Independent midwives are midwives who work outside of the NHS in a private/self-employed capacity Independent midwives are still regulated by the Nursing & Midwifery Council and are subject to the same supervision as any other midwife. They are required to make sure that they stay up to date with the latest practices and must always act within national guidelines to ensure they practice as a competent midwife.
One of the main reasons a woman may choose an independent midwife is for continuity of care. Your independent midwife will be with you for the entire journey of your pregnancy including post-natal care. They will educate you on all of your options available to you including the benefits of homebirths and will empower you to make informed decisions while being safe in the knowledge that you have a midwife constantly there to offer support and guidance along the way.
You are still entitled to receive NHS care combined with that of an independent midwife. You are not opting out of the NHS and will still be able to have all blood tests and scans that a woman under the NHS care would be entitled to. Independent midwives have the same referral rights as NHS midwives and can arrange a consultant appointment or hospital admission if required. Independent midwives can work alongside your NHS provider to give you additional support.
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