Midwife or shared care?
There are a number of options when it comes to the medical teams looking after you during your pregnancy. It’s important to find out what’s available so you can come to a decision that you’re happy with.
NHS Midwife led care
The majority of women don’t have complications during their pregnancy or in their medical history and therefore the best person to provide all of their care is a midwife. Midwives are the experts in normal pregnancy, birth and in the first few weeks following the birth. If any problems arise during your pregnancy then your midwife can refer you to an obstetrician. Your midwife may see you in the GP’s surgery, a Childrens Centre, your own home-in fact some have set up clinics in the local supermarket! Areas vary in how they give care-some of you may only see one midwife during pregnancy where as others will see several midwives who work as part of a team.
NHS Shared care
For women with complications, they will be advised that their care is shared with an obstetrician. They usually run their clinic at the hospital, where you will be seen. Some women choose to see a doctor, including their GP, but even if your care is with a doctor, you will still need to see a midwife too.
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This is a midwife who has to chosen to work outside of the NHS. She still abides by the same ‘rules’ as NHS midwives, laid down by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. An independent midwife will usually provide you with all of your care in your own home, and be available for you, whenever you need her 24/7. For more information see www.independentmidwives.org.uk