The rising birth rate and pressure on NHS budgets has led to a major crisis in the provision of maternity services nationally. The increased medicalisation of childbirth in the UK has also resulted in costly intervention becoming the norm and rising levels of caesarean section births.
Maternity units are struggling to provide adequate care without sufficient midwives to meet the demand for home and hospital births. Units are often forced to close due to staffing shortages and lack of resources. Many midwives are leaving the profession with some opting to practice independently.
We, the undersigned, call on the British Government to commit to providing support and choices in childbirth for all pregnant women.
We request that an independent inquiry be established to review maternity services and to make recommendations on the following:
1: Investment in midwife-led centres nationally;
2: Improving working conditions for midwives;
3: Increasing the numbers of community midwives to provide home birth services and personalised ante-natal and post-natal care;
4: Reinvesting maternity budgets in supporting and educating pregnant women in the benefits of natural childbirth using techniques such as hypnobirthing and massage as well as encouraging emotional support from birth partners and doulas (therefore reducing the need for costly medical intervention);
5: Modernisation of NHS hospital maternity policies by abolishing the concept of 'failure to progress' and reviewing the use of due dates and automatic induction;
6: Reducing the national rate of caesarean section births.
The Improve maternity services and birth choices for women petition to British Government was written by Jenny Farrer and is in the category Health at GoPetition.