Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Fighting for Independent Midwifery, Birth Freedom and Human Rights

This week, the fight to save Independent Midwifery intensified, as five hundred people congregated in London in silent protest.

I wasn't able to be there, but I was thrilled to play my part in the day by writing this article, Why Independent Midwives are key to the fight for birth freedom, which appeared in the Telegraph online on Monday morning.

Of course, this was very exciting for me on a personal level too, as this is the first time I have had an article published at this level. It's amazing what can happen when you "Switch Off Your Television Set and Go and Do Something Less Boring Instead" - two years ago I started out writing tentative little numbers about fish fingers and my daily struggle to leave the house, and today I found myself sat at a table in a London studio, with cans on my ears and a fuzzy mike in my face, being asked to make sense of some of the issues around the current state of birth freedom in the UK.

I was joined my the absolutely vibrant and wonderful Virginia Howes, the Independent Midwife many of you saw recently on ITV's Home Delivery, and human rights Barrister Barbara Hewson. Over the phone came the voices of two wonderfully passionate and articulate mothers, Amy Scott and Alexis Brooking.

It was an absolute honour to be a part of such a rich and important discussion. You can listen to it by visiting this link: and clicking 'download'. 

The story of Independent Midwifery is unfolding day by day. I feel very optimistic that with so many people working so hard, a solution must surely be found. The very latest news from the campaign today is that David Cameron has written to the Health Minister saying that women need this choice and that he must arrange a meeting with IMUK. So - this seems very hopeful.

This is an issue, not just about birth, but about human rights. We are all fighting, not just to save Independent Midwifery, but to preserve a model of care that is woman-centred, holistic, and intuitive, and that is not highly focused on risk management. This issue matters greatly for the future of midwifery itself, and for the birth experiences of all women, now and in the future.

If you haven't already, please sign the petition.

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