‘Postnatal services are the Cinderella of maternity services say midwives’

By RCM on 04 May 2017 Postnatal Care Survey Midwives Maternity Services

A survey released today by UK parenting website Mumsnet has revealed a variety of problems with healthcare for women who have just had babies.

The survey results which include women’s opinions of postnatal care has been launched to coincide with a new campaign to improve postnatal care, reveals major problems with healthcare for women who have just had babies.

The survey of more than 1200 women who’ve given birth in the UK in the last three years shows that among those who stayed in hospital after giving birth, many reported that it was sometimes difficult to access food, pain relief, drinking water and washing facilities.

Commenting, Cathy Warwick Chief Executive at The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says; “There is no doubt that postnatal services are the Cinderella of maternity services not only in England, but right across the UK. The RCM believes this area of maternity care is one of the most important to invest in and much more investment is needed to help us achieve the best outcomes for both mother and baby.

“For women the postnatal period can often be a very difficult time and this is when the highest level of care and support is needed most for some women.It can also be an extremely exhausting and worrying time particularly for first time mothers.

“Surveys of women’s views of maternity care including this latest one repeatedly inform us of their unhappiness with the current provision of postnatal care and in 2017 this is certainly not good enough.

“If we are to invest in better postnatal care for women we must invest in more midwives. England currently remain 3,500 midwives short and our maternity services will continue to struggle in supporting women if the shortage is not addressed. More midwives means women will get the care, time and support they truly deserve.

“The impact that good postnatal care could have on women’s experiences and their long-term health in the context of the increasing complexity of the health of women who become pregnant should not be underestimated.”

For Further information on the Mumsnet campaign and survey click here:

See https://www.mumsnet.com/campaigns/better-postnatal-care/index, or contact [email protected] / 020 3598 2159.


To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].


Notes to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.