After my last post, I took a step back, as I found it really emotionally draining to go back over the utterly shite treatment I had with my last birth in particular.
But the state of post-natal care also needs to be addressed and was, on the whole, poor during both my experiences.
There have been various promises and accompanying reports over the years to improve the situation but nothing has really stuck because the initiatives aren’t funded properly. Rather they pay lip service to give the impression that concerns are being taken seriously.
The latest is the Better Births five year plan, now three years into its launch and being implemented by the Maternity Transformation Programme. One of its key aims is to provide continuity of carer for most women by 2021. We are now two years away from that deadline and not much has changed judging by my experience in 2017. There are currently five areas of the country who have become early adopters, my area Trust in Sussex not being one of them.
Obviously having the same midwife through pregnancy and birth would vastly improve outcomes, with women feeling safer and secure, and most of all developing a continuous relationship so that trust and understanding can be built.
You can read more about the continuity of carer initiative here.
Continuity of Carer is a key campaigning issue for AIMS, the Association for Improving Maternity Services. They make excellent points when they say ‘This both reduces adverse outcomes and it is reasonable to believe that the relationship enables women to feel more in control, better informed and respected…If midwives follow women, rather than staffing beds, there is scope to achieve more and better within the same budget…We need to focus more on prevention…We need to both enhance positive well-being and mental health as well as safe physical services’. You can read more from the organisation and find out how to join here.
If you’d like to help further, there are many useful groups including National Maternity Voices, MatExp and the Positive Birth Movement.
And you can find out more about Mumsnet’s Campaign for Better Post Natal Care here.
Let’s get people listening!
Image from Pixabay