Back in February the news papers were reporting a new maternity budget to allow mums to source and choose their own maternity care. There have been so many political changes since then I'm wondering if this has been lost along the way? Control is an important aspect of confidence in birth and as a maternity therapist I was excited by the proposition.
The birthing budget proposed could fund therapies such as hypnobirthing and other complementary therapies. Pregnant women will be given a birthing budget of £3000 to spend on the care of their choice in new proposals.
The new plan is aimed at improving quality of care by promoting high quality services and moving care away from unsafe provisions. The NHS plans are part of a national plan to tackle the reported poor care provided in many maternity units. The NHS report states that 48 per cent of units which have been inspected by regulators have been rated as inadequate or requires improvement for safety.
Under the new plans, pregnant women will be told they should get a personal midwife to attend to them throughout their pregnancy, with a back-up midwife to take over if necessary.The new NHS Personal Maternity Care Budget, worth at least £3,000. This budget will allow them to choose from birthing pools, private birthing suites and alternative pain relief methods such as acupuncture or hypnobirthing.
As a complementary therapist and hypnobirth traininer I am supportive of all moves to empower women to make choices about their pregnancy and child birth. I am also excited to see complementary therapies included in the woman's possible choices. This recognition is very positive for supportive services such as hypnosis for childbirth and reflexology.
Baroness Julia Cumberlege who led the review stated:
“To be among the best in the world, we need to put women, babies and their families at the centre of their care,” she said. It is so important that they are supported through what can be a wonderful and life-changing experience. Women have told us they want to be given genuine choices and have the same person looking after them throughout their care"
Some charities are, however, concerned that couples may feel pressurised to make the cheapest choices rather than the best for their needs. Maureen Treadwell, the Birth Trauma Association’s research officer, said: “It’s hugely important that women are able to give birth in a place that feels right for them, and that they are not pressurised into what trusts see as the least costly option.”
I will be watching the media for developments from the pilot schemes as I feel that although the concept is positive there will be a number of issues that may prove challenging. One of these, I believe, will be the process of therapists becoming accredited NHS providers. I am a member of the CNHC an approved voluntary register which ensures therapists are fully trained, insured and professionally accountable. This register has been developed by the government and accredited by them. The move to NHS accreditation is however not open to hypnotherapists and complementary therapists in the same way. I hope women who want to spend their budget on Hypnotherapy or other complementary therapies do not find that they can't because no one locally has been able to gain accreditation.
If you would like any more information on hypnotherapy in pregnancy or maternity treatments please so contact us at Breathe Holistic Therapy.