Today is International Day of the Midwife and there’s a very important petition I’d like you to sign at the bottom of this post. But first, I wanted to share this letter I sent to the Head of Midwifery at Stockport NHS shortly after the birth of my daughter.
Dear Ms Estcourt,
I just wanted to drop you an email to say that you have a fantastic team of midwives working for you.
I had my first child, Ebony, at home two weeks ago, and it was such a positive experience because of the support I received from the midwives present that I wanted to email a thank you.
Because it was my first child, friends and internet research told me that midwives would not be very supportive of my decision for a home birth. I was led to believe that it would be a struggle to achieve a home birth, and that I may find this request refused on the day anyway. As such I was obviously a bit worried about having to fight for my choice! But it wasn't like this at all. From the first moment I mentioned that I wanted a home birth I felt supported and this helped to alleviate me of any worries I may have had.
On the day, my husband called the triage department at the hospital and they organised an on call midwife, Jo Homer, to come round. Jo was absolutely amazing. I cannot stress enough how lucky I feel to have had her as my midwife. She was really personable and caring and I felt immediately at ease with her. She read my birth plan and tried to ensure that I stuck with it, even at points when I was trying to deviate! She kept me calm and in control throughout the contractions, and was just so wonderful at making sure things ran smoothly.
Jo even stayed after her shift should have ended and, although I was definitely in a trance by this point, it meant a lot to me that she stayed ensuring I had the consistent care from a main midwife throughout the labour. Nicky and Annie arrived at some point and although I was in a trance and don't really remember much, my husband said they were equally as amazing during labour. I have seen both of them since and have been really pleased with the aftercare they both provided, really taking an interest and providing good advice about breastfeeding etc.
I feel really lucky that I was able to have such a positive birth experience, and that my daughter was born at home in the pool just as I had hoped. It was such an amazing experience to be able to get into my own bed after labour and begin life as a family without the hustle and bustle of a hospital ward.
My labour was only 6 hours 40 minutes and I know this is largely down to feeling comfortable and safe throughout, and this is definitely because of the amazing midwives I had!
I didn't get the chance to tell Jo, Nicky or Annie how much their care meant to me, or how grateful I was. So I hope that by emailing you this information will get passed on!
Thank you for managing such a fantastic team of expert midwives! I shall be forever grateful for the amazing experience I had.
Midwives do an amazing job, but they are facing staff shortages due to cuts and money saving in the NHS. The Royal College of Midwives is asking people to please sign this petition calling for an extra 5,000 midwives to deal with the increasing numbers of babies born each year. Staff shortages can be very harmful to mothers and babies, so please do sign the petition. And ask your friends and family to do the same.
The petition currently stands at 39,963 signatures. If it achieves 100,000 then this issue will be debated within the House of Commons. Please support newborn babies, mothers, pregnant women and midwives by signing the petition.