Explosive new report on the UK Campaign for Normal Birth

Earlier this month, Gill Walton, head of the Royal College of Midwives, apologized for the RCM ‘Campaign for Normal Birth’ that has harmed so many babies and mothers.

Why now, more than a decade after grieving families began complaining, billions of dollars after multiple payouts for dead and brain damaged victims, years after multiple reports put the blame squarely on the Campaign for Normal Birth?

Apparently because Walton was aware of a new report, one so damning as to be impossible to ignore. The findings of that report were just released and they are horrific, especially because the report summarizes the toll at only ONE insititution.

The title of the media report says it all:

Shropshire maternity scandal: 300 babies died or left brain-damaged, says report. Five-year investigation to conclude mothers forced to suffer traumatic births because of targets for ‘normal’ births.”

…[A] five-year investigation will conclude next week that mothers were denied caesarean sections and forced to suffer traumatic births due to an alleged preoccupation with hitting “normal” birth targets.

The inquiry, which analysed the experiences of 1,500 families at Shrewsbury and Telford hospital trust between 2000 and 2019, found that at least 12 mothers died while giving birth, and some families lost more than one child in separate incidents, the newspaper reported…

The Ockenden report is expected to reveal that hundreds of babies were stillborn, died shortly after birth or were left permanently brain-damaged while many had fractured skulls or broken bones, or were left with life-changing disabilities.

The deaths and injuries were only the beginning of the suffering. According to the report’s principle author midwife Donna Ockenden:

“There have been a number of occasions where families tried to be heard over many years and were silenced or ignored.

“We have seen families that have been split apart, families where relationships have been broken, cases of trauma and PTSD that have persisted for years after the event as well as terrible, terrible sadness.

“At times, after meeting families, I went back to my hotel room and I cried.”

Why did so many mothers and babies die at just ONE institution? As the local newspaper reported back in 2011:

Caesarean section birth rates in Shropshire were the lowest in England over the past 12 months, a new NHS report revealed today.

The study for 2010/11, published by the NHS Information Centre, reveals the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is bucking the national trend with a c-section rate of just 15.3 per cent…

Health chiefs at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust put the success down to having an environment which encourages natural childbirth and using a wide range of strategies to keep caesarean deliveries low.

That “success” was actually down to letting mothers and babies die and everything that has happened since has merely confirmed that hideous reality.

So here’s what I want to know:

When will radical midwifery theorists like midwives Soo Downe and Sheena Byrom and radical natural childbirth advocates like Milli Hill apologize for the death and destruction that they promoted long after the hideous death toll became widely known?