Maternal health must be prioritised | Letter

A false dichotomy between ‘natural’ and safe birth deflects attention from the real cause of this crisis: years of government cuts, writes Sarah Davies

Having been a midwife for more than 40 years, I am shocked and saddened to read the catalogue of poor care and callous behaviour described in the Ockenden report. It is scandalous that it has taken a series of tragedies to focus attention on the dire state of English maternity services, and especially the greater risks for Black women (‘I was told they didn’t offer C-sections’ – the dangerous obsession with ‘natural births’, 14 April).

As your article says, all women must be listened to and have their wishes respected. Many women also opt for out-of-hospital births, but it is now commonplace for them to have to go into hospital to give birth, often at the last minute, due to no midwife being available.

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