The MASIC Foundation is the only multi-disciplinary UK charity to support women who have suffered severe maternal perineal trauma during childbirth known as OASI (Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injury).
They carried out an online survey in January 2021, exploring the impact of severe maternal perineal trauma on the physical and mental health of the women who sustained the injuries and on their relationship with their child. This report outlines the results and calls for several actions to improve care.
The seven point plan for change is outlined in the report as follows:
- Improved identification, diagnosis and treatment for birth injuries in the NHS
- An education programme for obstetricians and midwives so that severe injuries are recognised at birth and treated in line with best evidence
- A primary care education programme so that all women are asked at contacts following birth about signs and symptoms of OASI/incontinence, with appropriate referral pathways for those with symptoms in line with the NHS Long-Term plan
- Information about the risks of OASI given to all women antenatally
- Women’s concerns to be listened to and not dismissed as “normal” postnatal experiences
- Specialised psychological treatment and support for women after OASI injury and an end to the stigma and taboo of talking about these injuries
- Dedicated OASI Clinics nationwide.
The report is also calling for the RCOG OASI Care Bundle (trialled in 16 units and shown to reduce OASI by 20%) to be rolled out nationwide so that all Maternity Units are reached and more women protected.
You can access the full report by following the link below.