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Poll puts spotlight on maternity care

22 December 2015 09:54

Many women need advice about feeding their newborn baby

Many women need advice about feeding their newborn baby

Nearly one in 10 (9%) pregnant women are left on their own and anxious during the later stages of labour, the results of a new survey suggest.

And the official poll suggests 46% of women are not getting the support they need after their baby has been delivered.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) questioned over 20,000 women, who gave birth in England in February, about their maternity care.

Nearly two thirds (64%) of those quizzed say if they needed attention during labour and birth they were always able to get a member of staff to help.

During the hours after they had given birth, meanwhile, the proportion saying they were able to get help within a reasonable time-frame falls to 54%.

One in 50 'alone during birth'

Some 14% of women say they were left on their own during the early stages of labour, a slight increase on the 13% who indicated that had been the case in 2013.

Around one in 12, meanwhile, say they were left alone and worried after giving birth, while one in 50 say they were on their own while actually giving birth.

Among those raising worries about the maternity care they received, nearly one in five (18%) claim their concerns were not taken seriously.

Although more than half (54%) of those surveyed say they were always able to get the support and advice they needed about feeding their baby, one in four (24%) complain they got no advice at all.

Flying is not recommended for women in the later stages of pregnancy.

But taking a holiday abroad during the earlier stages need not be ruled out and can be covered with a pregnancy travel insurance policy.

'More women getting choice'

Despite the concerns raised by some women, the overall trust and confidence in midwives during labour and birthing has risen to 80% compared to the previous level of 78%.

The survey also suggests improvements have been made in several areas of care.

More than two fifths (41%) of women say they were given a choice of whether they had their baby at a birth centre or a midwife-led unit.

In 2013, the proportion of women offered that choice was only 35%, the CQC says.