In fact, during ongoing email correspondence with the RCM over the summer, I volunteered to speak at the conference in person - especially since the publication of updated NICE guidance on maternal request cesareans is not fully understood (and is not being properly implemented) by all midwives - but unfortunately, I haven't receive a response to my offer. Maybe next year...
As for tomorrow, there promises to be some interesting talks and workshops, but the heavy focus on normal birth, while unsurprising, is nevertheless a very concerning one. The words 'caesarean' and 'c-section' don't appear anywhere on the conference schedule, despite the fact that this is how one quarter of women in the UK give birth, and the same goes for 'instrumental delivery', which affects more than one in ten women.
On a positive note, these presentations appear to address birth choice and risk:
S21. Autonomy of Women and Families - Shared decision-making & Woman-centred care: the language of practice, policy and professional regulation
Session Six: Why love matters: postnatal care - Relationships, risks and repair
S22. Intelligent intermittent auscultation: increasing midwives skills in hearing fetal wellbeing during labour
But these are some examples of presentations, in their 'normal' context, that concern me:
S10. The Normality of Birth - Women’s use of complementary therapies in pregnancy and childbirth:a journey to normal birth & My birth, my choice
2. Insight, issues and innovation in normal birth - Topics include: Insights and issues perceived to be
barriers to midwives when practising normality & “Innovation” in dissemination of information about the Campaign for Normal Birth
S22. The Normality of Normal Birth - A national data set for normal birth using Serenity Birth Centre clinical outcomes & The art of midwifery student project: promoting normality in birth through arts developments in midwifery education and midwifery led units
M2. Research into Practice Master Class: Implications of the Birth Place Study
S11. Missed targets for home birth: an investigation into maternity practiceS13. Campaigns: Making a Difference
S20. Midwives in Control of their Education