Sheffield study finds midwife care gives ‘better outcomes’

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Women with low-risk pregnancies have ‘better outcomes and fewer interventions’ when cared for by midwives, a Sheffield Hallam University study has found.

The research compared midwife care to ‘medical-led models’ where an obstetrician or GP is primarily responsible or care is shared between healthcare professionals.

The study, undertaken jointly with several other universities, found when midwives were the main providers of care throughout, women were less likely to give birth before 37 weeks or lose their babies before 24 weeks.

They were happier with the service and needed fewer procedures.

Professor Hora Soltani, based at Sheffield Hallam’s Centre for Health and Social Care Research, said midwife-led care could also be more cost-effective.

She added: “It’s important to stress this research is not a comparison between a midwife and a doctor, it’s about trying to raise awareness that they can have confidence in their own abilities to have a normal birth with the help of midwives.

“The perception is in order to get the highest quality of care they must be cared for by a senior clinician and that is simply not the case.”