Enhancing Maternity Care: The Positive Impact of Midwife Continuity Models

by Ella

The implementation of midwife continuity of care models has emerged as a pivotal strategy within maternity services in the United Kingdom (UK). A recent study, led by Professor Jane Sandall and colleagues, sheds light on the comparative outcomes of women and their infants under this model against other care models. Published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, this study underscores the transformative potential of midwife continuity of care in enhancing maternal experiences during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.


Understanding Midwife Continuity of Care:

Midwife continuity of care models involve consistent care provision by the same midwife or team throughout the perinatal journey, collaborating with obstetric and specialist teams as needed. Since 2016, these models have been pivotal in reshaping maternity services in England, aiming to foster safer, more personalized, and equitable birthing experiences.


Key Findings:

The review reveals notable advantages for women receiving midwife continuity of care, including reduced likelihood of cesarean sections or instrumental births and increased rates of spontaneous vaginal births. Moreover, women report significantly more positive experiences across pregnancy, labor, and postpartum periods under this model.


Implications and Future Directions:

While midwife continuity models showcase promising outcomes, areas of uncertainty persist, particularly concerning fetal loss, neonatal outcomes, and maternal complications. The study underscores the need for further research, with a focus on diverse populations and low- and middle-income countries. Ongoing initiatives, spearheaded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration South London, aim to explore the nuanced benefits of midwife continuity models for marginalized groups, including those at risk of preterm birth and from ethnic minorities or disadvantaged backgrounds.



The study underscores the pivotal role of midwife continuity of care models in enhancing maternal experiences and optimizing birth outcomes. As efforts continue to advance evidence-based maternity care, prioritizing research and implementation strategies tailored to diverse populations remains paramount. By championing midwife continuity models, stakeholders can pave the way for a more equitable and empowering maternity care landscape, ensuring every woman receives the support and care she deserves throughout her perinatal journey.


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