Women looked after by a primary midwife are more likely to have a positive experience of childbirth.
That was one of the key findings from the Comparing Standard Maternity care with One-to-One Midwifery Support (COSMOS) trial, from La Trobe University with the Royal Women's Hospital. The project involved more than 2300 women at low risk of medical complications.
Study lead La Trobe professor Helen McLachlan said the relationship established between women and their midwife during pregnancy appears to help build women's sense of confidence in themselves, leading to a more positive birth experience.
The research found that women who received care a from a primary midwife coped better physically and emotionally, were less anxious and were less likely overall to report a negative childbirth experience.
McLachlan said it's necessary to look at how this model of care can be expanded in Australia. "At the moment only a very small proportion – well under 10 per cent – of women have access to this model of care, so it's important that government and health services look at expanding the model and increasing the availability for women."
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