Each beginning bears a special magic - (Hermann Hesse)
   
 
Midwifery Continuity of care

WHY  ???

There are many known benefits of midwifery continuity of care like

  • greater preparation for birth
  • Reduction in interventions during labour
  • Reduced need for caesarean section
  • Lower rates of admission to special care nurseries
  • Shorter labours
  • Better support for early parenting
  • Increased satisfaction with care
  • Greater self confidence after the birth of the child
  • Reduced vulnerability to post natal depresssion

WHAT is Midwifery Continuity of Care ?

One or a team of midwives provides most of the antenatal appointments, is on call for the birth and attends regular postnatal care. The woman knows her midwife to establishes a relationship of trust, support and understanding. 

MEDIA RELEASE

AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF MIDWIVES

Midwife-led care a startling winner in study of over 12,000 women

The world’s highest level of scientific evidence has just confirmed that midwifery-led care compared to other models of care (obstetric, general practitioner and shared care) for childbearing women is not only incredibly safe but has other stunning benefits. The systematic review, which included eleven randomised controlled trials from all over the world (including Australia) and examined the outcomes of over 12,000 women, is groundbreaking. 

“The list of the benefits is exhaustive,” said Professor Brodie, President of the Australian College of Midwives. “ Having less than 5% of women in Australia having access to midwife-led care is clearly not good enough in the light of the overwhelming evidence of benefits.”

Benefits for women in the midwife-led care include fewer hospital admissions, fewer epidurals or any need for pain relief, fewer surgical cuts to the perineum, fewer forceps and vacuum birth. There were also increases in normal vaginal births, greater feelings of control during labour and birth, higher breastfeeding rates and shorter hospital stays for babies. Overall there was no difference in the numbers of babies dying – though fewer appeared to die before 24 weeks under midwife care. None of the other major complications of pregnancy and birth were any different. 

“This all adds up to happier, healthier mothers and babies and cost effective care,” said Professor Brodie. “ Ethically and financially we cannot afford to continue to function the way we have for the past 50 years. Most of the world is moving on with innovative systems of care that are leading to lower intervention rates and better outcomes for mothers and babies, and where midwives are integral to maternity care.”

The recommendation of the reviewers was unequivocal: All women should be offered midwife-led models of care and women should be encouraged to ask for this option. 

“Again this is a startling recommendation,” said Professor Brodie. “It was not just women with uncomplicated pregnancies that benefited from midwifery care, but those with complications also benefited. The key is continuity of care, recognition of complications and good collaboration with doctors when complications eventuate. It is time to heed the evidence,” said Professor Brodie, “and give women in Australia the opportunity to access what is gold-standard care – midwife led care.”

Australian College of Midwives, 2012