Majority of mothers not offered choice on where to give birth
A quarter of women do not have a midwife with them in labour or when they need them, it is claimed.
A poll of over 1600 recent mothers by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) also found around a fifth (21%) were not offered a choice over where to give birth.
Over a quarter (27%) also felt that their midwives were not able to give the time required ensure the mothers-to-be fully understood what was happening, with 22% claiming they did not know their midwife ‘very well’ or ‘not at all well’ during their pregnancy.
Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of the RCM, renewed her call for 5,000 more midwives in the NHS.
“The responses show that there is still a lot to do to ensure all women get an excellent service,” she said.
“One of the biggest challenges is to ensure women know their midwife well. If women have a named midwife they trust and can contact readily their satisfaction with services in general tends to be higher.’
“We are nearly two decades on from the ground-breaking report ‘Changing Childbirth’ which said all women should get a choice of place of birth. This is still, today, not happening.
“The key to this is to increase the number of midwives.”