Mum’s fight for birth team

Bryony Gigner and daughter Gabriella

Bryony Gigner and daughter Gabriella

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A group of mums are campaigning to save a team of midwives who helped them give birth at home rather than in hospital.

Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is currently consulting over the future of the Home Birth Team - a group of five midwives who are focused on helping mums who choose to have their children at home.

While the five midwives, whose work covers the Peterborough and Stamford areas, would continue to work in the childbirth team, they would not be focused on home births.

Bryony Gigner (30) of Easton on the Hill, Stamford, gave birth to daughter Gabriella in May last year.

She said: “The issue is one of continuity of care. It is about knowing who is going to come through your front door.

“You want to know who it is, and what they think of home births, and what their experience of home births is.

“If there is a large team of midwives who could come through the door, it is not the same as having someone who you have been meeting with for a long time.”

Bryony and a number of other mums met with staff at the hospital last week in an attempt to persuade the trust to keep the specialist team.

Bryony said: “It is important. People choose to have a home birth because it is a relaxing place, and it is calm.

“If the team goes I would have another home birth, but I would look at a different Trust.”

Fran Gregory, Head of Midwifery at Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We would like to reassure women and their partners that we will continue to offer them the opportunity to give birth at home. Should they choose to do so, they will be fully supported by an experienced and dedicated midwife.

“In the 14 months that the team has been in operation, there have been 82 homebirths, which equates to 1.3% of the total number of babies delivered by Trust midwives during that time.

“These were attended by midwives from the home birth team and community midwives.

“By increasing the involvement of the community midwives, we will be able to offer more women the opportunity to give birth at home. Please be assured that we will not make any decisions without thoroughly exploring the options.”

An online petition has been set up. To sign, visit www.change.org/p/stephen-graves-save-peterborough-home-birth-team.