Reclaiming birth rally

Released on: 07 March 2010

Leading maternity and health organisations and hundreds of campaigners are to march on Downing Street in a rally, Reclaiming Birth, to petition for five star maternity services this weekend.

NCT, Independent Midwives UK (IM UK), Association of Radical Midwives (ARM), Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (AIMS), Albany Mums Support Group and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) will be calling for improved maternity care for all.

Many women and their partners are left alone in labour and get little support from overstretched midwives. Parents-to-be often don't have access to the services and support they need for the birth of their baby to be a safe and positive one. Campaigners are calling for:-

• Improvement in maternity services
• The need for more midwives and investment in models of maternity care that fully support women and their families
• Raised awareness of the termination of the Albany midwifery contract.* 

On Sunday March 7th, starting in Lambeth, South London, 1pm and ending in Whitehall, campaigners plan to deliver a petition and letters to Downing Street. In attendance will be Bev Turner - wife of James Cracknell, Miles Jupp, comedian and Master of Ceremonies is Peter Duncan, campaigner and former Blue Peter presenter. The rally will end with speeches from AIMS, Albany mums and midwives, IM UK, NCT, the RCM and other health bodies.

The petition, protesting against the closure of the Albany midwifery practice, demands that more resources should become available to support pregnant women and their families. To date more than 4000 campaigners including prominent health professionals have signed.
 
Letters to the Prime Minister call for greater choice for women in place of birth and more support given to the work of independent midwives and greater availability of case load midwifery practices, like the Albany practice.

Attending and speaking at the rally, Belinda Phipps, NCT Chief Executive, says; “All three political parties claim to be the party for the family so from today we are calling on their support. 

Many women and their partners are left alone in labour and get little support from overstretched midwives. Parents-to-be often don't have access to the services and support they need for the birth of their baby to be a safe and positive one. Campaigners are calling for:-

• Improvement in maternity services
• The need for more midwives and investment in models of maternity care that fully support women and their families
• Raised awareness of the termination of the Albany midwifery contract.* 
 “We believe that supporting the family starts during pregnancy. Quality care and health provision during pregnancy provides mother, child and family with the best possible start in life.

“It is ironic that this rally takes place a week before Mothering Sunday. The Reclaiming Birth rally is about respecting the role of mothers and mothers-to-be and we aim to put the care of women and their unborn child back at the centre of the debate.” 

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