Links

We hope that the following reviews of other websites will help you to find information and other sources of support.
Further links unreviewed links can be found later on this page.
We would be pleased to recieve both suggestions of links to include and further reviews of links. Please email webmistress@aims.org.uk

These links are to external sites; AIMS has no control over the content of such sites, and does not necessarily endorse any views expressed in them.

Voluntary Groups and Charities
AIMS Ireland www.aimsireland.com

AIMS Ireland is the Irish branch of AIMS. The website provides general information on the maternity service in Ireland as well as recent campaigns and news. Some aspects of the website have not been updated for a while, for example areas within the events sections, and there are also a few broken links. However, there is a contacts page for further information. The site is aimed largely at women living in Ireland, but for readers outside of that country, it does provide some insight into the problems within the Irish maternity system. Gemma

Birth Choice UK www.birthchoiceuk.com Facebook page

This site was set up in 2002 and provided a useful and comprehensive guide to making a choice as to where to have your baby. This role has now been taken over by Which? Birth Choice. However, this site still provides details of national maternity statistics. Debbie

Birthrights www.birthrights.org.uk Facebook page

This is the website of the charity Birthrights which was launched in January 2013. The charity provides a legal perspective on women's legal and human rights in childbirth. They provide information and support to women and training to organisations, as well as campaigning on issues of human rights for childbearing women. The website provides an FAQ and a set of really clear and helpful factsheets covering issues such as human rights, consent, place of birth, unassisted Birth, medical records and complaints. They have a news page and you can sign up for their newsletter. Debbie

The Birth I Want www.thebirthiwant.org.uk Facebook page

The mission statement for the Birth I Want is "For every mums-to-be to have one to one care from their own midwife throughout pregnancy and birth and in the immediate weeks after, and to be able to choose where they have their baby, be it in a hospital, a birthing unit or at home."The campaign is using experiences of mums and mums to be to change this Government's struggling policy on midwifery and birth to make sure that the new Secretary of State for Health follows up on the pledge made to improve maternity services made by Andrew Lansley. This websites facilitates action to be taken in 3 ways - either by women sharing an experience they had with midwives; signing an e-petition; or by using their guide to writing to your MP. Olivia

Home Birth Reference Site www.homebirth.org.uk

This reference site is written and run by home birth advocate Angela Horn. It contains a goldmine of well referenced information and resources for parents planning a home birth in the UK. Sections such as 'Why Homebirth?', 'But what if..?', and 'Can I have a homebirth if..?' provide information for making informed decisions about home birth. The links to medical studies and guidelines are especially useful for discussing home birth with care givers. The site also features birth stories illustrating just about every home birth scenario imaginable. The only drawback of this website is that it is not frequently updated so some links and articles are out of date.Virginia

MIDIRS www.midirs.org.uk

MIDIRS is the charity Midwives Information and Resources Service. It provides information to health care professionals and students. One of its main resources is a monthly journal that summarises some of the recent research in midwifery. Although there is one sample journal on the website, there is a subscription fee for access to other issues. MIDIRS also publish the Midwifery Digest. Again there is a subscription charge for access to this. Within the news section of the website, there are some shorter articles that are accessible to all. Gemma

NCT www.nct.org.uk

This is the website of the NCT National Childbirth Trust. It provides a wealth of information on all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting. This includes evidence based advice, details of how to become involved with the organisation, current campaigns, courses for expectant parents and local NCT events. Unfortunately, some aspects of the site are blocked and access is allowed to members only. The website also contains adverts, which can be distracting. Finally, although a campaigning charity, the advice presumes parents will follow the 'normal' expected pregnancy route. There is, for example, no real practical advice for parents who are denied homebirths, who choose not to follow medical advice or who opt to freebirth. As a result, it is a good source of information for the majority of parents, but not necessarily for those in 'atypical' situations or who are following an unconventional pregnancy path. Gemma

Pregnancy and Parents Centre www.pregnancyandparents.org.uk

The Pregnancy and Parents Centre is based in Edinburgh and offers support to parents in the surrounding areas. Much of this support is in the form of classes, workshops and drop-in groups and so will be mostly relevant to parents living within or near to Edinburgh. There is an information and research section, which provides birth stories and some discussion on recent research, although it is not particularly developed. The site also hosts the results of research carried out by the Birth Project Group. The group's research is a collaboration between the Pregnancy and Parents Centre and universities in both Edinburgh and Dublin. Although some of the research is only summarised and much of it is several years old, it does provide an interesting insight into the maternity systems in the UK and Ireland. Gemma

Tell Me A Good Birth Story www.tellmeagoodbirthstory.com

"Spreading positive childbirth experiences"
The aim of this website is to put pregnant women in touch with new mothers willing to share their good birth stories. There are sections entitled 'Find a birth buddy', 'Be a birth buddy', 'Good birth stories', 'Helping labour to happen' as well as 'Help and resources'. Word-of-mouth wisdom shared between mothers and mothers-to-be. To give hope, encouragement and confidence. A clear, concise, friendly website. Olivia

