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Make the NMC explain their rationale for banning midwives as birth partners

This petition had 3,706 supporters

The nursing and midwifery council (NMC) are the governing body in which every midwife and nurse practising in the U.K. must be registered with to be allowed to legally work. They have recently ruled that any midwife that has given antenatal care in a woman's pregnancy cannot be at that woman's birth to support her as a birth partner (so not actually caring for her and working but as a friend and advocate!) without risking their registeration being revoked and thus making it illegal for them to practise in the UK. This was originally done to stop private independent midwives from supporting their clients in labour as at present they are not allowed to care for them at home privately as the NMC are investigating whether their indemnity insurance is sufficient and therefore all their booked clients have had to make quick rebookings with NHS hospitals and midwives. This therefore effectively banned them from supporting these women who actively went out and chose them to be their care providers. However by making this ruling the NMC have also imposed this rule on ALL midwives : this means that unless the midwife is actually on the rota to work the day a woman has gone into labour then he or she is NOT allowed to come in and support this lady. This applies to specialist bereavement midwives who often built very strong, supportive relationships with women and their families who've undergone losing an unborn baby, a premature baby or unwell newborn and in subsequent pregnancies are very nervous and rely on a friendly face of a well known midwife who has supported them through both their loss and this new and therefore anxiety ridden pregnancy. This effectively means whereas before this ruling the NMC has made that midwife who may actually be on a day off but makes a special effort to come in and support that family as a friend and advocate, after this ruling is no longer allowed thus robbing that woman and her family of their friendly face. This also extends to mental health midwives, friends or family of women who also happen to be midwives (this is my case - I've had to tell my best friend that I'm no longer allowed to be one of her birth partners as I've given her some antenatal care!) or midwives who've cared for a woman all shift who'd voluntarily stay and act as a birth partner when a new midwife comes on shift to give the woman and her client continuity in care whilst they go through the final stages of birth to bring their baby into the world. The NMC state they are doing this to protect the public but vast amounts of undeniable research states that continuity in care and support from a known midwife reduces the need for intervention and improves birth outcomes and women's perceptions of their care. So I'm asking the NMC to clarify how holding midwives hostage in losing their right to work in the UK and supporting their clients in labour as friends NOT as their birth care provider is protecting the public?

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