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Discussion Starter #1
I am 5 week pregnant, and though I was not 100% sure about UC, I was considering it. My main reason is that I have been reading about homebirths here, and what often happens is that either say you are not physically fit enough OR on your week 38, they call you to say that for lack of staff they can't guaranteed a MW would be available! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: You can fight this, and most are successful, but it is not something I feel like dealing with to be quite frank.<br><br>
Well, so much about considering UC: it is illegal! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">: They don't actually prosecute a women who choose to UC because it would be bizarre, but they can prosecute any other adult present during the birth (even if in another room!) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
I did read though that I could call the MW AFTER the birth and use the loophole of "oh, the baby came too fast - I did not have enough time to call you" . The problem is that if they had already denied to send me a midwife on the grounds that I am not a good candidate or because of shortage of staff, then if I called, I fear that would transfer me to a hospital! That would be utterly stupid of them though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
Anyway, has anybody UC in a place where it is illegal? Did you say you had an "oops" and it worked? I wonder is there is anyway for them to know you had been labouring for a while...
 

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Um..you have been completely misinformed.<br>
Not sure who you talked to, buyt they either stright out lied to you or else are ignorant of the laws themselves.<br><br>
UC in perfectly fine in England.<br><br>
here is a link..scroll down to the "birth without midwife" section.....you can also read the whole thing, also browse the site, it has great info!!!!!!!<br>
hope this helps.<br><br><a href="http://www.homebirth.org.uk/" target="_blank">http://www.homebirth.org.uk/</a>
 

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<a href="http://www.cradlecare.co.uk/unassisted.htm" target="_blank">Here</a> and <a href="http://www.homebirth.org.uk/law.htm" target="_blank">here</a><br><br>
It is no problem for a woman to give birth unassisted, however...<br><br><i><b>"It is illegal for anyone other than a UK registered midwife or doctor to 'attend' a woman in labour except in an emergency. This means that if it can be proved that the birth partner <i>intended</i> to act as a midwife, he (or she, but 'he' is used here for simplicity) may be prosecuted. The birth partner may even be liable to prosecution if he was present at the baby's birth, even if he was in another room at the time. Some have suggested that 'present' means in the same room, but it could be interpreted as 'nearby'.</b><br><br></i> I obviously plan on having my husband there with me while I give birth but I have no intention in risking having him prosecuted.<br><br>
ETA - Jess, the quote above if from the site you linked to. Read under "BIRTH WITHOUT MIDWIVES"
 

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Here's a website I found:<br><br><a href="http://www.homebirth.org.uk/law.htm" target="_blank">http://www.homebirth.org.uk/law.htm</a><br><br>
Maybe that will help.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br><br><br>
Edited: Sorry, previous poster posted same address! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AuntG</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7891753"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Here's a website I found:<br><br><a href="http://www.homebirth.org.uk/law.htm" target="_blank">http://www.homebirth.org.uk/law.htm</a><br><br>
Maybe that will help.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br>
Edited: Sorry, previous poster posted same address! Good luck!</div>
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Yes, that was me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
You see, I did read about UC on that site a few days ago and was excited, but then I found the quote below (about people present risking being prosecuted)
 

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But your husband wouldn't be intending to act like a midwife - hence "unassisted childbirth." And there would be no evidence to suggest he was intending it. I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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I'm not pregnant at the moment, but I'm in the UK and I'm very interested in the subject and have been for a while. If I ever have a third I'll certainly want to UC.<br>
You're right that the UK law concerning UC is very vague. The Radley case means that couples are very scared of being prosecuted, and so most ladies whose stories I've read have done an "oops, baby was too quick" successfully.<br>
I should also warn you that I've recently read two accounts, one on this board, of ladies who were upfront with health care providers about wanting to UC and had social services after them before the birth. I feel that it's a rare situation and providers don't know how to handle it.<br>
Both the GMC and NMC, regulatory bodies for nurses, midwives and doctors, are very clear that a pregnant lady has an absolute right to make her own choices regarding care, regardless of the implications for her unborn child.<br><br>
As I said, I'm not pregnant at the moment. If I were what *I'd* do, is contact one of the British journalists who have made contact with Laura Shanley looking for British UCers. Look back over the threads, sorry I've got to do a school run in a mo or I'd help you look for links. I'd UC, confident in my right to do so, but with the professionals I might run into under observation because a journalist was hanging about.<br>
Got to go but I'll try and be more helpful later. Good luck.
 

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I would just go ahead and plan a UC (I prefer UP as well, nobody to lie to and no prenatal stress). If anyone asks, be vague. If anyone asks after the baby, just say you were alone.
 

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I will be birthing unassisted in Ireland, and although I haven't checked into it extensively, I believe the laws there and within the UK are probably similar. I'm not worried about it, honestly. I plan on UPing as well, so if anyone (who I don't know/trust) asks after the birth, I'll just tell them the baby came quicker than we thought, and shrug it off. If Aidan happens to be home when I birth, and someone presses the legality issue, I'll just tell them that a) the baby came too fast to make it to the hospital, and b) husband was in no way acting as a birth attendant. They cannot prove otherwise.<br><br>
Also:<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">This means that if it can be proved that the birth partner intended to act as a midwife...</td>
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It is truly very unlikely that they would try to prosecute your spouse/partner for this, especially if your spouse/partner has never "attended" any previous births.<br><br>
And:<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">It is illegal for anyone other than a UK registered midwife or doctor to 'attend' a woman in labour except in an emergency.</td>
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If things went this far, you could say that in your case, it was absolutely an emergency, as the baby was coming too fast and you did not know what to do. Again, they cannot prove otherwise.<br><br>
These loopholes are there for a reason. They cannot prosecute someone for having an unassisted childbirth, as babies come "too quick" all the time, and there are those rare cases where the woman did not know she was pregnant until she gave birth. In most of these cases, other people just happen to be there. They cannot prosecute these people for simply being in the same vicinity as a birthing woman.<br><br>
And no, there is no way for doctors/midwives/whoever to tell how long you've been labouring.<br><br>
I believe that this law was put into place to stop lay midwives (uncertified midwives) from practicing.<br><br>
All that said, if these laws weigh negatively in your mind, and cause you to fear your upcoming birth experience, it may be in your best interest to birth somewhere you feel more relaxed, and with someone who could not be prosecuted should she/he "attend" your birth.<br><br>
Good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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In parts of Australia it's illegal to pretend to be a MW so anyone at a UC just makes sure they're not doing medical stuff but then if you're having a UC you probably don't want medical stuff anyway, right? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> All these laws are unenforceable and thus best ignored IMO.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">If Aidan happens to be home when I birth, and someone presses the legality issue, I'll just tell them that a) the baby came too fast to make it to the hospital, and b) husband was in no way acting as a birth attendant. They cannot prove otherwise.</td>
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Yes, exactly. The Radley case was unique in that the husband was on record as having said he intended to act as midwife.
 
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