Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Women who receive midwife care throughout their pregnancy and birth have better outcomes

Date:
August 21, 2013
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
Maternity care that involves a midwife as the main care provider leads to better outcomes for most women. Researchers found that women who received continued care throughout pregnancy and birth from a small group of midwives were less likely to give birth pre-term and required fewer interventions during labour and birth than when their care was shared between different obstetricians, GPs and midwives.

Midwife With Doppler
Credit: Beth Van Trees / Fotolia

Maternity care that involves a midwife as the main care provider leads to better outcomes for most women, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. Researchers found that women who received continued care throughout pregnancy and birth from a small group of midwives were less likely to give birth pre-term and required fewer interventions during labour and birth than when their care was shared between different obstetricians, GPs and midwives.

In many countries, including the UK and Australia, midwives act as the main providers of care for women throughout pregnancy, labour and birth. In midwife-led care, there is an emphasis on normality, continuity of care and being cared for by a known, trusted midwife during labour. Midwife-led continuity of care is provided in a multi-disciplinary network of consultation and referral with other care providers. This contrasts with medical-led models of care, where an obstetrician or family physician is primarily responsible for care, and with shared-care, where responsibility is shared between different healthcare professionals. There has been some debate about whether the midwife-led model of care is more effective.

The researchers reviewed data from 13 trials involving a total of 16,242 women. Eight trials included women at low risk of complications and five trials included women at high risk of complications. They looked at outcomes for mothers and babies when midwives were the main providers of care, compared to medical-led or shared care models. When midwives were the main providers of care throughout, women were less likely to give birth before 37 weeks or lose their babies before 24 weeks. Women were happier with the care they received, had fewer epidurals, fewer assisted births, and fewer episiotomies. An episiotomy involves making a surgical incision to reduce the risk of a tear. In addition, women who received midwife-led care were no more likely to have a caesarean birth, but they were in labour for about half an hour longer on average.

Based on these results, the researchers conclude that all women should be offered midwife-led continuity of care unless they have serious medical or obstetric complications. "Women should be encouraged to ask for this option," said lead researcher Jane Sandall of the Division of Women's Health at King's College London in London, UK, who led an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Warwick and National University of Ireland Galway. "Policymakers in areas of the world where health systems do not provide midwife-led care should consider the importance of midwives in improving maternity care and how financing of midwife-led services can be reviewed to support this."

Five studies considered the cost of midwife-led compared to shared care. While care provided by midwives was more cost-effective during labour, the results for postnatal care were inconclusive. "There was a lack of consistency in the way that maternity care cost was estimated in the studies, but there seemed to be a trend towards a cost-saving effect of midwife-led care," said Sandall.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jane Sandall, Hora Soltani, Simon Gates, Andrew Shennan, Declan Devane. Midwife-led continuity models versus other models of care for childbearing women. , DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004667.pub3

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Women who receive midwife care throughout their pregnancy and birth have better outcomes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130821085118.htm>.
Wiley. (2013, August 21). Women who receive midwife care throughout their pregnancy and birth have better outcomes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130821085118.htm
Wiley. "Women who receive midwife care throughout their pregnancy and birth have better outcomes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130821085118.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is ordering U.S. military personnel to West Africa to deal with the Ebola outbreak, which is he calls a potential threat to global security. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins