Fears new mothers are being 'left alone' during labour

The quality of care given to women during pregnancy and birth is "just not good enough" in many cases, the chief inspector of hospitals has said. Although a major survey of new mothers in England revealed an overall improvement in maternity services.

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Survey: New mothers feel ‘bullied’ into breastfeeding

New mothers often feel "bullied" into breastfeeding, a survey into maternity care found.

The survey by the Care Quality Commission said 41% of women felt "inadequately supported" when feeding their new baby and that the pressure to breastfeed made them feel isolated and guilty.

A newborn baby Credit: REUTERS/Nicky Loh

One new mother said the feeding issue was "the most upsetting part" of her care.

"Midwives and health visitors make you feel bullied into breastfeeding… I was desperate to breastfeed during my pregnancy, and I was devastated when I couldn't, but the comments and the way you are made to feel guilty is totally unacceptable,” the woman said.

Midwifery council: 'NHS fails too many women'

The Royal Council of Midwifery said the "NHS continues to fail too many women," who are not able to see the same midwife during and after their pregnancy.

A survey by the health regulator, the CQC, found only 28% of women can rely on the care of the same midwife over the course of their pregnancy.

It is sad to see that in three years the NHS has not improved in terms of women seeing the same midwife during their care, which often means women have to repeat their histories over and over again.

– Cathy Warwick, the Royal College of Midwives’ chief executive

Ms Warwick said this is due to the shortage of qualified midwives.

"The RCM’s latest estimate is that the NHS in England is short of 4,800 midwives, so it is sadly inevitable that women will see many different midwives," she said.


Health watchdog names 'worsening' maternity services

The health regulator, the Care Quality Commission, has named maternity care trusts that it said provide worse care than they did during the last survey in 2010.

They are:

  • Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHSTrust
  • Barts Health NHS Trust
  • Croydon Health Services NHS Trust
  • Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lewisham Health Care NHS Trust
  • North West London Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Survey: Almost 80% of women 'trust maternity staff'

Here are some of the key findings of a major survey by the Care Quality Commission of women's experiences of maternity services:

  • A quarter said they were left alone at a time that worried them during labour and birth (up from 22 percent in 2010)
  • Almost one in five said their concerns were not taken seriously
  • 77 percent felt they were always involved in decisions about their care (up from 74 percent in 2010)
  • 71 percent were able to move around and find a position that made them most comfortable during labour and birth
  • 78 percent said they definitely had confidence and trust in the staff caring for them during labour and birth (up from 73 percent in 2010)

Survey: Quarter of new mothers 'left alone' during labour

A quarter of new mothers surveyed in England say they were left alone at a time that worried them during labour and birth, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found.

The survey asked 23,000 new mothers in England about their experience of maternity services Credit: Katie Collins/PA Wire

The survey of some 23,000 women, who gave birth in February, revealed an overall improvement in maternity services, but also some areas for improvement.

A higher proportion of women than in 2010 felt they were involved in decisions about their care and that they were able to find a comfortable position during labour and birth.

But concerns were raised about the support given during labour and birth, the cleanliness of wards and about seeing different midwives before and after the birth.

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