I have enjoyed the recent BBC drama series “Call the Midwife” that featured a group of Midwives in the 1950’s, who worked in the Docklands region of London. It has led me to reflect on the changes that I have seen during my career as a Midwife in Cheshire.
I became a midwife in 1986 and I am pleased to say that things have improved a lot since the practices that were in place then. I worked at a Consultant unit that dealt with approximately 4,000 births a year. At that time women had their first stage of labour in one small room confined to a bed and often assigned to a monitor. When transition started to hit them and they began experiencing an urge to push, there was an undignified dash down a maze of corridors to the delivery room. This meant negotiating visitors to the labour ward, cleaning staff and unfortunate “new arrivals” in early labour that looked terrified at the prospect of what was ahead for them!
When, as a fresh faced Student Midwife I enquired why women were not allowed to labour and deliver in the same room, I was told that the first stage of labour takes too long for women to spend it in the delivery rooms it would block them all!
Luckily things have changed for the better and Maternity Hospitals have a much more homely appearance on the Labour Ward. With a scattering of beanbags, birthing balls and poolrooms women are afforded privacy and encouraged with active birth practices.
The environment that you have your baby in will have an impact on your birth. If you are in a stark room that looks very clinical and people keep barging in unannounced, your labour will slow down. Here at UK Birth Centres we believe in continuity and getting to know you really well before your birth. We are able to unsure that the environment is conducive to you relaxing and that is why home birth is always worth considering!
Your UK Birth Centres Midwife can give you her undivided support and attention throughout all of your labour, whether you choose to be at home, in hospital or in one of our private birth centre rooms.