Why Neighbourhood Midwives?
We are building a birth centre called Birth Haven (see our first post here). Why Haven? Between scandals in the public maternity service, ground breaking research, the campaign for a mother’s right to choose and all the public support for birth centres, clearly we need a new, safe birthing place. So, why Neighbourhood Midwives?
Who is Neighbourhood Midwives?
Neighbourhood Midwives is a small, privately owned, limited company originally founded by midwives Dan Oakes and Tracy Donegan. We started the business while still studying for our midwifery degrees in 2012. Our first clients were cared for by a team of 10 registered midwives we recruited to provide maternity care in the client’s home or workplace. NM expanded in 2014 to provide homebirth services in the Republic and Northern Ireland. In 2017, NM took a team of Irish midwives over to England to caseload clients in the NHS.
Neighbourhood Midwives is now a family company owned by midwife Dan Oakes and his wife, Heather Oakes. We have three boys who were home births in Ireland. Together we know first hand the challenges that women face with the current system. We are passionate about positive changes to birth. Read this for a more in depth understanding of our family and the work we have done.
What does Neighbourhood Midwives stand for?
Our team have worked hard over the years to provide more choice in maternity care in Ireland and abroad. We stand for choice.
Our team reads the research that shows continuity of carer increases positive outcomes in maternity compared to standard care like nothing else does. We stand for continuity of carer.
Our team have experienced how our clients better achieve their goals due to their caregiver spending more time listening to them. We stand for informed choice.
Our team see time and again how each case is unique; each client has different physical and emotional needs. We stand for holism.
Where have Neighbourhood Midwives been/where are we going?
We have been fighting for more choice in childbirth, more evidence based care, more compassion towards mothers since 2012. Not just by talking, but doing. Neighbourhood Midwives were the first Irish company to offer independent birth services after the events that led to independent midwives becoming self employed community midwives in the Republic (see here). Neighbourhood Midwives were the first Irish company to support client’s choices to birth vaginally at home post caesarean section after the government run health service defended their right to refuse that service to clients. We were the first to offer independent birth services in Northern Irish history (see here). We were first to support clients choosing vaginal birth at home after 2 caesareans (see here).
Neighbourhood Midwives will open Ireland’s first birth centre. Our team will continue to promote choice for all mothers living in Ireland. We will speak, comment, publish and shout from the rooftops about our successful model so that mothers around the world can benefit from the birth revolution.
We understand the problem our clients have with the current maternity model in Ireland. Neighbourhood Midwives bring an independent viewpoint to the problem, not associated with any other organisation or government agency. We have successfully overcome these problems in the past as our client testimonials show. Our focus on independent homebirth led to us making positive changes in the past. This experience has given us the skills and strengths to bring forward an even more bold and audacious project to appeal to the whole family.