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Finding an independent midwife

In most cases, a midwife will guide a woman through almost all of her pregnancy, birth and early days as a new mother. Once a GP has confirmed a woman is pregnant and it has been agreed where she plans to give birth, she is referred to a team of midwives who usually work at and in partnership with one particular hospital or clinic. From early urine and blood tests to the regular routine check-ups later in pregnancy, the midwife usually oversees the health and wellbeing of the mother-to-be and her baby.

In some cases the same midwife might also be on hand during the birth, though increasingly a woman will see whoever happens to be working a shift at the time of going into labour.

Why choose a private midwife?

Choosing a private midwife is not as expensive as opting for a private obstetrician, but can still cost quite a lot of money. However, for some women the choice may be guided by differing factors:

•  Continuity of care

Most areas of the UK are now seeing very high levels of demand on antenatal care. Therefore it may be the case that a woman sees many different midwives all working on one team, throughout an NHS pregnancy. This does not necessarily compromise care, but opting for a private midwife does mean that a woman is more likely to get to know her carer across the months and this can be especially important for some women, during the birth.

•  Preparing for home birth

Support and resources for home births, water births and active birth vary within the NHS, depending on where you live in the UK. If your local hospital and midwife team are more reluctant to commit to support for something like a home birth you might want to enlist a private midwife as she can work towards your goal with you.

Just because you opt for a private midwife this does not mean you are excluded from local NHS antenatal services. This care where needed can run alongside her work. However you might opt for a midwife-led package as part of a local private clinic if you prefer. In this case all the services are interlinked.

After the baby is born, your midwife can be on hand making regular visits to your home to ease you through the first days of parenthood, checking on your baby’s health and on your recovery.

• Finding an independent midwife

Click on the directory box above to find independent midwives working in your area.

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