March 11, 2008 at 11:46 pm #2314AIMSIrelandMember
Please send to your local representatives to keep this issue alive!
I am writing to you with regard to the current crisis surrounding insurance for independent midwives in Ireland. Insurance for Independent Midwives in Ireland is temporarily being covered by the INO while the HSE continue negotiating on how/if Independent Midwives should be included in the Stateâ€™s Insurance package. This situation has had a huge impact on women whoâ€™s only option is to give birth at home or those who make the choice to have a home birth. This also greatly effects the livelihood of Irelandâ€™s hard working Independent Midwives.
Home Birth is a safe and cost effective birth choice for women in Ireland. Research has shown that Home Birth is as safe or safer than hospital births for low-risk women (85%). The Irish Maternity System is struggling; much of the system is based on practices which are not evidence based. Hospitals are over-crowded, under-staffed and infection control is an issue. In todayâ€™s maternity unit, low risk women are often put under time management which leads to a cascade of intervention, including caesarean section. Independent Midwives are an important asset to the Irish Maternity System. They offer specific, invaluable skills. It is vital for the care of women and the training of student midwives that Independent Midwives continue to practice as normal and pass on their skills.
In discontinuing insurance for Independent Midwives, the Irish Maternity System will be put under further pressure, as this will force low-risk women through an already over-stretched system. The removal of homebirths as an option, or in altering home birth by adding restrictions to the current system, will mean that we are putting further pressure on already limited resources. For many women, due to the lack of resources in rural Ireland, Home Birth is the only safe option. These women are being put at risk if this issue is allowed to continue unresolved.
I write to you to stress the importance of this issue. Please act to keep Home Birth a viable option for the women of Ireland. Please act to protect the livelihood and autonomy of Independent Midwives practicing in Ireland. I would ask that you consider this issue and vocalise your support. I also would ask for you to refer to a petition created by AIMS Ireland on this issue; as you can see by the great response, this issue has touched many in Ireland. Please consider signing the AIMSI petition at:
The Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services Ireland (AIMSI) are a voluntary non-profit organisation created by mothers dissatisfied with the current Irish Maternity System. AIMS Ireland provides hands on support services and information to women, conducts its own research, and acts as a campaign pressure group to push for policies which reflect Mother-Friendly, evidence based Labour and Birth Practices and Childbirth Choices.
I urge you to review the current situation and assist in inclusion of Independent Midwives in the state liability package as Home Birth in Ireland is an important and desired birth choice for many women.
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