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Physiologic birth

Research into the ability of maternity providers to support physiologic birth and implement the NHS Innovations Self-Improvement Toolkit to reduce caesarean birth rates 2008-2009

Investigators: Powell - Kennedy,H. Sandall,J.*
Project Funding:
Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award and Burdett Trust.

This project was conducted with a Fulbright Scholar from the USA who wanted to learn about best practice maternity care in the UK. Particularly how women are supported in the achievement of physiologic normal birth or ‘optimal’ birth in hospital, and how the NHS Self-Improvement Toolkit to promote normal birth and reduce caesarean birth rates was being used to support normal birth.

Maternity care provision was studied in two NHS trusts.
Supporting normal birth was an integrated focus for both trusts, yet had some marked variations. There were differences in how health professionals and women defined “normal” and “optimal” birth and there were large variations in how the NHS toolkit was used. Findings have been disseminated using videography at a range of venues in the USA by Professor Kennedy who is now President of the American College of Nurse Midwives.

Project status: Completed