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Study finds maternity services falling short of promises


Rebecca Rogers
WVoN co-editor

A survey has revealed that a third of expectant mothers see a different midwife each time they have a check-up. This news comes just a few months after government pledges to reform maternity care.

Back in May, UK ministers promised new mothers that they would be assigned one midwife that they would see for the duration of their care. They were also told they would be able to choose how and where they had their babies.

The data – compiled by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and Bounty Parenting Club – surveyed over 1,800 pregnant women and those who recently gave birth. Campaigners said that although some the results showed “worrying shortfalls”.

Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the RCM said: “The Government says it is committed to providing better maternity care and we endorse the pledges they have made. However, actions speak louder than words and this survey shows that there are many challenges ahead to ensure their promises are delivered across England.

“It throws up many areas of concern and highlights the pressing need for sustained investment in maternity services and in midwives.”

Results found that a fifth of women unable to have a choice over how or where they gave birth, with 18 percent feeling unsupported during their labour and birth.

Almost half (47 percent) said they would have liked more time with their midwife during pregnancy.

The RCM warned that this could have implications for an estimated 120,000 women who could be without the proper support that they need.

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