Mid­wives urged to drop nat­u­ral birth cam­paign

Daily Mail - - News -

MOTH­ERS will feel less judged if mid­wives end their cam­paign for ‘nat­u­ral child­births’, ac­cord­ing to ex­perts.

The Royal Col­lege of Mid­wives is con­sid­er­ing drop­ping its 12-year-old ad­vice that women should aim to give birth with­out any med­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions.

Cathy War­wick, the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, ad­mit­ted it was ‘com­pletely in­ap­pro­pri­ate for a pro­fes­sional to push any agenda of their own’.

Her ac­knowl­edge­ment fol­lows con­cerns that the cam­paign has had tragic con­se­quences for moth­ers and ba­bies.

The hard-line agenda was blamed for the deaths of 11 ba­bies and one mother at the Univer­sity Hos­pi­tals of More­cambe Bay ma­ter­nity unit in Cum­bria.

An in­quiry into the scan­dal – which oc­curred be­tween 2004 and 2013 – at­trib­uted it to a ‘dys­func­tional cul­ture’ spear­headed by a gang of ‘mus­ke­teer mid­wives’. More re­cently, the cam­paign has been linked to the deaths of 15 ba­bies and three moth­ers over ten years at Shrews­bury and Telford NHS trust, in Shrop­shire.

The NHS is cur­rently in­ves­ti­gat­ing the deaths and at least seven have al­ready been deemed ‘avoid­able’.

Kim Thomas, of the Birth Trauma As­so­ci­a­tion char­ity said: ‘We wel­come the RCM’s de­ci­sion to stop us­ing the term “nor­mal child­birth” to de­scribe a birth that hap­pens with­out in­ter­ven­tion. The term “nor­mal” can feel judge­men­tal, and a lot of women feel they have failed be­cause they didn’t give birth “nor­mally”.’

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