It’s been a stampede of tiny feet since NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) launched its dedicated homebirth team!
Made up of two dedicated midwives, the new service has received a total of 95 referrals with 32 recorded deliveries in Glasgow since the team was established six months ago.
Before the new service was introduced midwives were taken out of the general pool of midwives to carry out homebirths for women with low risk pregnancies.
Glasgow has had a historically low level of homebirths, 27 babies were born at home in 2009 compared to 12,000 hospital births, but the new team are hoping to triple this by the end of their first year.
NHSGGC Consultant Midwife Dorothy Finlay, who advocated setting up the team together with fellow Consultant Midwife Sheona Brown, said:
“The advantages are that the service, backed up by community midwives is more accessible to women.
“The figure of 95 referrals in six months, is way above the estimated case load of 60, a reflection that increasing numbers of women are choosing this option.
“There is also the advantage of continuity of care. Both the mums-to-be and the midwives will get to know each other because the midwives will also be involved in ante-natal and after care.”
New mum Izzie Johnston (33) from Pollokshields, chose to have a homebirth seven weeks ago in a birthing pool in the kitchen and delivered beautiful daughter Leila who weighed in at 6lbs 8ozs.
Izzie said: “I had read about homebirths and I liked the idea of giving birth at home, in a safe and calming environment.
“I also liked the idea of bringing a child into the world without any interventions, and having as natural a birth as possible and in an environment that made me feel relaxed.
“I didn’t want that adrenalin rush of getting to a hospital in time for the birth.
“When I decided to choose a homebirth it was quite late in my pregnancy, that was because I wasn’t aware of the home birthing team.
“I made the decision after meeting a midwife at an ante-natal clinic at the New Victoria Hospital and she put me in touch with the homebirth midwives who gave me all the information I needed to make my decision.
“It was an unskewed, unbiased approach, they told me what to expect and were incredibly supportive.
“Personally it was incredibly important to me to have this relationship with the midwives because of the level of trust that built up, I had no qualms about asking any questions.
“I would have a homebirth again, in fact I advertise the service to other women.”
Caroline Kane, who makes up the homebirth team with colleague Anne Tourish, said: “We take resuscitation and i/v equipment with us to the births so we are set up for most eventualities.”
And the midwife/new mother relationship does not end at the birth as Caroline explained:
“We will usually visit daily for the first few days and talk to the mum about what she needs and then drop back to two or three days afterwards.”
Dorothy added that appointing midwives with a particular philosophy was also important:
“Both midwives believe in the women’s right to choose where and how to birth her baby.
“Appointing midwives with the right philosophy, who embrace change has been a major success for this new service.”
For more information contact either NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]