‘It’s our right to choose a midwife’
MOTHERS are backing Ashford’s independent midwives in their efforts to resist legislation that threatens to close their practice.
Last week we reported that new regulations requiring all private health workers to have professional indemnity insurance (PFII) are coming into force next year.
Because of the very high potential payouts that would result from injuries to newborn babies, it is impossible for Britain’s 200 independent midwives to get PFII on the open market.
Without insurance, the Kent Midwifery Practice, based in Ashford, will be forced to close.
Louise Carrie, 38, lives in Blue Field in Singleton with her husband Alastair, 49, a pilot. The couple’s first baby, a son named Theo, was born in August.
Although he was born in the William Harvey Hospital, Virginia Howe from the Kent practice helped the couple throughout the pregnancy.
Louise said: “It’s all about continuity and the relationship you build up with a midwife. She’s with you right through that whole nine months, educating you about what to expect.
“Theo was our first child, and if we have other children we definitely want to have them with an independent midwife.”
“I couldn’t believe it when I heard they might have to close. I can’t tell you how strongly I feel about it. It’s our right to choose, and that’s what they are taking away from us. I’m very angry.”
Heather Miller, 40, from Hopes Grove in High Halden had her first child, also called Theo, in the William Harvey, but opted for a home birth with an independent midwife when her daughter Elizabeth was born last year. She plans to have her next baby at home.
She said: “I definitely agree that we need more choice. It’s down to the individual mother. I don’t want to go back into hospital unless it’s an emergency. Other than that, I would much prefer a home birth. It was much more relaxing.”
Heather said the cost of a home birth with the Kent Midwifery Practice was £1,500, and the full nine-month service was £2,500.
Louise Carrie with baby Theo who was born with the help of an independent midwife