Mums’ fight for Birth tEAm

Threat to home birth mid­wife team

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By Stephen Briggs stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTstephenB

A group of mums are cam­paign­ing to save a team of mid­wives who helped them give birth at home rather than in hos­pi­tal. Peter­bor­ough and Stam­ford Hos­pi­tals NHS Foun­da­tion Trust is cur­rently con­sult­ing over the fu­ture of the Home Birth Team - a group of five mid­wives who are fo­cused on help­ing mums who choose to have their chil­dren at home.

While the five mid­wives, whose work cov­ers the Peter­bor­ough and Stam­ford ar­eas, would con­tinue to work in the child­birth team, they would­not­be­fo­cuse­donhome births.

Bry­ony Gigner (30) of Eastonon­theHill, Stam­ford, gave birth to daugh­ter Gabriella in May last year.

She said: “The is­sue is one of­con­ti­nu­ity­of­care. It is about know­ing who is go­ing to come through your front door.

“Youwant­to­knowwhoitis, and what they think of home births, and what their ex­pe­ri­ence of home births is.

“If there is a large team of mid­wives who could come through the door, it is not the same as hav­ing some­one who you have been meet­ing with for a long time.”

Bry­ony and a num­ber of other mums met with staff at the hos­pi­tal last week­inanat­temptto per­suade the trust to keep the spe­cial­ist team.

Bry­ony said: “It is im­por­tant. Peo­ple choose to have a home birth be­cause it is a re­lax­ing place, and it is calm.

“If the team goes I would have an­other home birth, but I would look at a dif­fer­ent Trust.”

Fran Gre­gory, Head of Mid­wifery at Peter­bor­ough and Stam­ford Hos­pi­tals NHS Foun­da­tion Trust, said: “We would like to re­as­sure wom- en and their part­ners that we will con­tinue to of­fer them the op­por­tu­nity to give birth at home. Should they choose to do so, they will be fully sup­ported by an­ex­pe­ri­enced and ded­i­cated mid­wife.

“In the 14 months that the team has been in op­er­a­tion, there have been 82 home­births, which equates to 1.3% of the to­tal num­ber of ba­bies de­liv­ered by Trust mid­wives dur­ing that time.

“These were at­tended by mid­wives f rom the home birth team and com­mu­nity mid­wives.

“By­in­creas­ing the in­volve­ment of the com­mu­nity mid­wives, we will be able to of­fer more­wo­m­en­theop­por­tu­nity to­give­birthath­ome. Pleasebe as­sured that we will not make any de­ci­sions with­out thor­ough­ly­ex­plor­ingth­eop­tions.”

An on­line pe­ti­tion has been set up. To sign, visit www.change.org/p/stephen­graves-save-pe­ter­bor­ough­home-birth-team Bry­ony Gigner and daugh­ter Gabriella

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