Pride in Irish maternity services


Sir, – I would like to respond to Jacky Jones’s article “Forcing women to give birth within a specified timeframe is abuse”, Second Opinion, Health + Family, November 14th).

Having given birth twice in the National Maternity Hospital (NMH), in 2014 and 2017, I do not recognise her description of Irish maternity services.

On both occasions, I attended as a public patient, and received professional, caring and personalised care from a team of skilled midwives. Although nominally under the care of a consultant obstetrician, neither delivery was attended by a doctor. Both births were entirely and exclusively assisted by midwives.

Prior to presenting at NMH, I had drafted birth plans, specifying my preferences and hopes for labour, delivery and post delivery. The midwives were unwavering in their support of my choices, and worked hard to encourage me to stick to my original intentions when I began to tire. Any interventions that were offered were clearly explained, and my consent was explicitly sought. My preference for minimal interventions was accepted and supported.

I am deeply grateful to the highly professional team of midwives working in NMH, and hope that the continued negative tone of Dr Jones’s articles does not lessen their morale, enthusiasm or energy. They provide a marvellous service, and deserve fair recognition. – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.