Posted on Tuesday 6 August 2013
The Riverside team
A specialist team of midwives dedicated to delivering babies at home is celebrating its one year anniversary today (Tuesday 6 August).
The Riverside midwifery team has delivered more than 40 babies in homes across south London in its first year of service as a devoted home birthing team.
Service lead Rebecca Brien, one of six midwives who make up the team, says: “We can’t believe how fast this year has gone, it’s been such a great experience to see so many healthy babies being born at home.
“It’s important for women to give birth where they feel comfortable and being at home is a relaxed environment for many. Some of our women choose to have a water birth and we’ve had babies born in houses, flats and on boats!
“I gave birth at home under the care of Guy’s and St Thomas’ which was a wonderful experience that fuelled my love of home birth and inspired me to become a midwife.”
Second time mum Claire Reindorp, 39, had such a “peaceful and natural” home birthing experience that she encourages others to consider it.
She says: “Having a home birth was amazing, it allowed me to relax and feel comfortable, which is exactly how you need to be feeling when you’re in labour.
“I felt so calm and supported, I went into labour at 9pm and by midnight I’d given birth. Then my husband and I sat with my sister and midwife and had a cup of tea while our new baby slept.
“I felt triumphant; I’d experienced what my body was capable of, and how much easier it could be to give birth in the right environment.”
Riverside is one of seven community midwifery teams run by Guy’s and St Thomas’ in south London. The teams offer complete continuity of care, looking after each woman during pregnancy, birth and postnatal care.
“It was amazing to be able to get to know Anne, my midwife, during her antenatal visits to my home. I really trusted her, and felt so at ease knowing she was on the end of the phone,” adds Claire.
Home births are offered to all first time mothers who have low risk pregnancies and women who have given birth before.
Guy’s and St Thomas’ has the second highest home birth rate in London. In 2012-13, 2.5% of all births under our care happened at home compared with London’s 1.4% average.
The Riverside team runs a monthly home birth workshop on the first Friday of every month at St Thomas’ Hospital. Pregnant women interested in home birth can attend with a partner or friend.
Soon to be mothers living in the SE1, SE4, SE8, SE14 and SE16 areas can refer themselves to the Riverside team if they are booked under the care of St Thomas’ Hospital by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.