FAQs About Private Midwifery Care

Frequently Asked Questions About Private Midwifery Care2019-10-06T11:21:39+01:00
Do you work where I live?2019-10-06T11:19:30+01:00

A detailed map showing the areas that we cover is available to view on the Areas Covered page.

Which midwife will I see?2019-10-06T11:19:38+01:00

You will meet both Sarah and Pip, all of your antenatal and postnatal appointments will be with one or both of us ensuring you have the opportunity to build a trusting relationship with us both.

If you have any concerns or questions you can contact either of us at any time.

We are both on call for your labour and birth.

Are you qualified in the same way as hospital staff?2019-10-06T11:19:54+01:00

Yes. All midwives in the UK have to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and are bound by the same code of conduct.

All midwives undertake the same NMC accredited University degree course prior to registering as a midwife.

All midwives must attend annual skills update training to ensure they can safely manage emergency situations.

“Independent Midwives have become very experienced in areas of childbirth that within the NHS are usually dealt with by obstetric management including Breech, Twins and Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC)” – IMUK

Why pay when I can get it for free?2019-10-06T11:20:01+01:00

It is very unusual for caseloading midwifery to be provided by the NHS, despite the body of research proving it’s enhanced safety outcomes.

It is hard to describe what a tremendous difference it makes when you have a midwife contactable at each stage who you know and trust. Sarah tried to put this into words as part of a blog post and we think this might be of use if you, or your partner have asked this question:

I often speak to women and sometimes men who can’t see a difference between the care that is offered by NHS trusts and care from an Independent Midwife. Some people struggle to understand why people pay for an IM when they can “get it for free with the NHS”. So my aim here is to try to explain what is different and why people choose to book with an IM.

To women who have never experienced IM care:

Did you ever spend time sitting in a waiting room waiting for your antenatal appointments wishing you could be getting on with something else, did you have to take time off work to attend appointments? Were you able to bring your partner with you to the appointments or were they not able to take time off work?
Have you seen more than one midwife during your pregnancy? Did you have to tell your story over and over again? Have you ever attended a consultant appointment and not been able to remember everything that was said afterwards or wished afterwards that you’d had the strength to question something that was said to you?
Did you feel anxiety as you approached your birth? Imagine ringing someone you know and them coming to you rather than ringing a generic labour ward number and speaking to someone you’ve never met.
Imagine not having to worry about who your midwife will be, whether you’ll get on and whether she’ll be looking after anyone else at the same time. Imagine not having to make small talk while you’re getting used to the sensations of your labour, no need to discuss your hopes for your birth and no need to admit to a stranger any fears and not having to have half an eye on your partner checking they’re ok.
After your birth did you know who it was that was coming to visit you postnatally? Did you know when they would be coming? Did you see the same person for every visit and were all of your postnatal appointments in your home?
Did you have any challenges feeding your baby and were you able to access extra home visits from someone you knew and trusted? Did you have postnatal visits for six weeks following the birth of your baby?

With an Independent Midwife you have the opportunity form a relationship because your appointments are longer, usually around an hour, you see the same person each time and they happen at times that are convenient for you and your family so if you want your partner to be there we can arrange a time that works for everyone. There is no waiting around in clinic waiting rooms because your IM comes to you, not the other way round.
If you want to see a consultant your IM can come with you so you have an extra set of ears to help remember everything that was said, and we can help support you to speak up if you want to challenge something that you disagree with or don’t feel happy with.

Your IM is on call for your birth and so when you start to notice the beginnings of your labour you are ringing someone who you know and trust and who knows you and your plans, hopes and any fears.
When we arrive at your home we already know where the kettle is, where the toilet is and don’t have to disturb you and your birth partner with questions about your birth plans and preferences because we’ve had those discussions during your pregnancy.

