'Normal birth' campaign dropped after 12 years

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Change: The Royal College of Midwives has dropped its 'normal birth' campaignPhoto: David Jones/PA Wire
Change: The Royal College of Midwives has dropped its 'normal birth' campaignPhoto: David Jones/PA Wire
13 August 2017 4:19PM

A NATIONAL campaign promoting 'normal birth' has been dropped by the Royal College of Midwives after 12 years.

Advertising and literature from the RCM had supported 'normal' or 'natural' deliveries over caesarean sections, inductions or instrumental births since 2005.

Professor Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the college, denied the campaign had compromised maternity safety but agreed it had made some women feel like failures.

The Morecambe Bay Investigation concluded a group of midwives at Barrow's Furness General Hospital had pursued 'normal' births at all costs between 2004 and 2013 - contributing to the deaths of 11 babies and one mother.

Speaking to The Times, Prof Warwick said: "There was a danger that if you just talk about normal births, and particularly if you call it a campaign, it kind of sounds as if you're only interested in women who have a vaginal birth without intervention.

"What we don't want to do is in any way contribute to any sense that a woman has failed because she hasn't had a normal birth.

"Unfortunately that seems to be how some women feel."

Prof Warwick added she does not believe midwives would have looked at the campaign and thought it meant pushing normal birth 'beyond the point of safety'.

"Clearly some midwives were identified as doing that at Morecambe Bay but I've got no evidence that was fostered by anything the RCM was doing."

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