A key aspect of the content at JFHC Live day two focused on integration of maternity services with Dr Suzanne Tyler and Debbie Garrod both delivering talks on the opportunites to improve birth services.

Dr Tyler told delegates that "there is a chasm between those working in primary care and those working in maternity services - we should all be able to work together".

Her talk focused on bringing maternity back into primary care as she explained  "where maternity services are not present [10 to 12 weeks] is where women feel most anxious about their pregnancy" so it's important for services to be joined up.

Based on the fact that "the birth rate is up 22 per cent in the past ten years and more importantly the number of 'abnormal' pregnancies has risen" there is now a chronic shortage of maternity staff especially given safety concerns.

With the last payout for a baby damaged at birth topping £8 million, Dr Tyler suggested there is "a risk adverse society in maternity with people very concerned with safety".

She concluded that "clinical decisions need to be made together rather than in a confrontaional way, I never understood why midwives and health visitors don't get on and now it's more important than ever that we do."

Midwife consultant Debbie focused on reducing the scariness of normal birth during her talk by explaining how VBAC sessions work.

Vaginal birth after caesarean section classes are planned to be supportive and realistic while helping women to increase confidence in natural births.

Debbie said: "For many women coming into the UK from a foreign healthcare system c-sections are the norm so it is important to help them feel confident about giving birth naturally."

She suggested that other women's experiences were the most powerful part of the VBAC sessions she gives in Stockport - for more information visit www.institute.nhs.uk/building_capability/hia_supporting_info/promoting_normal_birth.html

Posted 30/03/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com