We asked our friends over at Neighbourhood Midwives to tell us more about independent midwifery. Midwife and mum of four Tina Perridge tells us how she sees it..

“Now what shall I buy?

As a midwife I often get involved in discussions around ‘what to buy?’ All those vital and useful products, (like the Snugglebundl) and of course the ones that end up in the NCT Nearly New Sale!

What really surprises me though is that among all this planning expectant parents give very little or no thought to the care that they will receive during the pregnancy, birth and postnatal period. There is an assumption that the NHS will do it all and yes, it will provide safe basic care.

However, if we stop to consider that most of us will have only one or two babies in our lifetime that event takes on major significance, add in that this is a new life and the start of a new family unit and in my book that is pretty significant. Let’s compare this with say, getting married. You could do that virtually free, a basic civil ceremony, quick drink at the local pub or tea at home and a day trip to the seaside. Perfectly acceptable but!the reality is most women invest huge sums and even more effort and planning in this special day and rightly so.

Surely then the birth of your baby should warrant a similar approach?

When I was pregnant with my 4th baby at the somewhat advanced age of 41

I decided to engage the services of an independent midwife. I borrowed the money from my mum as, with 3 children already and jobs in the public sector, cash was tight. Looking back I now know that triple the price would have been money well spent as I emerged from the experience a different woman. I was so happy and in my determination to help other women to experience this I trained first as an NCT teacher then as a midwife. Now some 20 years later I am one of the founders of Neighbourhood Midwives and my daily mission is to ensure that as many women as possible enjoy a positive birth experience.

Choosing independent or private care does not mean that you are no longer an NHS patient, on the contrary. What it means is that you have your own known and trusted midwife by your side, only a phone call away, she has your best interests at heart and will share the experience with you. She will do all your routine antenatal care at home, (no more busy antenatal clinics).She will liaise with the NHs and any other caregivers. She will help with choices and decisions. If you are worried she will come out and reassure you whatever the time. Once you are in labour she will not leave your side and will help you to find your own strength and courage to become a mother. Postnatally she will build your confidence, care for you so that you can care for your baby and by the time of discharge you will be strong and confident in your new role. Thoroughly enjoying life.

She will never forget you and you will never forget her.

So! next time you are considering which buggy or car seat to buy, spare a thought for your own care.

Oh and don’t forget your Snugglebundl too!”

You can find out more by contacting:-
Tina Perridge www.neighbourhoodmidwives.org.uk