Professor Cathy Warwick, Royal College of Midwives

“I think increasingly the crisise is constant, certainly I go out and about a lot, across the UK, but particularly in England, and midwives particularly in our large acute services, are saying that the demands are just endless.”

“When you talk to midwives, most of them still love the job. You know it’s very rare to speak to midwives, and one says “I don’t like being a midwife”, but I do think they are increasingly stressed, increasingly frustrated, because when you love your job you want to do it properly don’t you.  That sense of frustration seems to be much greater than it used to be, and certainly for the young midwives, the newly qualified midwives, we are increasingly hearing about their distress. They are emerging from their training very committed people, but then they are coming into the service, and there just isn’t the support for them.”

“We also know that women aren’t able to make the choices that want to make….around 50% of women, who want to have a home birth aren’t able to get one. And that reflects pressure on services……they don’t have enough staff, they pull them back into the acute service because then you can look after two or three women, rather than have one midwife, looking after a woman who’s having a home birth. So services get closed, women don’t get their choices, and all in all, it leads to a deterioration in care.”

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