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This article was published on August 16th, 2017
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has dropped its ‘normal birth’ campaign after admitting it may have been misleading to prospective mothers.
Content including ‘Top 10 tips for a normal birth’ has been deleted from the website, and the RCM have redacted the campaign, instead, they aim to focus on a more evidence based ‘better births’ initiative.
This latest development comes in the wake of the RCM coming under heavy criticism from the press and patient groups after it materialised that poor maternity care had been given at Morecambe Bay which led to the avoidable deaths of 11 babies and 1 mother.
Patient groups and medical professionals have also raised their concerns that midwives could be putting too much onus on mothers to undergo natural births to the point where complications and concerns were ignored, leading to the inappropriate management of mothers and endangerment of newborn babies.
The RCM’s head of quality and standards, Mandy Forrester, confirmed that the campaign had been abandoned saying that they “no longer have a Campaign for Normal Birth. We now have an initiative called the Better Births Initiative, the focus of which is ensuring the best birth for all women.”
She also added: “We have withdrawn the top 10 tips from our website. They are down permanently, we don’t plan to relaunch them,”
Safer births in Britain have been a Government priority since 2015, with leaders aiming to reduce the number of stillbirths and baby brain injuries by 50% by 2030.
Cathy Warwick who is the Chief Executive of the RCM, said: “What we were interested in was helping our members to achieve as good a birth as possible and there was a danger that if you just talk about normal births and particularly if you call it a campaign, it kind of sounds as if you’re only interested in women who have a vaginal birth without intervention and we were very clear that we cared about far more than just that.
She also added: “I am very sceptical that any midwife would ever have looked at what we’re saying under the heading of a normal birth campaign and thought ‘this is telling me I must push normal birth beyond the point of safety.”
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