What evidence is there that one to one care is better for the mother?

One to one care is delivered through caseload midwifery. Caseload midwifery is a model of care which sees a midwife oversee and carry out midwifery care for an agreed number of women. The midwives work is centred around the woman rather than being attached to a particular hospital or birthing unit. This type of care gives women a very good chance of having a ‘known midwife’ at delivery.

Numerous studies have shown that caseload midwifery leads to more ‘normal’ births, fewer inductions of labour, fewer episiotomies, fewer instrumental deliveries, fewer epidurals and more homebirths when compared to women receiving traditional ‘shared care’ (Caseload Midwifery, A Review; Andrews S, Brown L, Bowman L, Price L and Taylor R)

The decline of one to one care is coupled with an increase in interventions in birth, an increase in c-sections and declining rates of breast- feeding.

Standalone Midwife Led Units (where women centred, one to one care is the norm) have lower rates of intervention, higher rates of normal birth – with less perineal trauma – and higher maternal satisfaction (than in hospital). Babies born in them also have lower rates of admission to neonatal units (NCT, 2008).