Article by Louise Williams
Hi everyone, my name is Louise Williams and I am mummy to William (3yrs 11mths), Leighton (2yrs 3mths) and Katelyn (16mths). I am an Admin and co-owner of SAVE Our Maternity Service page on facebook. Our group (now changed to a page as it is more effective) was originally founded by an amazing student midwife Sarah Kemlo on 24th August 2011 to promote the More Midwives Petition.
I first met Sarah just after midnight on Sat 4th Sept 2010; this was when I went into hospital to be induced with my 3rd baby. I had developed Gestational Diabetes during this pregnancy and I also have a long term medical condition of my own which meant that I was classed as ‘high risk’. When a bed finally became available for my induction to be started, my blood pressure was through the roof!
Sarah gave me the care and attention that I needed during my labour and birth. She helped me to lower my blood pressure and to remain calm throughout my labour and birth and best of all, she gave me the most precious gift anyone could ever give – the safe arrival of my baby girl. It could so easily have gone wrong and ended in tragedy if it wasn’t for her one to one care. Everybody deserves and should receive this level of maternity care.
From personal experience and family and friends’ experiences of our maternity service, things were going wrong and sometimes with tragic consequences. I could easily see why some of things that happened, did happen – shortage of midwives!!! Too many babies are dying unnecessarily and the Government are not thinking that there’s a problem. Every day, 17 babies are either Stillborn or suffer Neonatal death, that’s over 6000 per year – so every year over 6000 families are having to suffer the loss of their baby!!!
These figures are just unacceptable. We have one of the worst stillborn and neonatal death rates in the developed world and the figures have remained unchanged for 10yrs!!! Not all of these babies can be saved but by employing more NHS Midwives these horrific figures could be drastically reduced – many of these babies die during a traumatic labour and birth or shortly after because of a traumatic labour and birth. The number of midwives that we have at the moment is what we needed 5yrs ago!!!
I wanted to do something to make our Government open their eyes’ to the situation our maternity service is facing. So when Sarah first set the group up, there was no way that I wasn’t going to join and get involved. During his Pre-Election Campaign, David Cameron promised 3000 More Midwives and to protect our Maternity Service from cuts. Since his Government came into power, they have only employed approx 500 more NHS Midwives and they no intentions of increasing this!!
They are also making cuts that are affecting our Maternity Service, midwives are being made redundant, birthing centres being closed down, and student midwives once qualified are not being employed. Our midwives are stretched between up to 3 labouring women – working long shifts and sometimes with no breaks. Our Maternity Service is about to reach crisis point, we need 4700 more midwives right now!!! It shouldn’t be down to money as to whether a mother and her baby live or die!!! The rate of how many babies are being born is increasing all the time but the number of midwives is not!!!
Our aim is to promote the More Midwives Petition as far & wide as possible to get those all important 100,000 signatures needed, and get this into Parliament, where they will have to sit up and listen. This Petition affects everybody in the country and we need their backing. So if you haven’t already done so, please sign the petition & ask family & friends to sign too. We are fighting for Safe Maternity Care, to save lives!!!
Recruit 5000 more NHS Midwives in England – e-petitions http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/13716
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