Caseload midwifery continues to outperform standard maternity care

Evidence continues to show that caseload midwifery outperforms standard maternity care – time and time again.

In my June 2019 Birth Information Update, I highlighted an Australian study which brings welcome news at a time when midwives and midwifery are coming under fire and criticism from several different directions. Following on from the M@NGO trial (which I shared here when its results came out), Allen et al (2019) looked at women’s perceptions of the quality of their antenatal care and the results show – a bit unsurprisingly, I know – that caseload midwifery care “outperforms standard care” (Allen et al 2019) for all women, even those perceived to have a higher chance of problems.

The M@NGO study itself compared caseload midwifery with standard care among ‘all risk’ women and showed that the clinical outcomes were better. It also showed that caseload midwifery was more cost effective than standard care. This latest study was a survey which asked women to fill out a survey at 6 weeks postpartum. The survey asked about women’s experiences of their pregnancy care and the researchers found that, “women allocated to caseload midwifery perceived a higher level of quality care across every antenatal measure.” (Allen et al 2019).

Perhaps even more significantly:

“Notably, those women with identified risk factors reported higher levels of emotional support (aOR 2.52 [95% CI 1.87‐3.39]), quality care (2.94 [2.28‐3.79]), and feeling actively involved in decision‐making (3.21 [2.35‐4.37]).” (Allen et al 2019).

This echoes the findings of research into the Albany Practice outcomes and add weight to the growing body of knowledge showing the enormous benefits of caseload midwifery for all women. And, as I said, I know the tendency is to think that “we know this”. And we DO know it … but that’s not why I’m sharing it. I’m sharing it, blogging about it and adding it to the resources in Gathering in the Knowledge because, in a world which isn’t listening hard enough to women and whose leaders are seeking to undermine those who are seeking to improve women’s experiences, we need to take every opportunity to share the findings of studies like this and remind everyone around us of what works for women, babies and families.

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Photo by Frank Busch on Unsplash