Midwifery and women’s health

Midwifery and women

Recognising the significance of women's health at both a state and federal level, Sydney Nursing School researchers are changing the way health professionals, midwives and nurses are offering health care to women. Our research is focused on family-friendly and women-centred care in a cross-collaboratorative environment. The Midwifery and Women's Health Nursing Research Unit is a collaboration with Sydney Nursing School and the Royal Hospital for Women at Randwick. Professor Sally Tracy from Sydney Nursing School heads the team of leading researchers who are setting new trends for women-centred care.

Research spotlight: Study finds midwifery care saves money and is safer

University of Sydney research has found that pregnant women who see the same midwife throughout pregnancy are more likely to experience fewer interventions during birth, and cost the public hospital system less than women who receive standard shared antenatal care or private obstetric care.

The research, published in the journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, examined the costs and outcomes for women who experienced each of the three models of care offered at the Royal Hospital for Women - caseload midwifery care, standard hospital care, or care by a private obstetrician in the public hospital.

Lead author of the paper Sally Tracy, Professor of Midwifery at the University, said that first-time 'low-risk' mothers who received caseload midwifery care were more likely to have a spontaneous onset of labour and an unassisted vaginal birth at 58.5 percent of women.

"This is compared to 48.2 percent of women who chose standard hospital care and 30.8 percent with private obstetric care.

"Caseload midwifery patients were also ten-times less likely to have an elective caesarean than women with private obstetric care," she said.

The study found that over one financial year there was an average saving of over $1000 per woman for those who chose caseload midwifery care. It is also the first study to calculate the average cost per woman receiving private obstetric care in the public system.

Read the whole story here.