This month has seen the publication of a study which is really important to women, midwives and everybody involved in maternity care, because it looks even more deeply at a really vital question: what it is that women value in the midwifery continuity of care model.
As the authors of this study note, we already have robust evidence that continuity of midwifery care improves outcomes for women (Perriman et al 2018). And we know that women really, really like this model of care. We also suspect from experience and from the results of other kinds of research that what women really like is the relationship that they have with their midwife.
The study that I’m discussing today is a systematic review and meta-synthesis which has brought together many of the existing studies on this topic and confirmed that, “the relationship between the childbearing woman and midwife is central and through this additional benefits are realised; trust, personalised care, and empowerment.” (Perriman et al 2018).
The article is freely available and there is, of course, more depth if you’d like to read it, but the researchers’ core message is a simple one: The woman-midwife relationship is important and of huge value. “Employers and service providers should recognise the importance of the development of such a relationship and provide the resources and environment necessary to enable this.” (Perriman et al 2018).
Perriman N, Davis DL, Ferguson S (2018). What women value in the midwifery continuity of care model: a systematic review with meta-synthesis. Midwifery DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2018.04.011