• What models of maternity care do pregnant women in Ireland want?

      Byrne, C; Kennedy, C; O'Dwyer, V; Farah, N; Kennelly, M; Turner, M J; UCD Centre for Human Reproduction, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, , Cork St, Dublin 8 (2012-02-01)
      The introduction of new models of care in the Irish maternity services has been recommended by both advocacy groups and strategic reports. Yet there is a dearth of information about what models of care pregnant women want. We surveyed women in early pregnancy who were attending a large Dublin maternity hospital. Demographic and clinical details were recorded from the hospital chart. Of the 501 women, 351 (70%) (352 (70.3%) of women wanted shared antenatal care between their family doctor and either a hospital doctor or midwife. 228 (45.5%) preferred to have their baby delivered in a doctor-led unit, while 215 (42.9%) preferred a midwifery-led unit. Of those 215 (42.9%), 118 (55%) met criteria for suitability. There was minimal demand (1.6%) for home births. Choice was influenced by whether the woman was attending for private care or not. Safety is the most important factor for women when choosing the type of maternity care they want. Pregnant women want a wide range of choices when it comes to models of maternity care. Their choice is strongly influenced by safety considerations, and will be determined in part by risk assessment.