology.

Roz , London, 19/11/2012 12:52

"I too lost my full term baby in similar circumstances. She died during labour. I too was booked in as low risk into a midwife led unit. For all those who advocate birthing centres, and natural births, that's great but once something goes wrong it's too late isn't it. Sadly I've learnt this the hard way. Giving birth might be natural but it's a time in your life when you need the most experienced medical professionals around you, because the slightest thing going wrong can result in a death, even worse, two deaths. Why would anyone want to take the chance? Parents need to be made aware of all risks and possibilities - sadly there's too much politics involved. Just so sad xx"

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