Celebrities sign the RCM’s epetition for 5,000 More Midwives

Published on Wednesday, 15 August 2012 11:22
Written by Scott Buckler

England and Arsenal footballer Theo Walcott and his mother, Lynn, a retired midwife, the artist and film-maker Sam Taylor-Johnson (formerly Sam Taylor- Wood), actors Pam Ferris, Stephen McGann and Terri Dwyer and celebrity stylist Nicky  Hambleton-Jones are among some of the many celebrities who have signed the Royal College of Midwives' epetition for 5,000 more midwives

In England, the RCM is campaigning for 5,000 more midwives and has lodged an e-petition with the Government, which has 66,500 signatures and is aiming for 100,000 by August 22nd to secure a parliamentary debate.

Lynn R.S. Genevieve, mother of England and Arsenal footballer Theo Walcott, a midwife who worked both in the NHS and independently, said: "There are so many sacrifices that midwives make for their profession. I have signed and supported the RCM's epetition because we need 5,000 more midwives. We don't need midwives who are bystanders with plastic gloves on. We need more midwives to empower women to help educate them to give back choices and options for women before, during and after childbirth and to teach mothers about breastfeeding and home birth.

"The advice I received from midwives about breastfeeding set Theo up for life. I want all mothers and babies, regardless of class and social and racial background, to receive this advice. I urge you to sign the petition and support our midwives."

England and Arsenal Footballer Theo Walcott said: "I have grown up knowing how important midwives are because my mum was a midwife for the NHS and also worked independently She taught mums about healthy eating and giving babies the best start in life.

"I support the RCM's campaign for 5,000 more midwives because we need more midwives and role models like my mum. Please support midwives and sign the epetition."

Artist and filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson said: "The support given to us by midwives enabled and empowered us to have our children at home naturally.

It was an unforgettable, beautiful experience. Every woman should be able to have this choice."

Actor Stephen McGann, who has appeared as Sean Reynolds in Emmerdale and in many West End plays and musicals, said: "I am so proud to be able to offer my support to such a good cause promoting the work of midwives in this country. Midwives are the backbone of the NHS."

Actress Pam Ferris, who played Ma Larkin in the Darling Buds of May, and Aunt Marge in Harry Potter and the Prisoners of Azkaban, has signed the petition.

"Since Playing Sister Evangelina and learning about the profession, my respect for midwives has increased tenfold. I urge everyone to support them by signing the petition."

Actress Terri Dwyer, who played Ruth Osborne in the Channel Four soap opera Hollyoaks, has signed the petition. She has also been a regular presenter on ITV's Loose Women and the main presenter on 60 Minute Makeover. She also makes regular appearances on ITV's This Morning.

Terri said: "I'm supporting the RCM's campaign for 5,000 more midwives because we need more midwives in the NHS. The experience I got with both of my boys from my midwife Fiona was second to none. Without her support and guidance, my pregnancies and births wouldn't have been the success they have been. She went well above and beyond the call of duty and made some difficult times bearable. More midwives means more women will have the opportunity to experience what I did. This is undoubtedly one of the most important times in a woman's life, let's help to make it special for everyone."

TV presenter and celebrity stylist Nicky Hambleton-Jones, who presents Channel Four's popular makeover show "Ten Years Younger, has signed the petition.

RCM General Secretary and CEO Cathy Warwick said: "We are touched and delighted that so many high-profile celebrities, actors, actresses and footballers are backing our campaign and supporting our epetition for 5,000 more midwives. Their support means so much to our members and reflects the groundswell of support about our campaign."

"Whilst there has been a modest rise in the number of midwives under the Coalition, the number of births has been rising steeply, and these are more complicated births, requiring more care and support from midwives. However, we know many women are not currently getting one-to-one midwifery care in labour or choice of place of birth. We also know many women do not always get the best care at the vital time after the birth of their baby, especially once they go home."

"The Government know there is a problem and a dire shortage of midwives, and are committed to training more midwives, but what is needed are more midwifery jobs. It is pointless training more midwives if they cannot get employment.  We believe that in order to deliver the high-quality maternity care for mothers and babies proposed by the Government, we need 5,000 more midwives."

Recent statistics showed that there were 688,120 live births in England last year, up over 124,000 since the start of the baby boom in 2001. Over the last decade, the number of births in the country is up by over 22 per cent. Over the same period, however, the number of midwives has risen by less than 17 per cent, compounding a shortage of midwives that already existed in 2001.

Source: ©RCM

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