Every morning I wake up to the sound of the radio playing. My husband always has it on as an alarm clock to get him up for work every day, and I usually lounge around for an extra 10 minutes after he’s got up to listen to the news before going to check on the kids. Today a news story peaked my interest in particular: it was to do with healthy pregnant women to be encouraged to use midwife-led units to give birth rather than traditional labour wards with doctors.
This is something I have fairly strong opinions on since, as you might remember from when I mentioned it, I had a rather difficult pregnancy and birth with my first. I suffered terribly with morning sickness (although it was rarely just confined to the mornings!) through the first few months, and even though it improved later in the pregnancy, I still had issues with it right up until the little one arrived. There was one occasion where it got close to me being admitted to hospital because I was dehydrated and actually losing weight rather than gaining it.
The birth itself started off fairly well – I went into labour only a day after my due date and seemed to be running smoothly through each of the stages with not too much pain. But things began to slow down, and I ended up being in the throes of labour for about 23 hours. It was a close call to me having an emergency caesarean because the baby’s heart rate was racing and I was exhausted, but he was finally born naturally. I dread to think what would have happened if I had been in only a midwife-led unit rather than a labour ward and had needed to have that emergency caesarean.
But then again, perhaps I would have been advised to go to a hospital rather than a midwife unit because I’d had a more difficult pregnancy than most. Apparently only straightforward pregnancies and women at low risk are being advised to attend the midwife units. According to the statistics that have come out, the care from these midwife-led units is just as safe as hospital care with doctors if you’re at low risk, particularly for women who have already had one child. What do you think? Have any of you mothers experienced the care of a midwife-led unit?