Midwives Association of Ireland
A response to the calls to the RTE Liveline program over the last week (April 2019) by women and their families in respect of their experiences of the maternity services in Ireland.
- The Midwives Association of Ireland (MAI) welcome the important conversation that has arisen as a result of RTE Liveline radio program over the last week. We are sorry and disappointed to hear women’s experiences of maternity care at a time which should be one the happiest of their lives. We urge these women to contact a health care professional (GP, Midwife, Obstetrician), their local maternity services, and/or patient advocacy services for ongoing support and/or advice.
- Although the content of the programmes has made for some very difficult listening, the MAI have listened and are listening intently to the calls made by women and their families in respect of their experiences. We are sorry that these women have had very difficult experiences with many of which report longstanding after effects. We are cognisant that this may have been the first time these women have spoken out.
- The MAI are committed to working to improve the experience for all women and their families.
- The HSE launched Ireland’s first ever National Maternity Strategy in 2016. This Strategy should, when implemented result in a long overdue and much needed fundamental change in the configuration of maternity services. There will be a choice of models of care designed to best meet women whose pregnancies may pose various risk levels to them or their babies. Midwives will form the basis of all models of care.
- The MAI supports international evidence which shows that women’s choice, control and continuity of care and carer are fundamental elements of safe and good quality care and urge our Government to ensure continued funding to implement this Strategy.
- The MAI acknowledge that many women have good experiences of our maternity services and that many staff work tirelessly to achieve this for women whilst working in underfunded services and outdated models of care. This does not diminish in any way the experiences of those who have had bad experiences. We are sorry for the role midwives may have played in these experiences.
- The MAI want to ensure that those who have had suboptimal or negative experiences receive the attention they deserve. It is only by listening to those stories that we can really begin to work on the required improvements in our Irish maternity services. Women need to be HEARD and we need to LISTEN.