Which? Birth Choice www.which.co.uk/birth-choice Which? Is an independent, a-political, social enterprise and the purpose of the Which? Birth Choice website is to empower women to have informed discussions with their health care providers. The Which? Birth Choice website provides relevant statics and local information for women navigating maternity care options in the UK. The site has three main sections which include comparing places of birth, an interactive Birth Choice Tool and looking up local services by postcode. There is also an Expert Advice section which includes mums describing their birth experiences and a FAQ section which covers birth pools to inductions. The statistical information is provided in a very clear and accessible manner. Statistics about local labour wards are compared to national statistics on procedures such as stitching on cuts and tears to successful VBACs. Information about private care options are also covered, including independent midwives, private rooms and doulas. The website also includes ratings of local services from the Care Quality Commission and women who have used the service. Virginia

Midwifery Service Providers
Neighbourhood Midwives www.neighbourhoodmidwives.org.uk

Neighbourhood Midwives is a 100% employee-owned midwifery mutual which offers high quality midwifery services. They are also a recognised social enterprise (a business with a clear social aim, who commits the principle amount of any profit back into helping the business achieve that social aim). Neighbourhood Midwives is based in South London and surrounding areas, but plans to establish practices across England in the coming months and years. They provide one to one care with a dedicated midwife which includes antenatal care, support during labour and birth (in home, hospital or birth centre), and the postnatal period. They offer different care packages ranging from full care, to only care during the postnatal period, to one off appointments. They are also working towards providing care within the NHS in the future which would be accessible to all women regardless of ability to pay. Their websit offers testimonials from families who have used their service and has a section about employment for midwives who would like to join Neighbourhood Midwives. Virginia

One to One Midwives www.onetoonemidwives.org

One to One Midwives is a private company owned by the founder which is working with the NHS to deliver free maternity care to women. Their high standard of maternity care is founded on each woman having continuity of care provided by one midwife during her pregnancy. The services they provide include antenatal care and education, birth in the woman's chosen location (home, hospital, or birth centre), and postnatal support. Women can self-refer to receive care from One to One. One to One is based in the Wirral area but is expanding to other areas including Yorkshire. Their website includes a useful FAQ section which outlines the referral process, a blog where you can get to know the midwives and birth stories from women who have used the service. Virginia

Midwifery Orgnanisations
Association of Radical Midwives (ARM) www.midwifery.org.uk

ARM was founded in the late 70s because of concerns by midwives about the increasing medicalisation of maternity care. Their website provides access to a wealth of articles that have been published in the Journal 'Midwifery Matters'. ARM also run a very successful discussion group UKMidwifery which has both a midwifery and lay membership and the website provides an archive of information from this group on a huge range of topics, eg. Breech Birth, Brewer's Diet, Fibroids and many more. They have a online shop selling wooden pinards, T shirts, etc. The website provids details of local ARM groups and of conferences and meetings they are holding. Debbie

Independent Midwives UK (IMUK) www.independentmidwives.org.uk

This website offers information on independent midwifery for both professionals and parents to be. It also provides a database of local independent midwives. Information is also given on the history of the organisation and its recent campaigns. Some areas of the website are blocked for members only. Gemma

Childbirth Educators, Doulas, etc.
Yogabirth www.yogabirth.org

Yogabirth is a clear website, which is very user friendly. You can find out about the range of classes offered, which range from yoga to birth workshops and beyond. Locate your nearest class, or find out more about their teachers and ethos. You can also explore becoming a Yogabirth teacher. Finally, they include a blog section helping you to find some pregnancy related reading which may be of interest. Chloe

Doula UK www.doula.org.uk

Doula UK was founded in 2001 as a non-profit organisation to support and promote the role of doulas. This website has a useful registry of UK doulas which can be searched by postcode and information for parents on what doulas do, including questions to ask a prospective birth or postnatal doula. There is also information on how to become a doula and a list of Doula UK approved courses. Other features include an extensive reading list with book reviews by Doula UK members and Doula UK vouchers available to purchase (a great gift for baby showers). Virginia

Baby-Birth www.Baby-Birth.com/uk

Featuring people, productions and information to help the natural birth of your child. It has a directory of practitioners, featured articles and product reviews (e.g caffeine free coffee and books). This is the website of Sarah Buchanan who is a hypnobirthing teacher and Natural Childbirth Consultant. Olivia

Hypnobirthing Centre www.thehypnobirthingcentre.co.uk

The Hypnobirthing Centre with Katharine Graves provides hypnobirthing courses to parents-to- be in various locations around the country. From the website it is apparent that natural, calm birth is their philosophy and their courses offer parents techniques to achieve this. There are some inspiring testimonials on the site and also interesting articles about pregnancy. These articles are not scientific or scholarly and so are easy to read and enjoyable. For those who are interested in becoming hypnobirthing instructors, there are also advertisements for relevant courses. Gemma

HypnoBirthing UK www.hypnobirthing.co.uk

HypnoBirthing UK The Mongan Method is a website primarily aimed at advertising hypnobirthing classes and practitioner courses. There is information on hypnosis, the history of hypnobirthing and successful birth stories. There is also some limited scientific research mentioned and links to external sources of information. The website is good for the basics on the subject, but is largely focussed on encouraging readers to sign up for a course. Gemma

