One to One Midwives… my experiences so far

When I was a little bit pregnant with Eilys a new “shop” opened in Crewe. Well, I say shop, it wasn’t really a shop at all but it was using a shop in Crewe town centre. It was called One to One Midwives and it said it was a pregnancy advice centre. Beyond that I didn’t really think much about it until my lovely friend mentioned that she was going to be using them as her midwives. Er, what? I didn’t even realise that you could have other midwives other than the one allocated to you by the NHS. Thinking about it a bit more, of course there are other midwives available! I guess there are private care midwives or more alternative midwives as well. I am sure there is a plethora of choices out there that I haven’t even considered. My friend raved about One to One and said that they were amazing and that she loved the idea of it all etc etc. I considered changing to them but I had a midwife and I really liked her so I figured I would stick with what I had and I am glad I did. My Midwife when I was pregnant with Eilys was brilliant, she had to deal with me being slightly unhinged about breastfeeding and bombarding her with millions of questions which she would write down and find the answers for our next appointment, she had to deal with my upset and anguish over my best friend having a stillborn son and all the anxieties that went along with that,  and she was the only midwife I saw for all my appointments during my pregnancy except for 1 (she was on her honeymoon!) So thank you so much Nikki, you were amazing!

When I became pregnant again with Sausage Beancurd (Dyl picked the nickname) I decided that I would choose One to One midwives. I popped into the shop in town one morning and filled in a form and the receptionist said I would be contacted later that arvo by a midwife. Kelly called me later on that day and we had a really long chat. I instantly liked her. I explained that I had already had an early scan and that we would be having CVS and I talked about Eilys and Dylan. She was really lovely over the phone and we made an appointment for a few weeks later. She was really understanding that I didn’t want any other tests or paperwork doing until after we had the CVS results back.

What are One to One Midwives and what do they do that’s different, I hear you asking, well here you go. This is what it says on their website…

One to One Midwives are a caseloading midwifery service, commissioned by the NHS to provide our service in the community. Since our inception, over 7 years ago, One to One have reinvented caseloading midwifery by providing a FREE personalised service that places women and their families at the heart of everything we do. Our service is delivered by teams of passionate, highly motivated midwives who are experts in all aspects of midwifery led care, and who will guide and support you through your pregnancy, birth and postnatal care, ensuring that you transition into parenthood as confident and competent parents.

The main points of difference for me are that all my antenatal appointments with my lovely midwife have been at my house (they can also be done at their offices), they do scans at their “shop” in town rather than at the hospital, they are home birth specialists, they run a lot of classes and groups out of their “shop” in town and instead of signing you over to a health visitor at around the 14 day after the baby is born they keep visiting you until about 6 weeks after the baby is born or longer, it’s completely up to you. All these things are great, especially when you have another little one.  I found dragging an inquisitive 1/2year old to appointments quite stressful when I was pregnant the second time. Every single one of my midwife appointments were late starting, one time I had to wait about 50mins and once in the room Dylan would just rummage around all her things which made paying attention to what was being said quite tricky.  And it was always very apparent that she was pushed for time so appointments were always quite short and felt a bit rushed. I am in no way blaming my other midwife, I know that they are so stretched and it is not the way that she would have wanted her appointments to be run but the fact is that they were. As I have said, my midwife with Eilys was so lovely and I had no complaints about her whatsoever.

This pregnancy I have had 4 midwife appointments and they have all been such lovely experiences. My midwife, Kelly, is just lovely. She is very positive and supportive of my choices and she really listens to me. I don’t ever feel like I am being rushed, in fact most of my appointments have been about 90mins long and more like a chat with a friend than a medical appointment, except she asks for me to pee on a stick, sometimes sticks me with needles and then she gives me a good prodding. Kelly is really lovely with Dylan too. He is a very inquisitive and interested child and he has a lot of questions and she really embraces that. When she took my blood samples at the 12 week appointment (that was when I was 13 weeks pregnant) she had Dylan being her little helper. She asked him to hold my hand, to check my pulse with her stethascope, then asked him to pass her the different coloured vials and then once all the blood had been collected she answered all his questions and let him look at the vials as much as he wanted. It was so lovely to see, he was so interested!

The other thing that I love about the service that One to One offer is how Mother-led it is. After my experiences with labour and birth with Dylan and Eilys I really really want this pregnancy and birth to be as intervention free as it possibly can and Kelly is so supportive of that. She has said where possible she will fight my corner but has said that if she feels that I am being daft or blasé about anything she will tell me. It feels a lot more like a 2 way relationship this time and it is making me feel a lot more positive and comfortable with my choices. Also she is so knowledgable. I have thrown a lot of weird and out-there questions and queries at Kelly during our appointments and she nearly always either knows the answer off the top of her head or has an article or website saved on her tablet that she sends me the link to.

I love the “back to the old way” of doing things style of One to One midwives. It is so nice having appointments at my house as everything feel so comfy and not as medicalised as going to the Doctors surgery for them. I am really hoping that I am able to have a homebirth this time round. My Mum is still a bit uncomfortable about me having one but Kelly has offered to talk through her concerns with her and to answer any of her questions but as yet, I haven’t felt that this is necassary… yet! I really hope that this kind of midwifery becomes more widely available so that more Mothers have choice. I’ll do an update on this post after the birth.

Thanks for reading

xx

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