Friday, 11 October 2013

Media and Politicians please make informed decisons. Review of Maternity Services is an opportunity for change & reform - not more of the same.

PLEASE READ AND SHARE to media and politicians: 
AIMS Ireland published a press release following the HIQA report yesterday. We note it was printed in several media outlets, thank you! However, we are dismayed to see that in ALL instances, bar the blog of Clare Daly, the need for reform of Ireland's maternity care model has been left out. We have heard numerous reports from obstetricians and politicians in the past 24 hrs using this report to call for more obstetricians. This presents a big problem - its a reactionary plaster which in the long run, WILL fail. More obstetricians will not save mothers or babies. It will cost more. This is an opportunity for CHANGE. The maternity services need REFORM away from an obstetric care model.

Here's why:

The obstetric led care model is NOT evidence based. It is shown time and time again to cost MORE and to be LESS SAFE for the majority of mothers and babies.

Pregnancy is not an illness. The majority of pregnancies and births are healthy and low risk - these women do NOT need surgical health care providers who specialise in high risk pregnancy/birth looking after them (obstetric care model). In fact, research shows that when healthy women in healthy pregnancies and birth are attended by an obstetrician, risk INCREASES. This leads to a DOMINO effect - increasing demands on our services and introduces risks to women and babies.


1)Adverse affects from interventions and surgical births mean that MORE women will require medical aftercare for physical and mental health reasons.

2) More interventions and surgical births means that MORE women will NEED specialized care in future pregnancies = requiring more specialists on specialist wages, more surgeries, more postnatal beds as women stay for longer durations, and more NICU funding.

 3) Increase in surgical births significantly increases risks for WOMEN in current birth AND for future pregnancies. Surgical birth makes women more likely to suffer a severe maternal morbidity and require admission for high dependency units. Many interventions and surgical birth leads to an increase in NICU admission for babies.

Obstetricians are surgeons and experts in high risk complications. Having a maternity system that requires ALL women to see a specialist surgeon/obstetricians takes specialist surgeons/obstetricians AWAY from the very women who genuinely need this specialized expert care.

Midwives are the experts of healthy pregnancy and birth. Not obstetricians. Obstetricians are highly skilled and play and important role in maternity services - but they are NOT QUALIFIED to provide care or create policy for the majority of healthy women enjoying healthy pregnancies and births.

 Midwife led care models have been shown time and time again to be of MORE benefit to women, have less adverse affects, and are more cost efficient. Midwife led care is the RECOMMENDED care model for the large majority of women - backed by HIGH QUALITY and robust research.

The medical (obstetric) care model is not working. We have hired the wrong person for the job and it is having a negative affect on the physical and psychological health of women and babies.

We need REFORM - not more of the same.

The media and politicians hold incredible power - they control what information is presented to the public and create policies that directly affect the care women receive in maternity care. Please be INFORMED. Make INFORMED DECISONS.


Midwives, not medicine, promote healthier pregnancies and births in Sweden:

Midwife led care delivers best outcomes, Cochrane review finds:

Midwife-led versus other models of care for childbearing
women (Review):

An evaluation of midwifery-led care -The Report of the MID-U Study (HSE):

Who should provide routine antenatal care for low-risk women, and how often? A systematic review of randomised controlled trials:

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