Summary of report content
Healthwatch Brent engaged 77 mothers in a project looking at women's experiences of maternity services in Brent during August and November 2016. They used a questionnaire to ask about choices of birth, antenatal and post-natal care, breastfeeding support, and community services.
They found that the majority of mothers rated the breastfeeding advice as excellent or good. More than half of the respondents found that the emotional support was good. There was a mixed response regarding community midwives who were described as unhelpful. Mothers reported having to queue for a long time for antenatal appointments. Some mothers said that they would have like more caring and supportive. It was mentioned that some women wanted their partners to stay overnight after birth but they were not allowed to.
A number of recommendations were made to commissioners, providers, midwives and expectant/new mothers. These included that commissioners need to ensure that community services are available for post-natal support; that providers consider working with community peer volunteers to provide breastfeeding support and information after birth; that midwives need to work with providers to review how to be more prepared and more enabled to support mothers; and that expectant/new mothers should provide feedback to Maternity Users' Groups and ask their GP, midwife and health visitor for help and information.
No response was obtained from The London North West Healthcare Trust.