Centralization of Obstetric Units: (Austerity) Challenges to Maternity Care- by Marita Vyrgioti

Last week, the President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Dr David Richmond made quite a controversial proposal, one that would create a “public and political furore”, in his own words[1]. The British National Health System (NHS) has been dealing with a serious shortage of middle-grade obstetricians and therefore has suffered a general drop in the quality of maternity services offered, due to exhausting shifts and antisocial-hours of work, and to doctors’ burnout. In his recent interview in Guardian, Dr Richmond suggested a merger of the current 147 obstetric units into 118; a reduction of 20%. He supported his view saying that the concentration of obstetric experts in central units can result in high-quality maternity care and 24/7 consultancy, which would be impossible otherwise. The centralization of obstetric units will be combined with the boosting of midwife-led units, suitable for women who have a low-risk pregnancy. Read more...

Writing Maternal Ambivalence (and How we Love to Hate it..)- by Rosalind Howell

I’m not the only one, who since having children, has had an urge to write about the experience. There are many blogs, as well as memoirs and whole parenting magazines often written by mothers, for mothers. Amongst this body of writing there can be very distinct tones; One is the confessional style memoir which tries to capture the difficult thoughts and feelings that assail the author in early motherhood, such as Rachel Cusk’s 2001 book, A Life’s Work. Another is the how to article which shares with the reader a particular parenting secret or skill that the author has recently become convinced of and wishes for us to join her in. I received one of these recently from the Huffington Post, `The blog` initially assured me, its aim was to ‘soothe my frazzled parent brain’, the title of the article then screaming warningly at me, “The single most Read more...