Place of birth discussion in maternity services

West MidlandsReproductive Health and Childbirth
Start Date: 1 Jan 2014

Project summary

The options for where women can give birth are usually discussed as part of the women’s first visit to the midwife (her booking visit) and then throughout pregnancy so midwives have a key role in providing women with information and discussion, to open up choice about where women give birth. The CLAHRC team are working with BWNFT to open up these discussions as part of a desire to increase homebirth for suitable women.

Aim of the study

To explore midwives’ views of their discussions with women about their options for where to give birth, to establish what, where, when and how these discussions with women take place.


The first task is to look at what is already known about discussions by midwives, with women around their options for where to give birth and we will look in a systematic way at the literature in this area. This will include whether any interventions have been implemented to support midwives’ place of birth discussions with women, and if so, what the barriers and facilitators to implementing them were and were the interventions effective. The research team will then include their findings to inform the discussions (called focus groups) they will have with midwifery teams to find out what happens as part of place of birth discussions with women and to identify any challenges and barriers they have. The team will feedback findings to each team who will identify priorities for change. Following this, a number of larger workshops will be held to share the findings from these discussions, identify priorities for change and agree what will be improvements in this area. The workshops will involve number of these midwives and the views of women themselves This type of work is called ‘co-production’ and means those providing and using the service will be involved in changing it. The CLARHC team will then go on to evaluate the changes as robustly as possible.

Dr Sara Kenyon