I read an article this week that claims midwives are grossly overworked and are delivering more babies than stipulated in safety guidelines. The guidelines say that a midwife should deliver an average of 27.5 babies per year (does anyone know where the .5 babies are or should they deliver the last one half in one year and half in the next 🙂  ?) This works out at 1 every 13 days or so!

The average midwife delivers 34 babies in a year. Apparently the ideal is for all women to have one to one care from a named midwife throughout their pregnancy. This is quite impractical as, a) midwives have off duty and holidays and, b) babies don’t always arrive on their due date  but tend to be like buses and arrive in clusters!  

They obviously did not have safety guidelines when I was a midwife in the 1960s, but I don’t believe it caused worse neonatal rates or created traumatised mothers. We did our training in two parts of six months each. The first part was all in hospital. We had to witness 10 deliveries and then do a minimum of 10 deliveries under the supervision of trained midwives. To begin with they guided our hands and then as we gained experience they stepped back a pace. Part two was divided into two halves, three months in hospital and three months on the district and had to do 10 deliveries in each. On the district we were on call 24 hours a day for five and a half days a week, and took our own antenatal  and post natal clinics, so most of the time the women did have the same midwife throughout, but far fewer deliveries are done at home anymore, so I don’t know how hospital deliveries can offer this service, are the midwives going to combine working in hospital and visiting the patients at home, and will they be on call 24/7. The logistics baffle me. It sounds like a “think tank”  thought this one up.

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