- National midwife shortage leaves 2 in 3 mums feeling under-supported
- Half of pregnant women consult the internet for advice
- 36% want additional breastfeeding support
New mums are the latest demographic to feel the sting of a stretched NHS, as research reveals overstretched resources have left 66% of mums wishing they’d been given more time with their midwife during pregnancy.
The survey of 300 mums who have given birth in the UK in past five years, published in the UK Maternity Report by the UK’s leading private midwifery services provider, Private Midwives, has revealed that throughout their pregnancies only 1 in 3 felt they had enough time with their midwife.
And more than 1 in 10 (13%) went as far as to say they received nowhere near enough contact time.
The study highlighted the need for additional midwifery funding to ease the strain on the UK’s hardworking midwives and enable them to execute the desired level of care.
Midwives are now being faced with a higher volume of work than ever with additional responsibilities including antibiotic administration, clinical observations on high risk babies, post-operative care and increasing demands for documentation. As such, giving their patients the time and support they deserve proves to be a daily struggle.
The research also revealed that more than half (51%) resorted to consulting the internet for advice when their midwife was not on-hand. Yet, understandably, 38% of women admitted to then feeling anxious about trusting information supplied via a search engine.
The need for being able to ask a midwife for professional advice is further evidenced by the fact that more than 1 in 3 mums (34%) woke in the night with pregnancy-related worries.
Linda Bryceland, head of midwifery at Private Midwives, said: “Unfortunately, budget cuts and a fast-growing list of duties means the UK’s extremely hardworking NHS midwives are under more strain than ever. Sadly, despite NHS midwives working tirelessly to ensure a high level of care is delivered, it is still common for women to feel under-supported during their birthing journey.
“It is important for women and their families to consult a medical professional with any pregnancy-related concerns so that proper support can be offered. Whilst the internet now offers a wealth of information on pregnancy, an online search should never replace medically sound advice from a trained midwife. Our aim is to provide women and their families with all the support they need to make their pregnancy a positive experience.”
Highlighting the importance of having support from a professional during the pregnancy journey, 24% of UK mums admitted to finding breastfeeding difficult and more than 1 in 3 (36%) believe they would have benefitted from additional support when learning to breastfeed.
Almost 1 in 5 (19%) mums believe that with more support from medical professionals, they could have possibly breastfed for longer.
Sadly, 18% of mums confessed to feeling like a bad mother as a result of not being able to breastfeed, further highlighting the need for additional medical advice and the importance of one-to-one support from a midwife.
Private Midwives is the UK’s leading provider of private midwifery services, which connects expectant parents with expert private midwives who provide antenatal care, birth care, birth support, and postnatal care at times and locations that work best for parents-to-be.
Founded in 2012, the Cheshire-based business has a network of midwives across the UK and Ireland, who are available to provide treatment and advice during appointments arranged at a time to suit mothers-to-be. In-between scheduled appointments, expectant parents can also contact their 24 hours, 365 days per year for urgent advice.
All midwives are registered and regulated by either the Nursing and Midwifery Council (UK) or the Nursing and Midwifery Board for Ireland, and the service is Care Quality Commission registered and regulated.
For more information, visit www.PrivateMidwives.com