Royal Baby update. Since I last wrote a blog post, the fervour has settled down now into a steady stream of commemorative china, gift-ware and tins of shortbread. But some of the uncertainties I looked at have now clarified a bit.
It is now definitely known (and I am not just getting this from the Daily Mail, but from sources much closer to the story) that the Duchess did not have an epidural. In fact, I hear that there is one majorly disappointed anaesthetist at St Mary’s who stayed on call for 5 weeks and never got called in. Poor old chap.
It is also known that she was attended by four midwives, lead by the Professor of Midwifery at Imperial NHS Trust, Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent.
Yet, mysteriously, not one of these midwives’ names were on the official birth announcement made by the Palace. It is as though the midwives were simply handmaidens standing around with instruments like nurses in a 1950s hospital drama.
Yet you may be certain that the Duchess’s straightforward, natural labour was just as much, perhaps even a little bit more due to their presence and skill than to those of the doctors present. The Duchess had a natural birth with just gas and air for pain relief. She will have benefited from midwife care in suggesting movements, breathing techniques, and the gentle encouragement every mum needs. In short, the kind of normal delivery care which midwives are expert in; and which obstetricians and gynaecologists do not have much experience of, though many are greatly respectful of it.
Some might even point out that Professor Dunkley-Bent’s professorial title rather outranks the doctors on the team – so why wasn’t she named in the birth announcement from the Palace?
I hope this oversight is made good in the New Year’s Honours List for 2014!!!