Supporting childbearing women who are at risk of having their baby removed at birth

02 June 2020
17 min read
Volume 28 · Issue 6

Working in line with the Nursing and Midwifery Council's ([NMC], 2018) code of conduct, midwives are expected to be with woman, yet the welfare of the baby must remain paramount in this, as directed by the Children Act of 1989 and 2004. Currently, care applications for babies to be taken into care are at a national high (Macfarlane, 2018). In England, between 2007–2017, 16 849 babies under one week old were subjects of local authority care proceedings (Broadhurst et al, 2018). This is concerning, as life outcomes can be significantly impaired for those children who are taken into care (UK Government, 2017). Yet in offering evidence-based support and interventions for vulnerable women and families, some babies could be prevented from being taken into care (McCracken et al, 2017). Several strong predictors of having one's first baby taken into care at birth have been identified. These include substance use, the mother being in care at the time of her baby's birth, mental ill health, lack of antenatal maternity care and the presence of a developmental disability (Wall-Wieler et al, 2018). Yet again, these risk factors could be mitigated with the use of appropriate interventions.

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