Ensuring women see the same midwife, with longer appointments, and enhanced support and information
This project will provide women with more personalised, continuous care before and after the birth of their baby, and support them in planning and making informed choices around the birth. It will also offer enhanced care to help promote key health messages around breastfeeding, smoking and nutrition.
It differs from the way midwife services are normally provided by ensuring one dedicated midwife, alongside another midwife as a ‘buddy’, is allocated to supporting each woman during pregnancy, the birth, and afterwards. This midwife and the buddy will provide at least 90% of a woman’s midwifery care, and will act as co-ordinators for other care such as hospital appointments. The pilot will also provide longer antenatal appointments and a home visit prior to booking, allowing the woman and her midwife to establish a relationship and have more time for discussing choices around pregnancy and birth.
Who will benefit? At any one time around 350 pregnant women in the Better Start Bradford area will be provided with personalised midwifery care through this pilot. Evidence suggests this type of care will have a lasting benefit for them and their children.
Who provides it? Opal Team is a midwifery team at Bradford Royal Infirmary, commissioned by Better Start Bradford to run this pilot.
How do families register? There’s no need to register – some pregnant women in the Better Start Bradford area will automatically be contacted by the Opal Team.
In the pilot, personalised, continuous care is being managed in a way that we hope will work across the midwifery workforce, so it can be rolled out in other areas too.
Based on existing evidence, we expect this pilot will:
– improve women’s satisfaction and sense of empowerment during pregnancy and birth
– improve nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding rates
– reduce harmful behaviours such as smoking in pregnancy
– support informed choices around place of birth
– increase engagement with antenatal care and early detection of problems.
This is likely to increase the number of babies born when they are due, at a healthy weight, and to improve maternal mental health and bonding. This is likely to have a positive impact on children’s long term development.
The Personalised Midwifery Care Pilot is one of more than 20 projects being provided by Better Start Bradford for pregnant women and families with children under four in Little Horton, Bowling and Barkerend and Bradford Moor.
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