National Maternity Surveys
National surveys of women’s experience of maternity care are important in finding out what women think about their care. Maternity services are changing and information from these studies provides snapshots of practice and points for comparison over time. The results of these surveys are used to help improve maternity care throughout the country.
A National Survey of Mothers and Babies
The first phase of the National Survey of Mothers and Babies is now running.
You may have been sent a questionnaire. We would really like to hear from you and this is where you can access the survey online.
We are trying to understand women’s experiences of maternity care and to find the best way to ask about what really matters to women around the time of pregnancy, childbirth and the early months at home. The sample of women is selected by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) using birth registrations. The people at ONS send out the survey because we do not know your name or address.
To take part online, please click on the picture of the questionnaire here:
You can download this leaflet for information about the survey:
The second phase of A National Survey of Mothers and Babies is planned to take place in the spring of 2017. This will be carried out in the same way as the National Maternity Surveys in 2006, 2010 and 2014 with the Office for National Statistics using birth registrations to draw the sample. The aim is to get an up-to-date picture of the experience of recent mothers, to explore women’s health and support needs during the early months after childbirth and to identify how maternity and child health care services can be improved. If you would like to look at the findings from the previous National Maternity Surveys, please click on the links below.
Previous maternity surveys
National Maternity Survey 2014
Findings of the 2014 National Maternity Survey, launched on 26th February, show that, compared with earlier surveys in 2006 and 2010, women are realising they are pregnant and seeing a health professional earlier, with 96% seeking care by 12 weeks. Other results show that postnatal hospital stays are continuing to get shorter and the number of postnatal visits is declining. Overall satisfaction with care remains high although, as in earlier surveys, satisfaction with postnatal care is lower than that for antenatal care or care in labour and delivery.
The results of the 2014 National Maternity Survey is available to download:
National Maternity Survey 2010
More than 5000 women who had recently given birth responded to a questionnaire in 2010 about their experience of care during pregnancy, childbirth and the early months at home. This survey found that most women were positive about their care, although satisfaction with postnatal care was lower suggesting that this is an area of concern.
The survey was funded by the Department of Health.
The results of the 2010 survey on women's pregnancy, labour and birth and postnatal care and their views of care can be downloaded here:
The NPEU carried out a similar National Survey of Experience of Maternity Care in 2006 providing a benchmark of practice and a baseline for measuring change over time. The results of that national survey of recent mothers were published in March 2007 and can be downloaded here:
Maternity Survey Studies
Further research has been carried out using the survey data from 2006 and 2010 including studies on: measuring women's perceptions of care, worries about labour and birth, health problems in pregnancy, women's experience of caesarean section, induction of labour and infant feeding, health outcomes for women, anxiety and depression during pregnancy and after childbirth, and social and ethnic differences in antenatal screening. View the NPEU publications.