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Results from our poll on midwives

Just under a half of ThinkBaby voters say their midwife experience was fantastic, but over a third say 'could do better'.

Posted: 12 July 2006
by Laura Lee Davies

Thanks to everyone who voted in our most recent ThinkBaby poll.

We asked for your opinion of the experiences of midwives you have had of your current or most recent pregnancy.

The options were:
Could do better
They are doing a tough job
They taught me lots
They dented my confidence

The poll was prompted by some comments on our forums from women who felt their midwives had made unwelcome comments about their weight, or that their midwives did not give them enough support when they had concerns and questions about things like the number of ante-natal scans a mother-to-be should have.
A midwife is usually the main source of care, monitoring and advice throughout your pregnancy and will be present at the birth. Not all regions are served with a midwife who is attached to a particular pregnancy and often it is a midwife team who are attached to an area, hospital or surgery.

In recent months, the RCM (Royal College of Midwives, a union and professional body who represent over 90 per cent of all midwives practising in the UK), have controversially called for women to be charged a fee for 'unneccessary epidurals'.

An impressive 43 per cent of those who voted said their experience of midwife care was 'fantastic'. However, a somewhat damning 36 per cent of women felt midwives 'could do better'.
Sometimes the demands of overseeing many pregnancies lead to a lack of communication between surgery referrals, hospitals and midwife teams. The comedian Jackie Clune, in her new book 'Extreme Motherhood', talks about how her hospital in east London simply had not seen her for a 'booking in' until she made a stand when was 20 weeks gone with triplets!

Other options on our polls came in with much lower shares of the vote. Nine per cent felt midwives were 'doing a tough job' but another nine per cent feel their experience of midwives 'dented their confidence'.
Only three per cent felt they had learned lots from their midwives. This is despite the immediate aftercare in the first week to ten days after the birth being carried out by a midwife team.

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