Midwives set to drop campaign for natural 'normal births'

UK midwives back down on natural childbirth advice

UK midwives back down on natural childbirth advice

Three decades ago, 60 per cent of women gave birth naturally. There are great benefits to birth without interventions, but they should be pursued in a way that is sensitive to every woman's situation, not as an article of faith.

Professor Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the college, denied the campaign had compromised safety but said she did not want women to feel they had failed if they had not had a normal birth.

She admitted, however, that it had "created the wrong idea" and would be ended.

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

An inquiry into the deaths of 11 babies and one mother at the Morecambe Bay trust between 2004 and 2013 found midwives' desire for normal births "at any cost" had contributed to unsafe deliveries. The assumption, driven in part by advice from midwives, has been that a natural birth is somehow superior.

Prof Warwick said she does not believe midwives would have understood the campaign as meaning that normal birth should be pushed for beyond the point of safety.

For 12 years the RCM, midwives' professional and representative body, has campaigned, as a...

She added that she can see how the terminology "did let people think that was the case".