Monday, April 6, 2009

Scottish Government Nomalizes Birth by Putting Midwives in Charge

Today I was fascinated to read about the Scottish Government's approach to normalizing birth for women--by using midwives as the first choice! What a very different attitude than the U.S. holds.

The article is called GPs to be bypassed in move to 'normalise' childbirth and opens as follows:

WOMEN will no longer see their GP during pregnancy following a controversial Scottish Government decision to cut medics out of maternity services.
The decades-old tradition of women visiting their family doctor to have their pregnancy confirmed and undergo health checks will be scrapped and the job taken on by midwives.

The new rules, to be launched throughout Scotland later this year, are aimed at healthy women with normal pregnancies who are not experiencing any complications.

But GPs last night expressed their 'anger and frustration' at the scheme, insisting they are best placed to spot potentially dangerous problems. When GPs conduct the first antenatal appointment, health and any child protection issues are usually discussed.

Under the new system, women who have tested positive in a home pregnancy test and are phoning their GP surgery for an appointment will be booked with a midwife unless the woman voices a specific objection or has serious health problems such as diabetes or obesity.

The move is part of a Scottish Government strategy, Keeping Childbirth Natural and Dynamic, aimed at 'normalising' pregnancy, and putting midwives in charge of most women.

GPs will be asked to send relevant health records to midwives whose job it will be meet the woman and carry out a risk assessment of the pregnancy by around six weeks of her pregnancy.

If she is assessed as being 'normal' then she will continue to see her midwife but she will be referred to an obstetrician if the midwife deems it necessary.

I was particularly interested in the "Keeping Childbirth Natural and Dynamic" government strategy, so I looked that up. There is a whole section on The Scottish Government website.

Keeping Childbirth Natural and Dynamic "...aims to maximise opportunities for women to have as natural a birth experience as possible, through: providing evidence based care; reducing unnecessary intervention; ensuring informed choice; and developing multiprofessional care pathways. Key objectives are to support the following at NHS Board level:

· Implementation of national referral criteria and care pathways

· Implementation of the midwife as the first point of professional contact in pregnancy

· Implementation of the lead maternity professional based on risk

· Implementation of normal birth pathways regardless of birth setting"

CfM Blogger

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