What we want

We owe it to women to ensure that every baby is born in an environment where the woman feels safe, cared for, listened to and respected.

We owe it to parents to give them the healthiest and best-supported start to parenthood we can, because the start in life that parents give to their baby will impact on that child’s life from the moment they are born.

This means making sure that the birth and the weeks before and after it, are a positive as well as a safe experience for the new parents and their baby. Which is why it’s so important that we get maternity care right.

Delivering ‘a midwife for me and my baby’

We want every woman to have a midwife who she can get to know and trust, who can support her through her pregnancy, birth and beyond, regardless of her circumstances or where her baby is to be born.

What do we mean by that?

  • Each woman should have a named midwife they can get to know and trust and who they will see during their pregnancy, birth and after their baby is born.
  • Maternity services should be able to offer choice in line with the available evidence.
  • Women should be provided with information and support to enable them to make decisions that are right for them on where and how their baby will be born and who will be with them during labour, birth and the postnatal weeks.
  • There must be a financial regime and sufficient resources within the health service to support services in line with the evidence.
  • The maternity service must be organised to enable care in line with the evidence. This will require the establishment of maternity networks with most care based in the community.

What changes do we need?

  • The acknowledged shortage of 5000 additional midwives must be addressed urgently.
  • Maternity providers should have a financial incentive to provide continuity of care from a midwife throughout a woman’s pregnancy, birth and beyond.
  • Midwives must be appropriately remunerated for being on call 24/7 funded by the savings this model of care brings through improved outcomes.
  • At present in England, Payment by Results (PbR) is not well-suited to promoting continuity and co-ordination of care and even the newer version may continue to create a ratcheting-up effect on caesarean section rates. PBR should also be designed to ensure there is no incentive for intervention and does not disadvantage midwifery-only maternity providers.
  • Capital charges should be changed from a charge for the space to a charge for the person, so there is less incentive to pull all births into consultant units.
  • NHS maternity care is being driven by the financial incentive of discounted premiums for indemnity cover from the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST) for providers to implement processes that reduce litigation rather than necessarily improving care. The protocols stress the importance of ensuring that services carry out intervention safely when they intervene, which is valuable, but it is important that premiums recognise the benefits of safely not intervening, and putting in place strategies to prevent the need for intervention, rather than just demonstrating safe intervention. Premiums need be discounted to those providers that provide evidenced-based care which is designed to produce a safe and fulfilling process and outcome for mother and baby.
  • Maternity networks should be established as providers to deliver maternity services.
  • Services should be configured so that women can be seen in a community setting where appropriate.
  • There should be a single leader for each maternity service rather than the current system in which three people from three disciplines have to work together to lead maternity services.
  • Midwifery and obstetric training and continuing professional development (CPD) should be integrated where appropriate, and made complementary where separate. Training should be parent-focused and evidence-based.
  • User-led MSLCs should continue and be supported as the strategy development body for maternity services.
  • Independent midwives need to have insurance and guaranteed access rights to support women giving birth on NHS premises.

These defined principles need to be adopted both across the maternity sector and by governments and assemblies, and their achievement measured and reported on.

For further information take a look at our Manifesto

A Midwife for Me and my Baby

We want every woman to have a midwife that she can get to know and trust

  • who can support her through her pregnancy, birth and beyond
  • regardless of her circumstances
  • or where her baby is to be born

Supporting Organisations

AIMS Logo ARM Logo Birthrights Logo IMUK Logo NCT Logo TBIW Logo NE_Logo MamaAcademy_Logo OneWorldBirth_Logo PositiveBirthMovement_Logo BabyBirth_Logo 3Colours_Logo FatherToBe_Logo lullabyTrust_Logo ABM_Logo midirs_Logo pregnancyAndparentCentre_Logo

Individual Supporters

Supporting Businesses


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