National shortage of midwives

Women 'left alone and hungry' as nation suffers shortage of midwives, says new report

THOUSANDS OF WOMEN are being left to give birth alone due to a desperate shortage of midwives, says a new report.

The biggest ever survey of maternity services, carried out on 26,000 women by the Healthcare Commission, revealed that women are forced to have children in dirty wards, left to go hungry because they are not given enough to eat, and suffering unnecessary pain as they are advised to give birth in the wrong position.

The Commission’s Sue Eardley said told the Daily Mail: ‘Every single woman should be treated with respect and individualised care, and they should receive one-to-one care during labour.

‘But that is not happening in far too many cases. It is worrying that continuity of care and information is not always at the standard that they expect.

‘It may well be that shortages of midwives in some trusts is exacerbating the problem. It could also be that in other trusts there are plenty of midwives but they are not communicating with each other well.’

More than a quarter of the women questioned said they had been left worried and alone during labour or shortly after birth, while 23% said they weren?t given enough to eat.

The survey also found 57% of women gave birth either lying down or lying with their legs in stirrups. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence says that unless there is a specific clinical reason, women should give birth in a sitting or squatting position.

The Royal College of Midwives estimates there is a shortage of around 5,000 midwives.

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