After your baby is born your Independent Midwife will visit as often as you require with no time constraints on your visits so can help you achieve your feeding and parenting goals. All of your appointments are in your home, you will not be asked to leave the house to attend a clinic on day five or day 10, your IM will come to you.
If you need daily visits this is what you will have, as you settle into life with your new baby visits will space out but your IM will continue to visit for the first 6-8 weeks making sure you feel confident with feeding and caring for your baby by the time you are discharged.
If you have any challenges with feeding your IM will be available by phone or in person between visits. She may suggest you go to breastfeeding support groups, but you will not be reliant on getting to a group to access support.

This is not a criticism of NHS care, simply to illustrate the huge differences in the care that’s offered, the biggest difference is time.
Your IM has a lot less women on her caseload and so can spend longer getting to know you, exploring your concerns and plans and supporting you to achieve them.

Is it safe?2019-10-06T11:20:09+01:00

Yes!

Caseloading midwifery care is proven to be as safe, or safer than standard maternity care. With women more likely to have a vaginal birth and less likely to have forceps, vacuum assisted births or an episiotomy.

Women having caseloading midwifery care are less likely to want an epidural during labour or need to have their waters broken and have a more positive experience of labour and birth as a result.

These findings apply whatever your circumstance, not just to ‘low risk’ women.

Can I see a consultant?2019-10-06T11:20:19+01:00

Choosing to access midwifery care from an Independent Midwife doesn’t affect your right to access NHS care should you want or need it. Both Sarah and Pip can refer you to a consultant midwife or obstetrician should the need arise.

What happens if my birth doesn’t go to plan?2019-10-06T11:20:29+01:00

Caseloading midwifery care, which we provide, is proven to increase the likelihood of a safe and satisfying birth experience. With higher rates of ‘normal’ physiological birth and less need for intervention and drug based pain relief. There is no way to guarantee any outcome when it comes to birth, but should your journey take an unexpected turn our enhanced, personalised service means you will continue to have your known and trusted midwives by your side.

“Although there can be no guarantees in birth, choosing an independent midwife as your caregiver does increase your chances of a ‘normal’ physiological birth.” – IMUK

What will happen if I need to transfer in to hospital?2019-10-06T11:20:40+01:00

Choosing to access midwifery care from an Independent Midwife doesn’t affect your right to access NHS care should you want or need it. Both Sarah and Pip can refer you to a consultant midwife or obstetrician should the need arise.

If you are planning to birth at home but something changes and you decide to transfer to hospital one of us will accompany you, we will usually have to hand over clinical care to the staff in the hospital and so become a birth companion.

If you decide to transfer to Airedale General Hospital, depending on where you live and why we are moving to the hospital, we can continue to provide midwifery care. We have a partnership with Airedale NHS Foundation Trust which allows us to continue to carry out the role of the midwife within that hospital if required.

Unfortunately this is the only hospital within Yorkshire open to collaborative working in this way.

Do you offer reduced packages of care?2019-10-06T11:20:46+01:00

We do not offer reduced packages of care (for example, postnatal care only). Caseloading midwifery care (providing full care antenatally, during the birth and postnatally) is proven to improve the outcomes for women who access it. As a midwife it leads to a greater level of job satisfaction.

For these reasons both Sarah and Pip have chosen to work as caseloading midwives, providing what is considered to be the gold standard of midwifery care.

Can I pay in instalments?2019-10-06T11:20:53+01:00

As self-employed midwives we do not benefit from a regular income from an employer. As such we require payment for our services to be made within a time frame that enables us to work and offer the bespoke service we provide.

The fee for a full package of care covers up to ten months of on call (from booking in pregnancy, through birth, and up to 6-8 weeks following the birth of your baby), our indemnity and professional fees, the costs of getting to your appointments as well as our equipment and time.

We understand that for many, paying the full fee upfront is not possible and so are happy to be flexible with payment according to your needs to a degree, but this needs to be a mutually agreed plan with a set amount paid before the birth of your baby and the full amount paid within three months following your birth.

White Rose