Midwives Drop Natural Birth Campaign
British midwives have dropped their 12-year “campaign for normal birth”, admitting it made some women feel like failures. The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has said women will no longer be told that they should have babies without medical intervention.
Professor Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the college, denied the campaign, which has run since 2005, had compromised safety, but told The Times it would be ended. “There was a danger that if you just talk about normal births, and particularly if you call it a campaign, it kind of sounds as if you’re only interested in women who have a vaginal birth without intervention,” she told the paper.
“What we don’t want to do is in any way contribute to any sense that a woman has failed because she hasn’t had a normal birth. Unfortunately that seems to be how some women feel.”
The college had argued more women should give birth naturally—without caesarean, induction, instruments or epidural.
But the drive attracted criticism following an inquiry into the deaths of 11 babies and one mother at the Morecambe Bay trust between 2004 and 2013, which found that midwives’ desire for normal births at any cost had contributed to unsafe deliveries.
Prof Warwick said she does not believe midwives would have looked at the campaign and thought it meant pushing normal birth “beyond the point of safety”. “Clearly some midwives were identified as doing that at Morecambe Bay,” she said, “but I’ve got no evidence that was fostered by anything the RCM was doing.”
The Independent. August 12.