Natural Birth only hospital unit in UK

From the BBC, information about a hospital unit run by midwives that promotes “natural birth.”

It is run by midwives with doctors, allowed in only by invitation, and if a problem occurs mothers are moved. The ethos on the ward is that the birth process must be allowed to take its natural course, although pain relief drugs are given. Midwife Doreen Brunton, who is part of the team which runs the unit, told the BBC Scotland news website: “If you intervene too soon, labours get augmented, they end up with problems with the babies, sections or forceps.

What I like best about it is the emphasis on non-intervention, which is so important as a reaction to the highly interventionist obstretrical environment. We need something like this in the US. The other piece of good news is that the number of women using this unit has doubled in the last year. I wonder if they have doulas in this unit? But once again, we see natural birth being equated with epidural usage. Sigh. I’m not against epidurals, but they definitely have affects on the labor that need to be taken into consideration.

Also, the Royal College of Midwives (also in the UK) has a great campaign called the Campaign for Normal Birth.

Together, we can change the way childbirth happens. The Campaign aims to inspire and support normal birth practice. It’s a reminder that good birth experiences can happen despite the challenges. Intervention and caesarean shouldn’t be the first choice – they should be the last.

Wanna move to the UK anyone?


2 thoughts on “Natural Birth only hospital unit in UK

  1. annajcook February 6, 2008 / 6:55 pm

    Yeah. I’ve been thinking lately that I really don’t want to be pregnant in the US of A. Too scary.

    And what’s up with people not classifying an epidural as intervention? I mean, maybe it’s a positive intervention for some women, but it’s an intervention . . . maybe they don’t want to scare away women who are already terrified of the pain of labor? But maybe a little more comprehensive pre-labor education would be a better course to take?

  2. Sonya February 7, 2008 / 10:34 am

    I agree with Anna. Pregnancy in the U.S. is way too scary these days. I have one almost grown child and wouldn’t even consider doing it over again. I love my child and I have loved every moment with her but reading the news these days, I can see an unborn fetus has more right to life than a living, breathing woman. Who knows what could happen in a pregnancy, the chance for bad things is always there. I would like to know my life came first.

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