Maternity Care Survey 2018
26th March 2019
An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.
A survey of just over 2,000 women across Scotland has found that women were generally very positive about their experiences of maternity care services. At least nine in ten women rated their overall experiences of antenatal care, labour and birth, neonatal care and postnatal care at home as ‘Excellent' or ‘Good'.
Results of the 2018 Maternity Care Survey were released today by Scotland's Chief Statistician. These figures were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.
• Nine in ten women rated their antenatal care positively, this is consistent with results from previous surveys.
• Just over three-quarters of women were not given a choice about where their antenatal check-ups would take place. Over three-fifths of women saw the same midwife for all or most of their antenatal check-ups.
• Almost all women (97 per cent) were told who to contact if they needed further advice or support during their pregnancy, and four in five women who contacted a midwife / midwifery team were given the help they needed.
• Women were positive about their experience of person-centred behaviours. They were most positive about understanding information and explanations they were given (96 per cent).
Labour and Birth
• Just over nine in ten women rated the care they received during their labour and birth positively. This is consistent with results from 2015 but a small decrease from 2013.
• Women were positive about their experiences of person-centred behaviours during labour and birth. They were most positive about being given the opportunity to involve the people that mattered to them (95 per cent).
• A quarter of women were cared for by the same midwife / midwife team as during their antenatal care, however 56 per cent of women reported that they did not mind that they were cared for by a different midwife / midwife team.
• Just over four in five women felt that any concerns they raised were taken seriously and three in four women always received assistance within a reasonable time when they called / asked for it.
Postnatal Care in Hospital / Midwife-led Unit
• Just over four in five women rated their postnatal hospital care positively. This is a slight decrease from 2015 but is in line with 2013 results.
• Almost all women (99 per cent) gave birth in a hospital or midwife-led unit and three in five of them were able to have their partner or someone close stay with them as much as they wanted.
• Women were generally positive about their experience of person-centred behaviours. They were most positive about being involved in their baby's care as much as possible (95 per cent) and least positive about staff spending enough time with them (74 per cent).
• The vast majority of women whose baby had been admitted to a neonatal unit (95 per cent) rated the care their baby had received positively.
• Most women felt they were able to stay with their baby as much as they wanted and that they always received assistance within a reasonable time in the neonatal unit (85 and 86 per cent respectively).
• Two in five women were offered emotional support or counselling after their baby was admitted to a neonatal unit.
• Women were positive about their experience of person-centred behaviours. They were most positive about being treated with kindness and understanding (94 per cent).
• In the first few days, just over half of women fed their baby breast milk only and around one-fifth used breast and formula milk. Almost one in five women always experienced difficulties feeding their baby in the first few days.
• Around four in five women felt their decisions about how to feed their baby were always respected by staff.
• Three in five women reported they always received active support and encouragement from health professionals about feeding their baby.
• Just over half of women felt they always got consistent advice from health professionals about feeding their baby.
Postnatal Care at Home and in the Community
• Nine in ten women rated the postnatal care they received at home and in the community positively which is in line with results from previous surveys.
• Three in ten women were given a choice about where their postnatal care took place.
• Women were very positive about their experience of person-centred behaviours. They were most positive about understanding information and explanations they were given (97 per cent) and being treated with kindness and understanding (96 per cent).
• Just under half of women saw the same midwife for both their antenatal and postnatal care, and just over a quarter did not but would have liked this.
• Two in three women felt they definitely had enough advice and support to care for their baby after the birth. Just over three in four women were always given the help they needed when they contacted a midwife or midwifery team, a decrease from previous surveys.
The full statistical publication is available at:www.gov.scot/ISBN/9781787816398
This publication contains national results from the 2018 Maternity Care Survey. Questionnaires were sent to a randomly selected sample of women who gave birth in Scotland in February or March 2018. The survey asked women about their experiences of maternity care services, from antenatal care through to postnatal care at home.
More information about the survey design is available in the accompanying technical report, which is available at www.gov.scot/ISBN/9781787816381
The survey was commissioned by the Scottish Government as part of the Scottish Care Experience programme. The survey sample was drawn by National Records for Scotland and the survey fieldwork administration was undertaken by Quality Health Ltd. Results at NHS Board and hospital level are available via an online dashboard which can be accessed at www.gov.scot/MaternitySurvey