Sunday, October 12, 2008

Prenatal Company: Midwife goes to top executives office for antenatal care

What a tremendous story this is, check it out in the Evening Standard
Midwives are providing highflying City women with pregnancy care at their desks, it was revealed today.

The 24-hour working culture means many female executives find it impossible to juggle hospital check-ups with meetings.

But a London midwife has now launched the first ante-natal service tailored for women who want to combine motherhood with a high-profile career.

Lexie Minter, 29, set up The Prenatal Company after identifying a gap in the market for a service for women in the workplace.

A typical consultation lasts from half an hour to an hour and is arranged to fit round the client's work schedule.

The cost of the service, which provides support throughout pregnancy, is £5,000.

This includes blood tests, work check-ups and advice on the best place to give birth and exercise tips during pregnancy.

What a fantastic idea, I can see how it would work in London, shame in Australia midwives do not have the same impact on care. I think this is two fold, one is, our health care system is funded differently for pregnancy and secondly, we have a higher uptake of private insurance, which means, more women opt for private health care (specialist obstetricians) thinking they are getting the best care, which is always not the case.

Very interesting!


Anonymous said...

Can we earn this much in Australia for doing this job?

Lexie Minter said...

Thank you so much for the positive views on this.

I have to tell you as a midwife this is a great job. I get to see women from early in pregnancy and can really go through their birth choices with them. I get to build a great relationship with them as well. I hunted around and sat in lots of antenatal classes and choose the best ones to then subcontract to for my company. It is the kind of package I would put together for a good friend if she was pregnant.

Sadly in the UK we are not able to deliver in hospitals we are not employed by and currently cannot get insurance for home birth. We can only be a doula at the birth at present. Things may change though.

Ultimately I think it would be interesting to audit how this type of care impacts on birth satisfaction and women in the longer term.

Oh and I am sure you could do this in Australia! Good luck if you do and let me know if I can help at all.

Lexie Minter from The Prenatal Company.

Anonymous said...

what an exclusive expensive service for highly paid executives not my idea of open access to health care which is the corner stone of the NHS
5000 pounds =12500 dollars for antenatal care

infomidwife said...

thankyou anonymous for your comments, however I have to say that lexie from The Prenatal Company, is providing an excellent service, which from all accounts proivdes continuity of care and informed choice. It is about providing a service of choice to women who want this service and can afford to pay for it, these women do not want to leave there work place and want there appointments to fit in work commitments - there is nothing wrong with that.

It does not mean that other women are getting any less with the NHS - it just means that these women can afford to have the service delivered to them within there work place. After all it is about choice for what the woman wants.
I have great admiration for midwives working within the NHS which also provides open access and informed choice, at no cost - It does not mean that all women have the same needs and have to use the same system - however if an executive wants to pay for this service so be it, and good luck to the enterprising midwive who has thought of it.
We as midwives are certainly worth the price - and it does not mean any less for the women within the NHS
- it is about informed choice and continuity of care.

Anonymous said...

Let me first declare my socialist principles i.e. equal access to health care for all regardless of income and ability to access

Fortunately all women in the UK can access paid time off work for antenatal appointments and also have generous access to maternity leave.
Time away from work for antenatal care is important not just for midwifery care but to meet other women, build social supports and ensures women’s right to time and space to discuss any concerns

I would disagree this is a continuity of midwifery care model .The midwives cannot attend women in labour and do not provide care whilst at home birth/hospital.

It is not clear from the website how women are referred if there are pregnancy complications -the NHS I guess

This is clearly a business and therefore should be considered in this light
It always causes me some disquiet when midwives offer both a private business service and remain employed in a trust or health service. Clearly this presents a conflict of interest. The UK has recognised this and other professional difficulties mixing private/public employment .Hence the issues for the prenatal company.

Hopefully the skill and desire of all midwives is to offer care throughout the childbearing experience.
Continuity of care models demand a high level of commitment from an already stretched midwifery workforce
The Prenatal Company is a fantastic way for business focused midwives to provide antenatal care without "any of the hard bits"
poverty, poor housing in scary areas of London, shifts pregnancy and labour complications, women who really need lots of support to make an informed choice ....... the list goes on

For true continuity of care models to succeed the workforce providing that care must be supported and validated .We need to be careful we don’t create a two tier group of midwives i.e those who slog away at the coal face versus those pick up “the easy bits” get the profit and let the others do the rest .I could be cynical and say the latter group sounds like the obstetricians.

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