Ms. Mary Harney TD
Minister for Health & Children,
Department of Health & Children,
Re: Nurses and Midwives Bill 2010
I am a mother of three sons, and currently expecting my fourth child. I have had three wonderful calm and safe homebirths.
As an expectant mother, I am shocked and horrified at the current drafting of the Nurses & Midwives Bill 2010. I live 1-¾ hours away from the nearest maternity hospital in West Cork. I have routinely witnessed my neighbours and friends either giving birth on the roadside, or having to go to hospital to be induced (which immediately increases medical intervention in the birthing process). They have not received the support they need locally. These are the same women that were born in the Skibbereen or Bantry hospitals, travelling to Cork during labour.
I opted for the home birthing scheme, because I was more scared of the negligence I was seeing in the hospital system, than birthing at home ‘without pain relief’. My midwives were wonderfully competent individuals and health practitioners.
As recently as this week, I was in CMU for my initial booking in appointment. At no point did any member of staff listen to the baby’s heartbeat or let my husband and I hear it. This is in stark contrast to all of our visits with the midwives, where the first thing that happens is that the sound of that little new heart beat fills the room. Now, that is antenatal care.
I have enclosed an outline of our requested alterations to the bill. They are simple but mean the world to me, as a mother who wishes to have choice at the most important time in my children’s life, the moment of their birth.
Please check out the AIMS Ireland link http://www.aimsireland.com for more details on what we can do to change things