Last week the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) released their report on Maternity Care in the UK. This report highlighted several issues that the UK Government needs to address to improve outcomes for women and babies in maternity care. The APPG is dedicated to addressing and improving issues related to maternity care and have made a series of key recommendations based on this review.

All recommendations have been made to support better outcomes and care for women and people and their babies. Some of these key recommendations related to antenatal services and included:

  1. National Plan for Maternity Care : The inquiry calls for the creation of a national plan to enhance maternity care across the UK. This plan would address various aspects of maternity services, including antenatal care, to ensure consistent and high-quality support for pregnant women or people.
  2. Maternity Commissioner Reporting to the Prime Minister: The inquiry recommends establishing a maternity commissioner who would report directly to the prime minister.This commissioner’s role would be to oversee improvements in maternity services, including antenatal care. By having a dedicated commissioner, the goal is to ensure safe staffing levels, compassionate care, and better outcomes for pregnant women and people.
  3. Safe Staffing Levels: The inquiry emphasizes the need for safe staffing levels for the maternity services. Adequate staffing ensures that pregnant women receive the attention, support, and information they need throughout their pregnancy.
  4. Holistic Approach to Women’s Health: Health minister Maria Caulfield highlighted the importance of looking after women before they go into birth. This means focusing on antenatal care as part of a holistic approach to women’s health, addressing physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

These recommendations emphasize the need for a comprehensive national plan, dedicated oversight, and safe staffing levels to improve the overall maternity experience for pregnant women and people.

In the midst of ongoing discussions spurred from the UK’s birth trauma inquiry report by AGGP, many maternity and midwifery organisations including the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have contributed crucial insights into the imperative need for enhanced maternity care standards.

Alongside the joined voices driving these recommendations forward, the Real Birth Company’s innovative RealBirth technology and training are emerging as proactive resources to help change outcomes and improve birthing experiences.

Drawing from our recent real-world evaluation, the Real Birth Company’s impact is clearly measurable, especially amongst marginalised groups. In areas of multiple deprivations, those with Indices of Multiple Deprivation levels 1-3, and among Black and Asian women, RealBirth technology and midwifery training has proven invaluable, with high levels of engagement from these groups. Overall, 85% of women found the information provided helpful in navigating their birthing options. Additionally, 70% of postnatal women credited the information with aiding their decision-making during childbirth, resulting in them having better and improved birth experiences.

Other key priorities are focused on ensuring all pregnant women and people have timely access to comprehensive prenatal care, and addressing geographical, financial, and social barriers is crucial. The review advocated for ensuring that women have the option to give birth at home, in midwife-led units, or in hospitals, as long as appropriate risk assessments and support systems are in place.Support for breastfeeding through public health campaigns and effective guidance from trained healthcare providers is also vital. Along with strengthening postnatal care and being able to access quality services and mental health support for new mothers. The Real Birth Company has aligned efforts with key priorities identified for enhancing maternity services to help support some of the key recommendations for the NHS maternity services.

By providing comprehensive antenatal education through its digital health technology and  in-person classes, we support access to valuable prenatal information. We help empower women and people to make informed decisions about their birth plans by educating them about different birthing options, including home, birthing centers, and hospital births.

We support breastfeeding by offering guidance and resources to help new mothers with how to get feeding off to a good start, helping them to recognise feeding cues and signs that their baby is initiating a feed.  Postnatal care is strengthened through education on newborn care, maternal recovery, and personlaised resources to help with those needing additional emotional or mental health support. 

Through advocacy and outreach, we help to raise awareness about the importance of quality maternity care and collaborate with healthcare professionals to ensure their educational content is accurate and up-to-date. While we may not directly influence legislation, our advocacy supports policy changes by highlighting the needs of expectant and new mothers, informing policymakers, and contributing to evidence-based decision-making.