Most of my long term work with families is when there are major issues of concern or a history of pregnancy difficulties, but I love working with families for whom things are going well. This is often short term, often a single consultation. My role with these clients is to provide information and discuss choices in maternity care. They often also appreciate me showing them how I work out their baby’s position, listening to baby’s heartbeat and explaining what antenatal screening tests and other checks in pregnancy and around the time of birth are all about.
Choices in maternity care and the provision of balanced information is a fundamental principle for the way I work as a midwife. As a parent-to-be you can sometimes feel that you are bombarded with information whilst at other times it can be hard to get information you want. The advert of the “Google-it” way we live now is both a blessing and a curse. It can be incredibly difficult to work out which are reliable facts and relevant to you.
Although the importance of informed choice and personalised care is recognised by the NHS as being extremely important, there is still much work to be done in many areas of the country.
Whilst working full time in the NHS I would frequently meet women who told me that there never seemed to be the right time, or enough time, to explore ideas and to ask questions. Given that the choices you make may be ones which affect the rest of your life and that of your child that doesn’t feel right to me. This led me to offer one off consultations, during which we can explore anything on your mind. I often will alert you to other ideas and things to consider. I visit you at home, generally either for an hour if you have a few issues on your mind, or around 3 hours to allow extensive discussion.
What I offer is an add-on service, supporting the work of the NHS. I am a passionate supporter of the NHS and I continue to work shifts as a midwife in the NHS from time to time. I have wide experience to draw on, including the early pregnancy unit, antenatal care, birth (in a birth centre and a high intervention obstetric unit) and specialist roles in diabetes care, bereavement care, screening and fetal medicine. This means that I can share current thinking and explain practices in the NHS with you. I often feel that I work as an interpreter, translating medical language and information into rather more accessible English. I enjoy the challenge of working with those for whom English is not their first language, and/or for whom the structure and function of British healthcare services is something of a mystery. Anahi’s story in a previous blog post recounts this well. The NHS summary of what maternity care is available can be found here.
There are many excellent antenatal classes available, but a group setting may not provide the time or privacy you need to get answers about the things that matter to you. Other classes offer great tools, such as hyponobirthing, but are not always led by a currently practising midwife with wide and varied expertise. I am happy to see you at any stage of pregnancy, or as you are planning a pregnancy. Many people think that independent midwives only deal with “natural” birth. As a midwife, I work with anyone who is, or hopes to be pregnant, however that pregnancy is achieved and support preparation for all types of birth.
My visiting area is basically Sussex and Surrey, although I occasionally travel further afield or undertake telephone consultations. Just let me know what you need and I’ll try to help.
In your home : short consultation (one hour) £75 Long consultation(up to 3 hours) £155 No travel fee in Surrey or Sussex.
Evening and weekend appointments available.