Independent midwifery practice: Opportunities and challenges
Despite changes in politics, policies and emerging technologies, many women have little autonomy over the birthing process. Over the last decade, a gradual shift towards independent midwifery care services has emerged and needs to be researched. The aim of this study was to describe the opportunities and challenges that independent practising midwives face, and to present guidelines for inter-disciplinary collaboration. A qualitative approach was used and midwives, who work in solo (independent) practice, were identified on the internet and via Facebook and invited to participate. Interviews and narrative reports were used for data gathering. Although passionate about their jobs, the most challenging aspect for the midwives, was inter- and multidisciplinary collaboration. Despite the view of the midwife as the primary caregiver for normal births, it is evident that private health care services have not yet recognised the value of and need for independent midwifery services for women with uncomplicated pregnancies.
Keywords: Midwifery practice, private practice, independent midwives.