Apparently, the United Kingdom is experiencing a true fertility boom, and this has resulted in a shortage of midwives. The number of children per UK woman increased to 2.00 children during the year 2010, while it was 1.96 kids per woman the year before that. The general secretary of the British Royal College of Midwives, Cathy Warwick, claimed that five thousands more midwives are needed in the UK and called on Prime Minister to keep his pre-election promise to create three thousand more midwifery jobs.
Because of an increase in the number of more complicated pregnancies and deliveries (probably due to fertility treatments), the Royal College of Midwives also pointed out that existing midwives may need to spend more time with individual patients.
Warwick stated: "The issue of midwife numbers needs to be on the agenda with this government and these figures show that it needs to be right at the top of that agenda." She added: "Without central direction it is simply too easy for hard-pressed NHS organizations to save money by cutting midwifery jobs. This is a false economy and government backing is needed to ensure this does not happen."
What do you think? Is this simply the midwives' professional organization hoping for more jobs in their field? It's an easy conclusion to make, especially considering this head midwife's previous, similar comments. But the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Britain also pointed out the need for additional midwifery units that would allow women with low-risk pregnancies to give birth at home. It's refreshing to see obstetricians calling for more homebirths, isn't it? This would also allow OBs to focus their energy and attention where it is truly needed; with the aforementioned more complicated pregnancies and births. What do you think about this development in the UK? Do you think something similar is needed in your own country? Or if you are in the UK, would you want more midwives available so that you could give birth at home? Where are you planning your labor and delivery, and are you doing it on the NHS?