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Setting priorities for research into postnatal care

A smiling mother holds her newborn whilst listening to a doctor

Published on Saturday, 18 May 2019

During our March Stakeholder Away Day, charities and organisations who support and represent women, their partners and families came to Birmingham to hear and exchange priorities about research and communications. This year we spent part of the morning focusing on questions that are still not answered in research around postnatal care.

The gaps in research you felt should be a priority in postnatal care in hospital were around women's mental health needs; what clinical care women wanted; how to establish cultural safety; how to address the different family circumstances each family has; midwives' own birth experiences and how that might influence the postnatal support they provide to families; and how to improve information and communication for women and their partners.

When looking at future research questions around postnatal care in the community, the themes people felt were important included: fathers' support needs and roles; supporting non-binary families; the significance of continuity of care where the same team support a family postnatally; leaving (discharge) hospital and getting settled in back home; supporting mothers and babies who are unwell; when is it appropriate to have home-based instead of hospital-based care; women's postnatal mental health; breastfeeding for premature babies and information for women; training for health professionals including GPs and maternity support workers.

There was no shortage of ideas and we will keep you updated on how some of these ideas progress with the Department of Health and Social Care.

Updated: Saturday, 18 May 2019 17:56 (v1)