Birth under midwife-led care means there is far less chance of being asked or forced against your will to undergo dangerous medical interventions such as episiotomies, caesareans, forced inductions, and use of forceps or ventouse.
Under the guidance of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, National Health Services says that 45% of births ‘unsuitable’ for labour wards and urges women to avoid hospital births and the associated risks.Under new NHS guidelines, as much as half of pregnant women should avoid traditional labour wards and have non-hospital births. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says that midwife-led birthing is far safer and recommends that all women with low-risk pregnancies, which amounts to about 45%, should give birth in a midwifery-led unit.
Midwife-Led Care is Far Safer
These changes to the National Health Services guidelines were made official in December 2014 and come because birth under midwife-led care means there is far less chance of being asked or forced against your will to undergo dangerous medical interventions such as episiotomies, caesareans, forced inductions, and use of forceps or ventouse.
In addition to the traumatic and dangerous technological interventions in hospitals, Susan Bewley, professor of complex obstetrics at King’s College, London, and chair of the Nice advisory group, stated that infections occur more frequently in hospitals.
“We’re supporting an individual calm conversation about what is right for each individual in her circumstances,” said Bewley. “They may choose any birth setting and they should be supported in those choices as that’s their right.”
Early Clamping and Cutting of the Cord Policy GONE!
In addition to encouraging non-hospital births in low-risk pregnancies, a decades-old policy of “early clamping and cutting of the cord” has officially been reversed, with the National Health Services now reversing their position and advising midwives not to clamp and cut a baby’s umbilical cord until at least a minute after birth.
This recommendation comes from research suggests that early clamping and cutting may leave newborn babies deprived of vital blood from the placenta, which presents an increased risk of anaemia.
From Hospitals to Midwives: A World in Transition
Currently in England, 9 of 10 of the 700,000 babies born each year are delivered in hospitals. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) wants commissioners to ensure that all four possible birthing options are given to women:
- Hospitals (Traumatic and Dangerous)
- Hospital Units
- Midwifery Units and at Home
Here’s what the clinical practice director of NICE Professor Mark Baker had to say about it:
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]“It’s very difficult to explain why this is happening but the closer you are to hospital, and indeed if you are in hospital, the more likely you are to receive hospital care and surgical interventions. Surgical interventions can be very costly, so midwifery-led care is value for money while putting the mother in control and delivering healthy babies.”[/quote]
He continued to say that midwifery is safer for giving birth if it’s not your first time giving birth. For first-time mothers giving birth at home represents a “small increase” in risk of complications. That being said, considering there will be no birth rape, no sexual trauma, and no long-lasting emotional trauma to your baby giving birth at home, it’s hard to imagine that this “small increase” even exists.
Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said: “For low-risk women, giving birth in a midwife-led unit or at home is safe and reduces medical interventions.
“We hope this will focus commissioners’ and providers’ of maternity services attention on ensuring that women have a real choice about where they give birth.”