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The UK needs midwives now!

January 2014, 31
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The UK needs midwives now!

There is a significant shortage of midwives currently in the UK according to a new report by NHS England who revealed that there are more than 2,300 current vacancies for midwives. 

The UK is seeing an increase in birth rate which is now at over 700,000 babies each year. The increase is due to many reasons, but possibly the most predominant factor is migration. Statistics show that one in four babies born in the UK today are born to migrant mothers, this accounts for over 25% of the babies born each year so is a huge contributing factor. 

The birth rate now is the highest that it has been for over 40 years. Migration isn’t the only reason, things like the introduction of IVF on the NHS and financial comfort meaning parents can afford to have more children are also contributions to the baby boom in the UK. 

Many migrant women will come to the UK because they are pregnant, studies show. The medical treatment that they receive during pregnancy and post birth here is amongst the highest class around the globe, and it is free. The UK has many specialists and consultants who work in the neonatal units across the country to assist with any birth issues. Things like this are not readily available globally and the lack of it is the reason for widespread infant mortalities. Given a choice, any woman would avoid this. 

The health care for babies and children in the UK is one of the finest in the world. As is the support that women receive after the birth of their children. The government provides financial assistance in the form of Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit, Grants, Crisis Loan, Healthy Start vouchers and emergency accommodation when needed. 

Once a woman gives birth in the UK she is assigned a Health Visitor. This is usually a woman that you meet in pregnancy and she stays in contact with you until your child is five years old. In the early days she will make many visits to your home to check on you and baby, do the necessary weigh ins, give injections and be there as a kindly mother figure full of advice and hands on help for new mums. This is a free service and all in the UK are entitled to it.

To keep things balanced for the increased births, we need to be taking on more midwives and this just is not happening currently in the UK. Midwives are in desperate need and so the UK will have to broaden it’s searches overseas to fill these positions. 

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