Why a Private Obstetrician can be the best Investment for Baby
If you are pregnant you may be enjoying the idea of shopping for all of the things that you want for your unborn baby. Your wish list may include designer clothes and furnishings or a go-anywhere buggy but there is every chance that you will not have given too much thought to the idea of paying privately for an obstetrician to care for you and your baby. However, if your priority is your wellbeing and the safe delivery of a healthy baby then you may want to think again.
Maternity Services Feeling the Strain
With the birth rates in the UK at their highest for over 40 years and NHS labour wards struggling just to cope with demand, choosing to have a private obstetrician could be the best decision that you will ever make. Indeed, in some parts of England the birth rate has increased by more than 50% in recent years, which is putting a huge strain on maternity services. The majority of babies in the UK are of course delivered by midwives but at just the time when many more babies are being born the NHS is faced with the problem of a chronic midwife shortage.
A recent report by the National Audit Office into the provision of maternity services in England revealed that the NHS in England is approximately 5000 midwives short of where it needs to be and raised serious concerns about the considerable variation between the performance of hospitals in respect of the quality, safety, cost and efficiency of maternity departments.
These are also the findings of the third annual State of Maternity Services Report compiled by the Royal College of Midwives, which states that in 2012, the last year for which there are up to date midwife and birth figures, 694,241 babies were born in England but the number of midwives working in the NHS that year was suitable for only 565,245 births, meaning there were 128,996 more births than the service was designed to cope with.
The CEO of the Royal College of Midwives, Cathy Warwick, states that “the NHS is at the limit of what maternity services can safely deliver.”
To put this another way, the NHS is at the limit of being able to deliver babies safely.
NHS cannot justify more than 'one size fits all'
Furthermore, even a fully resourced NHS cannot realistically provide more than a one-size fits all maternity service that offers little choice or flexibility and scant provision for the emotional and psychological side of pregnancy and birth that is so important to many women. On the other hand, those women who opt for a private Consultant Obstetrician are offered a much more personalised service and are able to choose the type of obstetric care and support that is right for them. The obstetrician will be responsible for providing care throughout the pregnancy, personally deliver their babies no matter how routine the delivery and be on hand until six weeks after the birth.
Taryn M. chose to have a private obstetrician when she was pregnant with her baby daughter. She explained the benefit in the following way, “I believe that women want a private obstetrician so that they are in the care of one specialist who solely oversees their individual case from beginning to end. This gives a feeling of reassurance, security and wellbeing.”
Speaking of her own experience she added, “I will be eternally grateful to my obstetrician, Dr Ashok Kumar, for his professional demeanour, understanding and kind, thoughtful, calm and gentle manner at all times. I was thoroughly supported throughout every stage of my pregnancy and felt that both myself and my baby were in the safest hands that one could possibly envisage.”
Of course, the majority of pregnancies proceed smoothly and most babies are born safe and well but for many women the peace of mind that comes from having a private obstetrician is well worth the investment.
Dr Ashok Kumar provides information for parents-to-be in his authoritative article - here.