Posts Tagged ‘National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’

Nice to give birth; to give birth, Nice.

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Back in May I blogged about about draft recommendations regarding childbirth from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice). The report has been finalised, and low-risk first-time mothers will now be told that birth in a midwife-led unit is “particularly suitable” for them, and mothers who already have children will be told that choosing either midwife care or a home birth would be equally suitable.

The Institute’s new guidance says that it is safer for healthy women to give birth in a midwife-led unit or at home than in hospital, as they will be less likely to undergo potentially risky surgical interventions such as delivery by forceps, caesarean section or episiotomy.

Local health authorities will now have to ensure that all women have the choice to give birth in hospital, a midwife unit, or their own homes – meaning that thousands more babies could be born outside hospitals (Of the 700,000 babies born in England and Wales last year, 90 per cent were delivered in hospital).

Midwife-led units, or ‘birth centres’, are run by midwives without the medical facilities of a hospital (for example, epidurals are not available). They were established in the 1990s and can be either next to a main hospital maternity unit or separate.

Support and choice for Mums-to-be

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

New, updated draft proposals by the National Institute for Health And Care Excellence (NICE) suggest that Mums-to-be with low risk, straightforward pregnancies should be encouraged to have their babies in midwife-led birth centres, rather than on a traditional labour ward.

According to the Institute,  independent or hospital based mid-wife led units are as safe  as traditional labour wards for all low risk pregnant women and are more likely to result in a better birth experience with less medical intervention, which of course is beneficial for all concerned!

The report also looked at the safety of home births, saying that they are just as safe as other settings for low risk pregnant women who have already have a baby, but that they don’t recommend home births for first time mums.

The  clinical guideline programme director for NICE. , Christine Carson, concluded ‘every woman should ultimately have the freedom to choose where she wants to give birth and be supported in her choice.’

NHS to filter out pregnant smokers?

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

I read in The Times newspaper this week that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has recommended that midwives give women a carbon monoxide test in early pregnancy, to establish whether they are smoking or not. Apparently not all Mums-to-be  tell the truth about giving up smoking in pregnancy! The test will be a breath test, and women found to have high carbon monoxide readings will be referred to “smoking cessation services”.

Some members of  The Royal College of Midwives, however, are not keen on the idea, and The Times reported that a source said they feel such a test could damage  relations between women and their midwives. Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the RCM, said the test could help show women the potential damage to unborn babies, but said the final decision must lie with the woman.

What do you think? A sensible measure to try to reduce the 21% of women who smoke during pregnancy (risking low birth weight and associated health problems) or Nanny State gorn mad?