The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has been running a continuous campaign since 2005 to encourage expectant mothers to give birth without medical interventions such as; epidurals, inductions and caesareans. There are great benefits to birth without interventions, but they should be pursued in a way that is sensitive to every woman's situation, not as an article of faith. Since the 1960s advocates of "natural" birth have been pitted against defenders of medical intervention.
The campaign drew criticism after an inquiry into the deaths of 11 babies and one mother at the Morecambe Bay trust between 2004 and 2013.
Professor Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the college, denied the campaign had compromised safety but said she did not want women to feel they had failed if they had not had a normal birth. "Unfortunately that seems to be how some women feel".
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The midwives, who dubbed themselves "the musketeers", closed ranks against doctors, believing "in all sincerity they were processing the agenda as dictated at the time to uphold normality".
She said: "We would make absolutely sure under the better births initiative that we did use language and terminology that prevented people from thinking that we're going out there saying to midwives, "You need to get a normal birth at all costs".