Sheila Kitzinger www.sheilakitzinger.com

This website takes you through Sheila Kitzinger's work in a fairly easy to navigate format. You can find out more about Sheila's extensive work within the birth world, as well as more details on her Birth Crisis helpline. Her published work is available to buy, through an Amazon link. But there is also a lot of other information you may not expect to find. There are a great many of Sheila's own articles, as well as pages dedicated to home birth, water birth, birth images and research based evidence. Her "Birth Action" page also has an interesting list of birth related campaigns. Chloe

General Health and Medical Sites
Cochrane Collaboration www.cochrane.org

The Cochrane Collaboration is an independent global network that systematically reviews the available medical evidence and research so as to provide accessible health information to those who require it. The Cochrane Reviews can cover research from a wide range of medical areas. The whole collection can be accessed via www.thecochranelibrary.com. Reviews focusing specifically on pregnancy and childbirth are available at pregnancy.cochrane.org
All of the reviews are available for free, but medical terms and referencing of specific research methods are used, which can be confusing. Alternatively, 'plain language summaries' of the reviews can be accessed, which give a brief overview of the results and are easier to digest. One very minor niggle is that when trying to access specific reviews, the reader is continually directed in and out of the above sites. However, it is a useful resource to anyone interested in understanding the evidence base supporting various aspects of maternity care. Gemma

NICE www.nice.org.uk

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is a Special Health Authority - an Arms Length Body funded by the Department of Health which was set up in 1999. It provides a range of guidance; including Clinical Guidelines, Technology appraisals, Public health guidance and Quality standards. Finding your way around the site can take a bit of practice, but the pathways are well worth exploring as they bring together guidance from different guidelines that may be relevant to a particular decision, and provide links to find the underlying information. All NICE guideline development involves consumers and this can have a significant impact on what the guidance says. Organisations can register as stakeholders in order to comment on guidance drafts, the comments will be seen by those developing the guideline and NICE must reply to the comments. The website provides information about getting involved with the development and about how your organisation can become a stakeholder. Debbie

You Tube Videos
Birth by the Numbers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGx_GrAKBVU&feature=youtu.be

This is an excellent 23 minute presentation that looks at what numbers related to birth really mean. It explains and compares mortality and caesarean rates and debunks some of the myths associated with higher caesarean rates. The word 'statistics' can be frightening but this is really clear and easy to understand. Highly recommended viewing. Gina

Apple Dumplings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yn8tsHyJaCI

Apple Dumplings is a You Tube video promoting breastfeeding in a very jokey way. A group of women in cabaret costumes dance to funky music composed by John Saunders and sung by Hazel Scott. Brian Belo bounces around flashing the script cards. Great fun to watch. Beverley

Unreviewed Links

Volunary Groups and Charities

AIMS Ireland
www.aimsireland.com

The Pregnancy and Parents Centre, Edinburgh
A registered charity that works with parents-to-be, families and local communities. We offer friendship, information and a wide variety of classes and activities to support you through pregnancy and early parenthood.
www.pregnancyandparents.org.uk

Caesarean Birth and VBAC Information
Information about caesarean birth and VBAC. Articles, reading list, birth stories, scar pictures and more.
www.caesarean.org.uk

Breech Birth
Information about breech birth.
www.breech.org.uk

Jessicas Trust
Puerperal sepsis is still a major cause of maternal death in the UK. Jessica Palmer died of puerperal sepsis in June 2004, at 34 years old, six days after the uncomplicated birth of her second child. The organisation would like every parent, every midwife and every doctor to know that puerperal sepsis is still a very real threat to a mother's life.
www.jessicastrust.org.uk

Pelvic Partnership
Provides support and information about pelvic girdle pain
www.pelvicpartnership.org.uk

Childbirth Educators, Doulas, etc.

Active Birth Centre
UK business providing information and products to help parents make informed choices. Specialists in waterbirth and Active Birth classes.

Hypnobirthing
Page providing details of UK Hypnobirthing teachers listed by The HypnoBirthing Centre
http://www.thehypnobirthingcentre.co.uk/14.html

Hypnobirthing
Page providing details of UK Hypnobirthing teachers registered with the The HypnoBirthing Institute
http://www.hypnobirthing.co.uk/hypnobirthing_classes.shtml

Midwifery

Midwife archives at Gentlebirth.org
Information and forums for midwives. Has an "alternative" health content.
www.gentlebirth.org/archives/

Maternity and the Newborn
A forum of the Royal Society of Medicine, for the discussion of issues at the cutting edge of pregnancy, birth, and care of the newborn.
www.motherhood.org.uk

Birth in Angus
The web site of the North Angus Community Maternity Unit.
www.birthinangus.org.uk

General Health and Medical Sites

British Medical Journal
www.bmj.com

The Lancet
www.thelancet.com

Medscape
Plenty of information and a good searchable database with links to Medline, but articles tend to be very conservative, with little support for 'alternative' approaches.
www.medscape.com

The Healthcare Commission
Promotes improvement in the quality of NHS and independent healthcare in England, and is known as the health watchdog.
www.healthcarecommission.org.uk

 

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