Safer maternity care: addressing variation in community midwifery

02 August 2019
4 min read
Volume 27 · Issue 8


As part of its aims, the mother and baby charity Baby Lifeline provides training for health professionals attending births in the community, ensuring they have all the equipment they need

Every woman and baby deserves the safest birth experience possible, no matter the place of birth. This means ensuring that all professionals have the equipment and training to feel confident, competent and valued. Nowhere is this truer than in the community.

Overall, 1 in 50 women in England and Wales will give birth at home (NHS, 2018). Births in the community are gaining more attention as a better option for some low-risk women (Birthplace in England Collaborative Group, 2011; National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, 2014; National Maternity Review, 2016).

For nulliparous women planning to give birth at home, there is an increased risk of adverse perinatal outcomes (9.3 per 1000, compared with 5.3 per 1000 in an obstetric unit) (Birthplace in England Collaborative Group, 2011). Nearly half of nulliparous women giving birth at home (45%), and over 1 in 10 multiparous women (12%) are transferred to the obstetric unit (Birthplace in England Collaborative Group, 2011). Training with ambulance practitioners is vital to optimum transfer and outcomes.

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