Midwife Caroline Flint, avatar of the UK cult of normal birth

UK midwifery is a cult.

Don’t believe me? Consider Caroline Flint, former President of the Royal College of Midwives, previously found guilty of serious professional misconduct.

A FORMER president of the Royal College of Midwives was found guilty of serious professional misconduct yesterday after she mishandled the delivery of a breech birth which left the baby girl dead and the mother collapsed and bleeding on the floor.

What happened?

The three-day hearing was told that when the baby’s mother, Mrs A, went into labour on 7 November 1995, Ms Flint drove her to the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital where she spent three hours in a birthing pool. Although she asked Ms Flint repeatedly whether she should have a Caesarian because the baby was in the breech position she was reassured that everything was all right.

As Mrs A went into the second and third stages of labour a doctor came in but Ms Flint sent him away, saying he was not needed yet. When the delivery came it was very quick and the baby was whisked away for resuscitation.

Flint apparently learned nothing from that death. She has maintained her unswerving dedication to the cult of normal birth.

Flint is the lead signatory of an open letter from the Association of Radical Midwives (to which she’s belonged since 1976) calling for the resignation of the the current CEO and the entire board of the RCM.

Why is she calling for their resignation? NOT because of the preventable deaths of hundreds of babies on the altar of normal birth ideology as detailed in the recently released Ockenden Report. She’s calling for their resignation because they APOLOGIZED for those deaths.

The RCM has undermined and misrepresented the evidence regarding physiological birth and has allowed itself to indulge in the demonisation of the profession it was formerly presumed to represent. The failures noted by the recent reports in maternity services are complex, institutional and systemic and should not be laid upon individuals and professional groups. There is no evidence that wholesale increases in levels of medical intervention in labour and birth will reduce rates of stillbirth and intrauterine death.

The 600+ word screed is notable for the fact that it doesn’t mention either babies or safety even once.

I first wrote about Ms. Flint in 2018 in regard to her asinine comments at a midwifery festival. In a question and answer session bemoaning the low UK breastfeeding (while ignoring the fact that it has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world), Flint trumpets the radical beliefs at the heart of the cult of normal birth, claiming:

Their physiologic processes and being messed about and that’s to do with the fact that there are too many obstetricians and the fact that we are dominated by obstetric practice…

Get rid of half the obstetricians. That money could actually produce zillions of midwives and it would be safer for God’s sakes!

She continues:

Doctors are hopeless at childbirth! They are surgeons …

The from a midwife found responsible for letting a baby die because she was more concerned with promoting normal birth than with safety.

UK midwifery is a failed and deadly cult. Any solution to the epidemic of preventable neonatal deaths and injuries involves banishing cult members from the leadership of UK midwives.

Unless and until that is accomplished radical midwives like Caroline Flint will be continue to stymie safety efforts … and babies and mothers will continue to die preventable deaths.