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A day in the life of... the midwife

Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2004

A midwife answers some of the questions she faces regularly.

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Maxine Campbell is a midwife at Leeds General Hospital Trust.

Q. How can I find some up to date and reliable information on pregnancy and childbirth?
A. There are some excellent websites available – you might like to start with these.

Try the BBC’s Having a Baby website.

The National Childbirth Trust – is a UK voluntary organization which 'offers support in pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood’.

The NHS Direct Online Encyclopaedia offers information on pregnancy and one about ectopic pregnancy.

Midwives Information and Resource Service (MIDIRS)

Q. How can I find out about having a home birth?

A. Currently only 2% of births in the UK take place at home and yet ‘there is no evidence that hospital births are any more or less safe for women with pregnancies with no identified risk factors than those which take place at home or in GP or midwifery units.’

You can find a useful summary of the evidence in one of a series of Informed choice leaflets produced by MIDIRS. See No.10 entitled ‘Place of Birth’.

The NCT site concentrates more on the experience of home birth from the point of view of the woman and her family.

Which? Birth Choice provides information on birth options and aims to help prospective parents make an informed choice about place of birth.

Q. How common are Caesarean sections in this country and why are they carried out?
A. About 20% of births in the UK are carried out by Caesarean section (in the United States the figure is higher – around 25%). This is a controversial area – some people believe that Caesareans may at times be carried out unnecessarily. You can find out more about the reasons for Caesarean births on the following sites.

The BBC Having a Baby site gives a useful overview and the NCT site.

The Association for Improvements in Maternity Services (AIMS) campaigns for improvements in services, and its website features articles on key issues in pregnancy and childbirth.

Other links

Complementary therapy (Online Encyclopedia)

NHS Directory of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

British Complementary Medicine Association (BCMA)

Institute for Complementary Medicine
Complementary and alternative therapies(Bandolier)

Dr Foster Complementary Therapists Guide
Working for the NHS links
Working for the NHS (Online Encyclopaedia)

NHS Professionals

Skills for HealthRoyal College of Nursing

Royal College of Midwives

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