Women have consistently reported lower satisfaction with postnatal care compared with antenatal and labour care. The aim of this research was to examine whether women’s experience of inpatient postnatal care in England is associated with variation in midwifery staffing levels.
It found that negative experiences for women on postnatal wards were more likely to occur in trusts with fewer midwives. Low staffing could be contributing to discharge delays and lack of support and information, which may in turn have implications for longer term outcomes for maternal and infant wellbeing.
This analysis of survey data supports previous findings that increased midwifery staffing is associated with benefits. This is the first study to examine the effects of organisational staffing on women’s experience of postnatal care.
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