A Midwife is the lead professional expert in an uncomplicated pregnancy, birth and postnatal care. They work collaboratively with pregnant families to empower, educate and advocate for their needs and choices. Midwives work in partnership with other experts such as Obstetricians to address any complexities that may develop during the pregnancy or birth that require additional care.

What makes an Independent Midwife different?

An Independent Midwife provides a true continuity of carer experience. The pregnant family receives all of their antenatal care, birth support and postnatal care from the same Midwife, resulting in safer care based on a relationship of mutual trust and respect.

  • Significantly smaller caseload than large Maternity services so they can spend much
  • More time at each antenatal appointment, preparing the pregnant person with education about birth options, possible interventions and empowering strategies to support them to make informed choices and develop a birthing plan.
  • More time is spent discussing the risks, benefits and available evidence for all options that are commonly present.
  • They can also be more flexible with the hours and days that they work.
  • Can provide care in your own home or workplace.
  • Tend to have additional training in complementary therapies.
  • Tend to have greater experience of supporting people to birth outside of conventional                    recommendations e.g. VBAC homebirth.

Why do I need to pay for an Independent Midwife?

Independent Midwives are self-employed. They must cover the costs of their equipment, training, insurance and expertise. Prices vary across the UK and most Independent Midwives will be happy to flex in the amount of care depending on your budget.

But are they safe?

An Independent Midwife is regulated, monitored and accountable to the same standards as an NHS Midwife. They have the same qualifications, annual training and updates and can all be found on the NMC register of Midwives. 

What is Continuity of care?

Continuity of care was introduced as a National programme as part of the Better Births 5-year plan.

 As a term, ‘continuity of care’ might sound vague. What it means is that you’ll have the same Midwife supporting you in pregnancy, labour and postnatally. That way you get to know these professionals and feel comfortable, and they get to know what your wishes are for labour and beyond.

When completing a huge survey of pregnant people in the UK for Better Births, having the same Midwife throughout their care was the most commonly requested care element they felt they needed.

Why is Continuity of Carer important?

Pregnant people who have strong continuity of care are proven to be:

  • less likely to have an epidural
  • less likely to have an episiotomy
  • less likely to have a birth assisted by forceps or ventouse
  • less likely to be induced
  • less likely to have premature births
  • at lower risk of losing their baby

And here are the benefits when there is continuity of care during labour…

  • more chance of spontaneous vaginal birth
  • a shorter duration of labour
  • a reduced chance of caesarean birth
  • a reduced chance of forceps or ventouse
  • less use of any pain relief
  • a reduced use of epidural pain relief
  • a better chance of healthier babies
  • a better birthing experience as a whole

Why can’t I just have continuity of care from my NHS Midwife?

Most Midwives enjoy working in a continuity model and getting to know the people they work with closely.

However, following a large investigation report released in early 2022, continuity has been suspended as there are just not enough Midwives to support it in the NHS at this time.

How do I access an Independent Midwife?

For a more holistic, tailored approach to birthing, that puts you first, contact us on 07495976234, or email us at birth@myindependentmidwife.co.uk for advice and further information.